BEMIDJI — Jerry Popp called it “a smart race.”

Erin Eilers stayed step for step with Alexandria’s Aleah Miller and her sister Lauren Eilers for 4,500 meters.

“They could have held hands for 4,500 meters,” said Popp, Willmar’s head cross-country coach.

Then, Erin Eilers made her move. She broke ahead. Miller, who hadn’t lost a race all season, caught up, before Erin Eilers grabbed the lead with 200 meters to go.

She held on to win the Section 8AA championship Friday afternoon.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Eilers, an eighth-grader, had a time of 18 minutes, 50.6 seconds. Miller took second in 18:54.2. Lauren Eilers was third in 19:18.1.

‘She ran a really smart race and at the end showed a lot of heart,” Popp said. “It was a three-girl race for probably 4,500 meters.”

It was a shocking moment for Erin Eilers, who had lost to her twin sister in six of eight races this season.

“She’s ultra competitive,” Popp said.

Alexandria won the girls’ team title with 30 points. Willmar (65) was third and Rocori (95) was fourth.

Runners compete in the Section 8AA girls cross country meet on Friday at Greenwood Golf Course in Bemidji. 

Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service
Runners compete in the Section 8AA girls cross country meet on Friday at Greenwood Golf Course in Bemidji. Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service

Teams competed in pods throughout the day. All the times for all the runners were compiled to sort out who won. The boys’ section final was Thursday.

Willmar’s Fuad Bashir won last year’s Section 8AA boys’ race. The last Willmar section girls champion was Heidi Schmitz in 2017.

Because of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the official Minnesota State High School League season is over.

Popp was relieved to get in a reduced schedule of eight meets with no large invitationals, at least in conventional formats, this season.

“We are really thankful to get through this season,” Popp said. “We’re thankful for the opportunity and to not have anyone miss a meet (because of COVID-19).”



Section 8AA

Girls Championship

Team scoring

(1) Alexandria 30 (2) Willmar 65 (3) Rocori 95 (4) Sartell 138 (5) Monticello 164 (6) Moorhead 181 (7) Bemidji 196 (8) Becker 209 (9) Brainerd 233 (10) Little Falls 258 (11) Fergus Falls 259 (12) Detroit Lakes 312 (13) Foley 326 (14) St. Cloud Tech 341 (15) St. Cloud Apollo 360

Individual

TOP FIVE — (1) Erin Eilers, Will, 18:50.6 (2) Aleah Miller, Alex, 18:54.2 (3) Lauren Eilers, Will, 19:18.1 (4) Emma Ecker, Alex, 19:29.5 (5) Jaelyn Miller, Alex, 19:30.7
WILLMAR — (1) E. Eilers (3) L. Eilers (14) Kendall Hanson 20:09.8 (22) Nina Dawson 20:31.7 (25) Lyndi Koosman 20:38.7

Late Football

Paynesville 58,

LPGE 14

One week after winning 58-35 in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, Paynesville put up another big score on the road Thursday in Long Prairie.

Paynesville has outscored its opponents 116-49 in two weeks.

The Bulldogs play their third straight road game at 7 p.m. Friday at Royalton.

Paynesville (2-0) 12 22 24 0 — 58
LPGE (1-1) 0 7 0 7 — 14
Scoring Plays
P – Max Athmann 50 pass from Chase Bayer (2-point conversion failed)
P – Craig Schmitz 1 run (2-point conversion failed)
P – Drew Tangen 15 run (Grant Ruchti pass from Bayer)
P – Ruchti 66 pass from Bayer (Bayer run)
P – Tangen 7 run (2-point conversion failed)
LP – Reece Steinmitz 11 pass from unavailable (M. Jaime kick)
P – Ruchti 6 pass from Bayer (Tangen run)
P – Eli Nelson 44 pass from Bayer (Nelson pass from Bayer)
P – Tangen 24 pass from Bayer (Tangen run)
LP – 8 pass (M. Jaime kick)

Paynesville

First downs: 26 … Penalties: 10-60 … Rushing (Individual and team): Blake Hiltner 14-148, Tangen 19-134-2, Schmitz 4-26-1, Austin Pauls 1-4, Bayer 5-0. 52-312… Passing (Individual and team): Bayer 10-19-291-5-0, Grayson Fuchs 1-2-17-0-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Ruchti 4-130-2, Athmann 1-50-1, Nelson 1-44-1, Tanner Stanley 2-27, Tangen 1-24-1, G. Fuchs 1-18, Schmitz 1-15 … Interceptions: N/A … Fumble recoveries: N/A … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: N/A

Long Prairie-Grey Eagle

First downs: 12 … Penalties: 4-26 … Rushing (Individual and team): 31-78 … Passing (Individual and team): 10-18-83-2-1 ... Receiving (Individual and team): 10-83 … Interceptions: 0 … Fumble recoveries: 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: N/A



Late Volleyball

Canby 3, LQPV 0

Lac qui Parle Valley is still looking for its first win after getting swept by Camden Conference rival Canby on Thursday.

The Lancers won 25-6, 25-6, 25-17.

Paige Meyer was LQPV’s top attacker with four kills, and Tayler Kittleson finished with nine set assists.

LQPV (0-3) 6 6 17
Canby (2-1) 25 25 25
Lac qui Parle Valley
Serving (aces): Tori Bungarden 1, Tayler Kittleson 1 … Set assists: Kittleson 9, Cassidie Olson 2 … Hitting (kills): Paige Meyer 4, Bungarden 3, Olson 2, Rylee Sawatzky 1, Rylee Lund 1, Sheridan Busse 1 … Blocking (aces): Bungarden 2, Sawatzky 1 … Digs (5 or more): Macie Lund 13, R. Lund 10
Canby
No stats available