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Cross Country: Willmar boys 2nd, girls 6th at home

The Willmar girls, from left, Jayne Cole, Cassandra Johnson (behind Cole), Tara Rudie, Jackie Johnson, Paige Kester and Erin Sheehan anticipate the start of the Willmar cross country meet Saturday on the 17th fairway at Eagle Creek Golf Club. <b>(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton)</b>

WILLMAR -- The Willmar boys were second to Moorhead and the Willmar girls finished in sixth place at the Optimist Cross Country Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Creek Golf Club.

The Moorhead girls were also victorious in a field of 12 schools.

The same rolling terrain of the Eagle Creek's back nine will be the site of the Central Lakes Conference meet on Oct. 20 and also the Section 2AA meet on Oct. 29.

The Cardinal girls were led at Saturday's meet by Tara Rudie in 18th place.

The Willmar boys, who are ranked No. 10 in Class AA, got a measure of their strength against the No. 6 Spuds.

Moorhead finished with 62 points and Willmar 70, though the gap would have been greater if the Spuds were at full strength.

It was announced before the race that the Spuds' 2008 state individual champion, junior Lukas Gemar, was ill and did not attend the meet.

The Willmar boys placed all six runners from ninth to 19th place in the meet.

Cardinals sophomore Mowlid Mohamed finished in ninth place at 17:17 and teammate Matt Weitzel was 11th at 17:20.

"Mowlid and Matt usually set the pace," said senior Danny Voss, a Willmar captain. "I try to stick with them. Coach (Jerry Pop) told us to mark the second Moorhead runner (to set our pace)."

Bismarck Century's Brett Kelly ran clear of the field to win in 16:09 with Shanon-Tamrat Besufekad of Hopkins second in 16:34. Kelly is No. 3 in North Dakota.

Voss was 15th in the 5,000-meter race, C.J. Seifert 17th, Anders Byberg 18th and Abdullahi Mohamud 19th, a second back of Byberg.

Seifert ran sixth on the team until near the end. He's a first-year team member, who had previously played football. He ran track last spring for the first time.

In the girls race, Moorhead freshman Taylor Janssen took the early lead and held it comfortably the entire 4,000 meters to win in 15:35. Hopkin's Hannah Jocelyn was second in 15:42.

Rudie, an eighth-grader, finished the 4,000 meters in 16:25. Next for Willmar were Jayne Cole (32nd), Cassandra Johnson (36th), Jackie Johnson (46th), Erin Sheehan (47th) and Paige Kester (59th).

This Saturday the Cardinals are at the Alexandria Invitational at 10 a.m. at the Arrowwood Resort. Seven of the 10 Central Lakes schools are participating.


Team scoring

(1) Moorhead 62 (2) Willmar 70 (3) Hopkins 94 (4) Orono 128 (5) Bismarck Century 133 (6) Mankato East 137 (7) Delano 192 (8) Buffalo 210 (9) Hutchinson 223 (10) Fargo North 237 (11) Trinity Ridge 315 (12) New Prague 329


TOP FIVE -- (1) Brett Kelly, BC, 16:09 (2) Shannon-Tamrat Besufekad, Hop, 16:34 (3) Derek Nelson, Mhd, 16:59 (4) Ethan Armbruster, Del, 17:06 (5) Alec Schultz, Oro, 17:07

WILLMAR -- (9) Mowlid Mohamed 17:17 (11) Matt Weitzel 17:20 (15) Danny Voss 17:30 (17) C.J. Seifert 17:34 (18) Anders Byberg, Wil, 17:37 (19) Abdullahi Mohamud 17:38


Team scoring

(1) Moorhead 49 (2) Hopkins 63 (3) Bismarck Century 71 (4) Buffalo 102 (5) New Prague 151 (6) Willmar 179 (7) Fargo North 200 (8) Hutchinson 204 (9) Mankato East 258 (10) Delano 312 (11) Orono 353 (12) Trinity Ridge, inc.


TOP FIVE -- (1) Taylor Jansen, Mhd, 15:35 (2) Hannah Jocelyn, Hop, 15:42 (3) Melissa Uhrich, BC, 15:46 (4) Alica Fettig, BC, 15:48 (5) Kaylee Litch, Mhd, 15:49

WILLMAR -- (8) Tara Rudie 16:25 (32) Jayne Cole 16:49 (36) Cassandra Johnson 17:01 (46) Jackie Johnson 17:23 (47) Erin Sheehan 17:24 (59) Paige Kester 17:57

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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