Area trio runs to all-state cross country honors

ALL-STATE EFFORTS — Fairmont runners Laura Thompson (right) and Macy Hanson cross the finish line at the Class AA state cross country meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Thompson and Hanson each earned all-state honors by placing sixth and seventh, respectively. (Photo courtesy of John Millea)

NORTHFIELD — Fairmont freshman Macy Hanson and senior teammate Laura Thompson heeded the younger Cardinal runner’s father’s words of wisdom prior to Saturday’s Class AA state cross country meet on the St. Olaf College campus.

“He said to run for place, not for time at state,” Macy Hanson said in reference to former high school cross country state champion, former University of Minnesota Gopher long-distance runner and Fairmont Athletic Hall of Famer Neil Hanson. “His advice helps me out a lot.”

Indeed. Thompson and Macy Hanson earned the distinction of being recognized on the stage inside the Northfield-based college’s gymnasium for their top-10 showings in Class AA, while Martin County West sophomore Katie Hartke merited all-state honors by placing in the top 25 during the Class A portion of the state competition earlier Saturday afternoon.

“Macy and I were hoping for the top 10 today. Neither one of us had ever made it before, and it was a cool experience being up on the stage,” said Thompson, who earned all-state honors for the third time during her five appearances in Northfield.

Thompson officially claimed sixth place overall with a 5,000-meter time of 18:57.84, while Hanson netted seventh place in 18:57.89. Both Thompson and Hanson eclipsed the Fairmont girls cross country program’s previous-best 5K state time of 19:13 established by current Gustavus Adolphus runner Iliana Ramon in the Class A competition on Nov. 4, 2017.

Thompson, who set the Cardinal program’s all-time fastest 5K girls time of 18:10 at the Blue Earth Area Invitational on Oct. 12 this fall, also improved upon her prior best showing at state when she crossed the finish line in 14th place in 19:17 in 2017. The Augustana University commit also captured all-state honors in 2019 with a 23rd-place time of 19:36.9.

Hanson, who established the program’s No. 2 fastest 5K time of 18:18 at the Buc Invite on Oct. 12, bettered both her place (31st) and time (19:48.9) from her state cross country debut as a seventh-grader in 2019.

“I’m super grateful for the opportunity to train with Laura this season,” said Hanson. “It’s nice to have someone to share the experience with, especially during those hard workouts.”

Thompson and Hanson, however, were not alone in improving upon their previous state meets as Hartke made a significant climb from 75th place in 2019 to 24th place on Saturday. The Martin County West sophomore posted an all-state time of 20:02.21 on the St. Olaf course, bettering her mark of 20:24 during her state debut as an eighth-grader.

Hartke, who placed sixth in 20:24.76 at this year’s Section 2 Meet at Riverside Town & Country Club’s course near Blue Earth, also beat her sectional’s top-three finishers in Northfield. Section champion Clare Fischer of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s/Sleepy Eye Public/ New Ulm Cathedral placed 25th (20:03.48), section silver medalist Grace Moeller of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet took 27th (20:11.22), while section bronze medalist Addison Hoof of Lester Prairie finished 28th (20:11.44).

In the Class A boys state meet, Madelia/Truman/ Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Martin Luther freshman Josiah DeMaris placed 39th individually by crossing the finish line in 17:23.28, while Martin County West junior Jamesson Forsberg claimed 46th overall in 17:29.01. Both DeMaris and Forsberg were making their state cross country debuts.

Perham senior Jakob McCleary won the Class A boys state championship in 16:09.64, while Murray County Central junior Amanda Overgaauw coasted to the Class A girls with a winning time of 18:09.13.

Tenley Nelson and Jenna DeBates placed second (18:47.0) and third (19:06.82), respectively, to guide Luverne to third place in the Class A girls team standings with 117 points. Staples-Motley won the team title with 103 to edge Perham (109).

Hutchinson’s Isabelle Schmitz broke the 18-minute mark (17:59.44) to fend off Albany’s Olivia Goebel (18:07.9) for the Class AA girls state championship.


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