Grace Drietz (right). McKenzie Ruether

Drietz sixth at state cross country meet

Grace Drietz placed on the platform with a run of 18:30.5 in sixth place.
The Canby-Minneota freshman runner was 17th at the state last year.
“Grace Drietz had an amazing race!  She was a State Medal Winner with a 6th place finish!  She also ran her personal best with a time of 18:30,” said Coach Allyson Pesek.
 During her best career race, “She truly went out and left it all on the course.  She ran with the pack of girls she knew would push her past her limits, and she pushed all the way to the end,” said Coach Pesek.
Sophomore Grace Ping of Winona Cotter won the meet in 17:19.4 while her eighth grade sister Lauren Ping finished second at 17:41.5.
Drietz’s competition all year, sophomore Morgan Gehl of Murray County Central/Fulda was third in 17:53.9. Gehl, who was someone Drietz liked to stay close too, but could never catch, was just 37.4 seconds ahead of Drietz.
Ava Hill of Mesabi East was fourth in 18:24.4 with Morgan Arnold of Cotter in fifth at 18:27.1. Then came Drietz.
And right behind her was Tenley Nelson of Luverne.
Isabel Schirm of Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd came in fourth 19:22.8. Regan Feit of Luverne was 20th. So Section 3A did quite well with five runners in the top 20.
Canby-Minneota sophomore McKenzie Ruether was 135th out of 175 runners in a time of 21:29.2. She ran, “In her third state meet and not many runners can say that,” said Coach Pesek.
“She finished with a smile and is already talking about next season,” said the coach.
“It will be fun to see her go from one of the younger runners to a junior and leader in the 2019 season,” Coach Pesek added.
Perham won the team title. Luverne was fourth.
Here are the team scores: 1. Perham 94; 2. Howard Lake-Waverly 99; 3. Winona Cotter 140; 4. Luverne 147; 5. Staples-Motley 176; 7. Lake City 198; 7. Mesabi East 219; 8 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 221; 9. West Central Area 229; 10. Providence Academy 255; 11. Jordan 267; 12. Belle Plaine 277; 13. GSL 281; 14. East Grant Forks 290; 15. North Shore 291; 16. The Blake School 310.

THE ONLY boy runner for Canby-Minneota was Minneota’s Jared Josephson.
“Jared ran his first and last state meet today.  He finished 122nd out of 176 runners with a time of 17:45,” said Coach Pesek.
As he finished he said, “I can’t believe it is over and I wish I could do it all again.”
The coach added, “That’s Jared. He takes in every race, does his best, but then looks ahead wondering what more he could do.”
She added, “Even though this was his last Cross Country race,  work ethic will take him far beyond the course.”
Geno Uhrbom of Greenwa-Nashwauk Keewatin won the boys race in 15:38.
Cooper Lennox of Mora was second; Emett Anderson of Staples-Motely third and Perham runners Brandon O’Hara, Clayton Anderson and Bailey Evenson were fourth, fifth and sixth.
The top area boys runner in the race was Mike Kvaal of Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd. He finished in 16:33.7 in 22nd place.
With three runners in the top six, it’s not surprising Perham won the event with 64.
The others were: 2. West Central Area 140; 3. Mora 161; 4. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 170; 5. Nova Classical Academy 183; 6. East Grand Forks 201; 7. Staples-Motley 209; 8. Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin 212; 9. North Shore 215; 10. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 217;11. St. James 225; 12. Mankato Loyola/Cleveland 237; 13. Minnehaha Academy 268; 14. Heritage Christian 280; 15. Lake City 300; 16. Redwood Valley 329.
“It was a fun day! I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to a great season,” said Coach Pesek.
“As the season comes to an end and we have ran the last race, all I can say is I am a very proud coach! I’m proud of how all three of our state qualifying runners have a strong work ethic, determination and positive attitude,” she said.
She added that, “Day-in and day-out throughout this season these three have showed running at the state meet is what they wanted. They each took this drive and let it take them all the way to the finish line today.”

NOTE: Perham became the first school in Class 1A history to win the girls and boys team titles in back-to-back years. The Yellowjackets boys had 64 points to easily outdistance second-place West Central Area (140), and the Perham girls had a 94-99 edge over runner-up Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted.

Jared Josephson. (File Photo by Byron Higgin)

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