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Fairmont’s Hanson qualifies for state cross country meet

Macy Hanson

MINNETRISTA — Back-to-back Class AA individual state cross country bids and a near-miss.

Fairmont sophomore standout Macy Hanson placed fifth overall during Tuesday’s Section 2 Meet at Gale Woods Farm to earn her second consecutive trip to St. Olaf College in Northfield.

The No. 4-ranked Hanson crossed the 5,000-meter course’s finish line in 19:30.44 to capture the third of six individual state-qualifying spots near Minnetrista.

Hanson’s fifth-place time guided the Cardinals to a ninth-place team total of 237 in the sectional girls competition, while junior teammate Gavin Artner just missed meriting an individual state berth by three places in engineering the Fairmont boys team’s eighth-place score of 196.

Artner posted a time of 17:15.61 to garner 16th place overall — a miniscule 6 seconds off of the sixth and final individual state-qualifying mark.

“What an effort by Gavin today,” said Fairmont co-head coach Stew Murfield. “He just missed advancing to state by three spots and 6 seconds.

“What’s even more impressive is the fact that he ran 2 minutes faster than he did during last year’s sectional race.”

In fact, the entire Fairmont boys lineup trimmed time off of Murfield’s stopwatch during Tuesday’s cross country team competition.

Brier Lenort placed 41st with a time of 18:21.13, Cooper Gudahl was one place back at 18:31.63, Andrew Haugen netted 44th in 18:31.87, while Isaac Stone rounded out the Cardinals’ counting times in 53rd place at 18:56.78.

Will Niestrath and Jaydon Putney rounded out Fairmont’s effort in 61st (19:29.79) and 68th places (19:54.77), respectively.

“Our boys ran 19:18 per runner at last year’s section meet, but today they were able to knock a full minute off of that time per guy (18:18),” said Murfield. “Our boys improved a lot as the season progressed and we have everybody returning next season.”

Fairmont’s girls squad will return six of this year’s seven sectional competitors — with two sophomores, one freshman and two seventh-graders generating Tuesday’s counting scores.

Sophomore Carys Gudahl finished second behind Hanson on the Cardinals’ lineup, collecting 44th place overall with a time of 22:06.81.

Seventh-graders Brooklyn Stone and Gwyneth Schultz delivered 55th (22:54.37) and 66th places (24:18.36), respectively, for Fairmont, while freshman Audrina Suckow took 67th in 24:25.47.

Lily Higgins and Kendra Blomster rounded out Fairmont’s effort in 70th (24:37.26) and 74th places (26:19.1).

“All of our team’s counting scores are underclassmen, but we’re in a tough section, so they’ll have to keep putting the work in during the offseason,” said Murfield.

Hanson, who captured all-state honors via a seventh-place state medal at the 2021 Class AA state cross country meet, will hit the St. Olaf College course at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in Northfield.

Section 2 team champion Marshall, who holds the No. 2 spot in the Class AA state rankings, and runner-up New Prague, along with Hutchinson’s Isabelle Schmitz, Jordan’s Kendra Krueger, St. Peter’s Keira Friedrich, Hutchinson’s Hathaway Reiter and Belle Plaine’s Adriane Nelson will join Hanson at the Class AA girls state event in 10 days.

Allyson Sample and Katelyn Leibfried, who crossed the 5K finish line in third (18:50.42) and fourth (19:25.02), respectively, powered Marshall’s winning team total of 37 — a staggering 69 points better than New Prague’s runner-up score. New Prague edged out No. 8-ranked Mankato West by four places.

The No. 2-ranked Schmitz struck gold by breaking the tape in a winning time of 18:19.59, while No. 9-ranked Krueger claimed the silver medal in 18:34.58.

In the Section 2 boys competition, No. 1-ranked Emmett Gerres scorched the 5K course in a winning time of 15:40.86 to power Belle Plaine to runner-up honors and a state bid at 66 points.

No. 9-ranked Isaiah Anderson posted a second-place overall time of 15:58.29 to top No. 2-ranked Mankato East’s sectional championship score of 50.

Section 2AA Cross Country Meet

Girls Team Standings (Top 2 advance to state): 1. Marshall 37; 2. New Prague 106; 3. Mankato West 110; 4. (won tiebreaker) Mankato East 122; 5. Belle Plaine 122; 6. Hutchinson 152; 7. Jordan 154; 8. St. Peter 179; 9. Fairmont 237; 10. Tri-City United 294; 11. Glencoe-Silver Lake 301; 12. Worthington 364.

Individual Results (Top 6 non-members of qualifying teams advance to state): 1. Isabelle Schmitz (Hutch) 18:19.59; 2. Kendra Krueger (Jordan) 18:34.58; 3. Allyson Sample (Marshall) 18:50.42; 4. Katelyn Leibfried (Marshall) 19:25.02; 5. Macy Hanson (Fairmont) 19:30.44: 6. Keira Friedrich (St. Peter) 19:34.22; 7. Taleigha Bigler (Marshall) 19:44.53; 8. Hathaway Reiter (Hutch) 19:48.34; 9. Adriane Nelson (Belle Plaine) 19:52.57.

Other Fairmont runners: 44. Carys Gudahl 22:06.81; 55. Brooklyn Stone 22:54.37; 66. Gwyneth Schultz 24:18.36; 67. Audrina Suckow 24:25.47; 70. Lily Higgins 24:37.26; 74. Kendra Blomster 26:19.10

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Boys Team Standings (Top 2 advance to state): 1. Mankato East 50; 2. Belle Plaine 66; 3. Worthington 71; 4. Marshall 116; 5. Mankato West 150; 6. New Prague 160; 7. Jordan 180; 8. Fairmont 196; 9. Hutchinson 259; 10. Tri-City United 288; 11. Glencoe-Silver Lake 293; 12. St. Peter 298.

Individual Results (Top 6 non-members of qualifying teams advance to state): 1. Emmett Gerres (Belle Plaine) 15:40.86; 2. Isaiah Anderson (East) 15:58.29; 3. Mikele Walu (Worthington) 16:18.14; 4. Fanuel Wolday (Worthington) 16:25.5; 6. Kaleb Sharp (Jordan) 16:32.17; 7. Josh Leibfried (Marshall) 16:37.1; 8. Kelton Koepp (Belle Plaine) 16:42.07; 9. Sam Deutz (Marshall) 16:43.87; 11. Dante Jubarian (TCU) 17:09.62.

Fairmont runners: 16. Gavin Artner 17:15.61; 41. Brier Lenort 18:21.13; 42. Cooper Gudahl 18:31.63; 44. Andrew Haugen 18:31.87; 53. Isaac Stone 18:56.78; 61. Will Niestrath 19:29.79; 68. Jaydon Putney 19:54.77.

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