Big finish for Chatfield 8th-grader

By Sarah Doty

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

NORTHFIELD — Kayla Woltz of Chatfield knows exactly how to make her coach, Chris Frye, nervous.

Saturday Woltz, an eighth-grader, made her second appearance at state in Class A cross country at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

After the starting gun, Woltz was towards the back of the 155 runners and Frye admitted he "was a little worried."


"The thing that amazes me is her ability to be comfortable letting other runners go ahead, knowing that she will get them later," he said.

And that is exactly what she did.

After a slow start, she soon found her pace and passed dozens of runners. At the 2,400-meter mark, she was neck-and-neck with Linda Keller, the defending state champion of Paynesville, and Frye’s "heart was in his throat."

More than 1,000 meters later, Woltz crossed the finish line in second place at 14:42.8, just four seconds behind Keller.

"I’m just so excited," said Woltz after the race. "The whole race I was farther ahead than last year (when she finished 59th) and so it was encouraging. This is almost unbelievable."

The young runner had lots of support, and after crossing the finish line was instantly surrounded by a maroon-clad cheering section.

"We are so proud of her," said Woltz’s teammate, senior Kelsie Haffner.

"We all knew she could do it," said senior Valerie Coe.


"This is amazing," said senior Danielle Anshus, "beyond belief."

While they were celebrating Saturday, Frye was also looking ahead to the future.

"I think she will be a runner who just gets better in the future," he said. "She runs older than she is, and she has an amazing ability to run at an even pace and that is just really impressive."

Senior Kyle Blakeslee of Cannon Falls also had a great run Saturday finishing 11th with a time of 15:15.9.

"My goal was the top 10, but I’ll take 11th," she said shortly after the race.

Saturday marked her last cross country race as a Bomber, and she had mixed feelings.

"It’s kind of bittersweet. I’m glad it’s done, but I’m sad it’s over. It’s been a blast."

Lourdes finishes eighth


Saturday was a special day for junior Amy Mathiowetz.

Not only was it the fifth year in a row that her Lourdes Eagles team earned a trip to state, but she took 15th place in her first trip to state, was the first Eagle to cross the finish line, her team took eighth place;,and to top it all off, it was her 17th birthday.

"It was definitely a great birthday present for myself," said Mathiowetz, who had been saving up her energy this week with light practices.

"I really surprised myself this year," she said. "Last year I was an alternate, and was here to cheer. This year, to finish 15th is beyond what I could have imagined."

Her teammate senior Kelsey Torchia was also really happy with the results.

"It was exciting to be back," said Torchia. "Our team has been working hard for this and it is always exciting to see all the support.

"This year our team has really bonded and become almost like sisters."

But for Torchia, who will graduate in the spring, it is a little sad.


"(Friday) we stretched out our last practice and we went over the whole year just so we could spend more time. But although the season is over, the spirit of cross country isn’t over. It’s not really the end."

Class AA

Teammates Kelly Hurtis and Ahna Buntrock of Dover-Eyota/St. Charles have trained together all season and Saturday it all paid off.

Hurtis, a senior running in her sixth state race finished 83rd, and Buntrock, a rookie, finished 50th.

"It was really tiring but Ahna did a great job," said Hurtis of the race. "Last year I got 95th, so this year was an improvement.

"I am pretty happy with the whole season and fortunate to be on a good team that puts an emphasis on working hard."

Buntrock was hurting a little after crossing the finish line, but the eighth-grader who just started running cross country this year said it was worth it.

"It was fun to work towards going to state," she said. "I never thought I would actually get here. It’s a lot of fun being with teammates, and Kelly (Hurtis) really inspired me and is really fun to run with."




1. Adrian 98, 2. Perham 108, 3. Holy Family Catholic 125, 4. Staples-Motley 160, 5. Canby/Minneota/LincHi 164, 6. Paynesville 186, 7. Mille Lacs 223, 8. Rochester Lourdes 232, 9. Fairmont 237, 10. Blue Earth Area 256.

INDIVIDUALS (Top 10 overall and local runners without a team)

1. Linda Keller (Paynesville) 14:38.2; 2. Kayla Woltz (Chatfield) 14:42.8; 3. Maddie McClellan (Perham) 14:57; 4. Lauren Rice (Holy Family Catholic) 14:57.7; 5. Emily Bakken (Pelican Rapids) 15:01.2; 6. Laura Christensen (McC/Fulda) 15:03.4; 7. Adriana Flores (Medford) 15:05.8; 8. Lauren Friese (Fairmont) 15:08.2; 9. Naomi Landecker (Staples-Motley) 15:09.3; 10. Andrea Schlangen (Paynesville) 15:13.3; 11. Kyle Blakeslee (Cannon Falls) 15:15.9; 27. Emily Norton (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 15:31.9; 112. Brittany Nordland (Pine Island) 16:42.5.


8. Lourdes (232): 9. Amy Mathiowetz 15:19.5; 32. Molly Rea 15:53.3; 51. Kelsey Torchia 16:31.0; 63. Kristen Resman 16:39.0; 77. Kristie Mueller 16:51.7; 85. Carly Bjork 17:05.9; 87. Cecelia Weir 17:07.2.




1. Eden Prairie 48, 2. Lakeville North 111, 3. Woodbury 137, 4. Minnetonka 146, 5. Moorhead 150, 6. Shakopee 204, 7. Coon Rapids 207, 8. White Bear Lake 209, 9. Grand Rapids 220, 10. Prior Lake 234.

INDIVIDUALS (Top 10 overall and local runners without a team)

1. Cassy Opitz (Eden Prairie) 14:24.5; 2. Claire Guidinger (Winona) 14:35.8; 3. Jamie Piepenburg (Alexandria) 14:38.7; 4. Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater) 14:40.6; 5. Katie Moraczewski (White Bear Lake) 14:45.2; 6. Laura Lawton (EP) 14:46.3; 7. Emma Bates (Elk River) 14:47.4; 8. Julia Harrison (Mound Westonka) 14:47.9; 9. Maria Hauger (Shakopee) 14:48.7; 10. Alexandra Rudin (EP) 14:50.0; 50. Ahna Buntrock (Dover-Eyota/St. Charles) 15:29.9; 83. Kelly Hurtis (DESC) 15:48.5.

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