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Savannah Ramirez of Litchfield won the Section 6A girls race Thursday at Little Crow Country Club between Spicer and New London.

Cross Country: Litchfield's Ramirez wins Section 6A meet

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sports Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/102512-xc-ramirez1.jpg?itok=lEw5c8TJ
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Cross Country: Litchfield's Ramirez wins Section 6A meet
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

NEW LONDON -- There was no one ahead, but Litchfield junior Savannah Ramirez flew to first place in the girls 4,000-meter run at the Section 6A meet on Thursday.

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A year ago she finished 14th at sections and failed to make state after going both her eighth- and ninth-grade year.

She was all smiles after the race, even in the cutting north wind on an overcast 35-degree late afternoon. It was her second win this fall and by the far the most impressive of her career.

She beat Morris/Chokio-Alberta senior and two-time West Central Conference champion Makenzie Smith to the finish near the Little Crow Country Club pro shop by 29 seconds.

"I just wanted to stay up with her," said the 4-foot-9 harrier. "But I felt really good so I just took off."

She attributed her comeback this fall to her coach Julie Dengerud, who blended the boys and girls practice.

"I was chasing the boys this year," she said. "That made me work harder."

"Training with the boys, Savannah was able to increase her speed," commented Dengerud. "It helped her to have someone she could see physically running ahead rather than years past when I had to push her verbally to increase her speed. I think it helped the whole team."

Besides Ramirez and Smith, Promise Butler of Paynesville also qualified in-dividually for the state meet Nov. 3 in Northfield.

Boys qualifiers from the area were Caleb Kragenbring of Litchfield and Ben Burgett of Willmar Community Christian. Burgett wasn't in top form due to illness and placed 11th overall in a field where he typically would top five.

Team scoring

(1) *Albany 72 (2) *Pelican Rapids 77 (3) Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 100 (4) Holdingford 100 (5) Ottertail Central 154 (6) Royalton 180 (7) West Central Area 195 (8) Litchfield 213 (9) Morris/Chokio-Alberta 225 (10) New London-Spicer 238 (11) Sauk Centre 295 (12) St. John's Prep 315 (13) Benson/KMS 322 (14) Willmar Community Christian (15) Ortonville 459 (16) Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball 481

* -- advances to state tournament as a team

Individual

STATE QUALIFIERS (outside of members of state qualifying teams) -- (3) Derek Warner, LPGE, 17:00 (4) Zach Carlson, Roy, 17:03 (5) Luke Himmelspach, OC, 17:27 (6) Abe Skwira, Hol, 17:27 (8) Caleb Kragenbring, Lit, 17:28 (9) Andrew Zachman, Hol, 17:30 (11) Ben Burgett, CCS, 17:43 (12) Ben Himmelspach, OC, 17;45

BENSON/KMS -- (47) Joe Eix 19:11 (55) Josh Bailey 19:22 (67) Sam Rosemeier 19:45 (77) Taylor Johnson 20:03 (789) Beau Norby 20:04

LITCHFIELD -- (8) Kragenbring (17) Cameron Sundmark 18:06 (54) Peyton Aller 19:21 (66) Mike Waataja 19;43 (68) Taylor Gassman 19:45 (69) Zach Whitchurch 19:47

MORRIS AREA -- (21) Aaron Goulet 18:18 (66) Roy Reese 18:42 (40) Beau Keimig, 18:59 (53) Ryan Gray 19:18 (81) Jon Jerke 20:12 (90) Eric Staebler 20:51

NLS -- (29) Frank Gustafson 18:36 (38) Jake Stageberg 18:56 (60) Kyle Gjerde 19:33 (62) Kevin Wermerskirchen 19:36 (72) Trevor Dobmeier 19:52 (74) Nolan Schmitz 19:56

PAYNESVILLE -- (76) Robert Granville 20:02

WILLMAR CC -- (11) Burgett (58) Josh Starr 19:29 (23) Mike Elmhorst 20:32 (94) Riley Gardner 21:01 (108) Jordan Walter 23:21 (109) George Orsten 23:50

GIRLS

Team scoring

(1) *Holdingford 52 (2) *Albany 69 (3) Pelican Rapids 89 (4) Benson/KMS 127 (5) Long Prairie/Grey Eagle 128 (6) Morris Area 149 (7) Litchfield 160 (8) Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball 149 (9) Breckenridge/Campball-Tintah 261 (11) St. John's Prep 293 (12) Ortonville 325

* -- advances to state tournament as a team

Individual

STATE QUALIFIERS (outside of members of state qualifying teams) -- (1) Savannah Ramirez, Lit, 15:01 (2) Makenzie Smith, MCA, 15:20 (5) Emily Bakken, PR, 15:28 (6) Abby VanKempen, West Central Area, 15:37 (7) Tianna Wald, PR, 15:37 (10) Madelyn Zastrow, LPGE, 15:58 (12) Raelynn Callender, EVW, 16:05 (13) Promise Butler, Pay, 16:19

BENSON/KMS -- (16) Bethany Rosemeier 16:26 (18) Jessica Goff 16:28 (26) Leah Tessem 17:07 (41) Libby Peters 17:39 (45) Haylie Helms 17:48 (48) Hannah Weber 17:54 (53) Samantha Herman 18:15

LITCHFIELD -- (1) Ramirez (31) Alexia Ellson, 17:24 (52) Jane Hulterstrum 17:36 (55) Courtney Peterson 18:17 (58) Chariss Wedin 18:19 (66) Jenna Aller 18:40

MORRIS AREA -- (2) Smith (24) Rachel Rausch 16:43 (29) Savannah Aanerud 17:12 (47) Becca Holland 17:50 (70) Tahni Jungst 18:56 (101) Miranda Day 22:41

NEW LONDON-SPICER -- (68) Codie Bennetts 28:46 (82) Grace Waugh 19:26 (90) Brooke Edman 19:54

PAYNESVILLE -- (13) Butler (37) Bailey Woehler 17:33 (62) Jackie Keller 18:29

WILLMAR COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN -- (86) Victoria Hjelte 19:42 (92) Lizzy Gardner 20:11

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Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
(320) 214-4334
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