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Prep cross country: Seifert, Yusuf, Hanson sisters star for Willmar

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar’s Thomas Seifert and Nadir Yusuf, after taking the lead late in the 5k, near the No. 17 roller and the final climb to the finish Saturday at Eagle Creek.

WILLMAR — Thomas Seifert and Nadir Yusuf ran 1-2 in the boys varsity 5k and the Willmar girls, paced by sisters Samantha and Jessa Hanson, placed second to Bismarck Century to highlight the Glacial Lakes Cross-Country Invitational on Saturday.

Seifert, a senior, jumped from ninth place a year ago on the hilly Eagle Creek Back 9, a former pasture turned golf course 83 years ago. His winning time of 16:42 was 49 seconds faster than a year ago.

Yusuf, a sophomore, ran with him until the last 500 meters when Seifert edged ahead. As planned, the pair began to make their move with a mile left in the 3.1-mile trek to pick off Josh Young (3rd) of Moorhead, Wade Krueger (4th) of St. Cloud Tech and Ben Burgett (5th) of Community Christian.

Burgett, also fifth last year as a sophomore, ran a blazing 5:13 first mile and took the lead from Krueger with about a mile left before being passed by the Willmar duo.

 Sam Anez was the third in for the Cardinals in 11th place.

Only 11 points separated the top three boys teams with section foe Moorhead at 53 points, and then Bismarck Century (56) and Willmar (64).

    In the girls 4k, Bismarck Century, rated No. 1 in North Dakota, nudged Willmar by four points, 52 to 56. Junior Jordan Jacob led by a football field almost start to finish coming in at 14:22. Next was her teammate Kelby Anderson, a freshman, in 14:59. The pair are rated No. 1 and No. 5, respectively, in the Peace Garden State.

Junior Sam Hanson timed out in 15:21 and freshman sister Jessa in 15:31 for third, compared to placing 8th and 13th a year ago.

As predicted the rain was over by race time with the sun flashing through the overcast briefly at the 1 p.m. start of girls varsity. It was a full-house with 14 complete teams in boys and 13 in girls. The crowd was huge and noisy moving in waves to cheer the runners moving north-to-south and then the reverse on adjoining fairways.

Coach Jerry Popp said he was pleased with the Cardinal results: “Our girls varsity ran very well. We were right with Century, though we had a couple girls that had sub-par days.  We can run even better.

“On the boys’ side we had a solid effort.  They are working hard, doing extra early morning runs — everything possible to get better.  Thomas and Nadir ran very smart, controlled races and so did Sam Anez.  We simply have to keep improving with our 4th and 5th runners.”

The Card boys are short one of their key runners, Jay Coquyt, who is not healthy.

 Cardinal teams ran top-two in five of the six races. The JV girls were first with a perfect score of 15, led by seventh-grader Serena Monson in first place, and the middle school girls team also were first of two complete teams.


Team scoring

(1) Moorhead 53 (2) Bismarck Century 56 (3) Willmar 64 (4) Wet Fargo 104 (5) Canby 154 (6) Fargo North 190 (7) Jordan 198 (8) Hopkins 222 (9) St. Cloud Tech 226 (10) Belle Plaine 272 (11) Community Christian 301 (12) Fargo South 313 (13) Morris Area/CA 327


TOP FIVE — (1) Tom Seifert, Wil, 16:42 (2) Nadir Yusuf, Wil, 16:45 (3) Josh Young, Mhd, 16:54 (4) Wade Krueger, SCT, 16:56 (5) Ben Burgett, CC, 16:58

WILLMAR — (1) Seifert (2) Yusuf (11) Sam Anez 17:15 (20) Ian Thompson 17:47 (30) Austin Miley 18:10 (58) Kai Christianson 19:10

COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN — (5) Burgett (55) Josh Starr 19:08 (76) Riley Gardner 19:50 (82) Mike Elmhorst 20:26 (83) Joel Finsaas 20:30 (85) Joe Reiter 20:59 (86) Cody Lasnetski 21:00

MORRIS/CA — (23) Aaron Goulet 17:58 (56) Ryan Gray 19:08 (73) Max Jerke 19:35 (87) Eric Staebler 21:38 (88) Trent Ostby 22:58


Team scoring

(1) Bismarck Century 52 (2) Willmar 56 (3) Moorhead 72 (4) Fargo North (5) West Fargo 126 (6) Canby 151 (7) Fargo South 168 (8) Hopkins 210 (9) St. Cloud Tech 245 (10) Belle Plaine 248 (11) Jordan 319 (12) Morris Area/CA 365


TOP FIVE — (1) Jordan Jacob, BC, 14:22 (2) Kelby Anderson, BC, 14:59 (3) Samantha Hanson, BC, 15:21 (4) Jessa Hanson, Wil, 15:31 (4) Avery Selberg, Mhd, 15:35

WILLMAR — (3) S. Hanson (4) J. Hanson (9) Kayla Rudie 15:48 (12) Sophie Schmitz 15:56 (28) Savannah Anez 16:24 (43) Alexis Miley 17:04 (56) Tara Rudie 17:29

MORRIS/CA — (53) Savannah Aanerud 17:18 (73) Lauren Reimers 18:40 (78) Becca Holland 18:53 (80) Anna Grove 20:24 (81) Rebekah Aanerud 21:08 

COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN — (78) Hannah Reid 18:18 (89) Lizzy Gardner, 18:46 (101) Victoria Hjelte 21:05

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. 
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