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Building something special at DESC

Team ranked fourth in the state

By Jason Feldman

jfeldman@postbulletin.com

The Dover-Eyota/St. Charles girls don't have to look outside of their own locker room for motivation.

"For them it's more about the team and not wanting to let their teammates down," DESC coach Julie Nelson said.

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The DESC girls cross country team hasn't let down anyone over the past three years, when they've stormed through the Section One, Class AA meet to advance to state. They placed eighth at state last year after finishing third the prior season.

"We've been together for a long time," DESC junior Lisa Wegman said. "We're very close. We do a lot together and we push each other in practice."

Wegman and her teammates pushed their opponents -- some of the best in the state -- on Thursday. Wegman, ranked No. 10 in the latest individual state poll, placed fourth at the Mayo Invitational at Oak Summit Golf Course. She finished only behind three other runners ranked in the top 10 in the state -- Eastview's McKenzie Melander (No. 6) and Rochester Mayo's Hilary Noska (No. 7) and Anna Garner (No. 9).

"For us, (Thursday) was an excellent hill workout," Nelson said. "It helps the girls learn to get out and maintain a good pace. They can learn a lot in these early races."

The DESC team, ranked third in Class AA, showed its depth with 57 points and a second-place finish. Unranked Eastview nipped DESC by two points.

Sophomore Kelly Hurtis joined Wegman in the top 10, placing sixth. In all, five DESC runners finished in the top 22, as Brittany Raddatz placed 15th, Brittany Olson was 21st and Kayla Sanden placed 22nd.

"It's contagious," Nelson said of DESC's success. "The girls have a lot of fun in practice and at meets. There are times when they are running hard and start getting exhausted, then the practices can get a little intense. But we try to make it all about fun."

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