NORTHFIELD - The Marshall girls cross country team shattered expectations with its eighth-place finish at the MSHSL Class AA Cross Country State Championships at St. Olaf College on Saturday.
The Tigers entered the meet ranked 11th in the final Class AA poll, but refused to let the rankings determine their fate. With a combined 194 points, Marshall took home eighth, which was just five points short of the sixth-place effort of Eden Prairie, which earned 189 points, and of the seventh-place finish of Roseville, which earned 190 points.
"We have had a ton of success this year in such a short period of time," said Tigers head coach Marie Sample. "We have a nice group of girls that work really hard and gelled together as a team and as a family."
Photo by Lauren Beukelman
Marshall sisters Courtney Mauch (125) and Sydney Mauch (126) run the last 200 meters before crossing the finish line at the MSHSL?Class AA Cross Country State Championships on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Claire Boersma paced Marshall with her 46th place finish in 15 minutes, 7 seconds. She improved on her 144th placing at the 2012 Championships and finished 54 seconds ahead of last year's time.
"This state meet was 100 percent better running with my team," Boersma said. "I enjoyed it a lot more."
Following closely behind Boersma was Nichole Sample, who finished 53rd (15:11), and Jackie Turner, who ended up in 66th (15:20).
"We had our top-three go out and race hard in that tight pack that they have raced in all year," Coach Sample said.
Both Nichole Sample and Turner were competing at the state meet for the first time.
"It was so much fun," Nichole Sample said. "Everyone seemed like they were having a good time and having our whole team here was great."
Turner was sad to see the cross country season end.
"I don't want this season to be over," Turner said. "It has been the best sports season of my life."
Morgan Radel placed 77th in 15:28 and Sydney Mauch finshed 115th in 15:53.50.
Courtney Mauch followed her sister in 15:53.80 for 116th place, while Marah Hart ran a 16:39 for 157th.
With a young team consisting of one seventh-grader, four eighth-graders, one freshman and one sophomore, the Tigers look forward to what the future holds.
"These runners are young and I think we are going to come back really strong next year," Coach Sample said. "They all have dreams and goals of winning a state championship. So, we are going after it."
Class AA Boys
The Tigers were represented by Andrew Bell, who made his third appearance at the Class AA state meet. He placed 38th overall in 16:22 on Saturday.
"I had more experience and that helped out a lot during this race." Bell said. "There were perfect racing conditions and I think we all had great races."
In 2011, Bell was a member of the Marshall boys team which placed 13th at the state meet. He finished second for the Tigers by taking 82nd place in 16:52. Then, Bell returned in 2012 to finish in 16:36 and earn 69th place.
After placing seventh at the Class AA Section 2 Championships this season, Bell qualified for his third trip to the state meet.
"I did much better this season," Bell said.
MSHSL CLASS AA CROSS COUNTRY STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At St. Olaf College, Northfield
Girls AA Team Standings
1. Wayzata 37, 2. East Ridge 134, 3. Lakeville South 165, 4. Chanhassen 171, 5. Willmar 172, 6. Eden Prairie 189, 7. Roseville 190, 8. Marshall 194, 9. Eagan 224, 10. Bemidji 243, 11. Forest Lake 249, 12. Lakeville North 276, 13. Burnsville 279, 14. Totino Grace 300, 15. Elk River 339, 16. Anoka 419.
46. Claire Boersma 15:07; 53. Nichole Sample 15:11; 66. Jackie Turner 15:20; 77. Morgan Radel 15:28; 114. Sydney Mauch 15:53; 115. Courtney Mauch 15:53; 157. Marah Hart 16:39.
Boys AA Team Standings
1. Wayzata 53, 2. Edina 66, 3. Stillwater 99, 4. Rosemount 159, 5. Hutchinson 198, 6. Mounds View 217, 7. Bemidji 226, 8. Centennial 234, 9. Cloquet 234, 10. Lakeville North 261, 11. Alexandria 266, 12. Red Wing 280, 13. Burnsville 280, 14, Chisago Lakes 281, 15. Chanhassen 311, 16. White Bear Lake 423.
38. Andrew Bell 16:22.