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Section girls champ: It’s Ostrem again

By Jason Feldman

jfeldman@postbulletin.com

Kristen Ostrem doesn’t let anyone else’s expectations get in her way.

And for the past three years, the Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson standout hasn’t allowed any other runner in Section One, Class A get in her way, either.

"I’m not weighed down by expectations," Ostrem said. "I want to do it for my own excitement."

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Once she caught her breath, an excited Ostrem was able to celebrate her third consecutive Section 1A cross country championship Thursday at Northern Hills Golf Course.

Ostrem, a senior, passed her two closest competitors a little more than a mile into the race and crossed the finish line with a comfortable seven-second lead over runner-up Adriana Flores of Medford.

"As a sophomore, I wasn’t expecting to win, with all the good competition here," Ostrem said. "I was just hoping to be a state qualifier. Last year, I thought maybe I could win, and this year I knew there is still a lot of good competition. You can’t rule anybody out."

Like Ostrem, the Rochester Lourdes girls are heading to state as the Section 1A champion for the third consecutive season.

Lourdes, the fifth-ranked team in the state, had two top-10 finishers — Kelsey Torchia (sixth place, 15:59.7) and Molly Rea (seventh, 16:02.6). The Eagles finished with 79 points, good for an 11-point victory over La Crescent, the team that has finished as the runner-up to the Eagles for three years in a row.

"We have that good depth," Lourdes coach Myron Glass said. "We had two girls who ran in (the Hiawatha Valley League meet) who didn’t even run in this meet. It was just a good day all around."

Lourdes won for a third straight time even though it had just three runners competing Thursday who competed in last year’s section meet. La Crescent had six of its top seven from last season back.

The Lancers didn’t have a runner finish in the top 10, however, which proved to be the difference.

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In addition to Adriana Flores, Medford’s Alejandra Flores also qualified for state by placing fourth. Medford finished eighth as a team, a remarkable accomplishment considering this is the first season the Tigers have had a girls cross country program.

Chatfield also had a runner catch everyone’s eye, a runner who will be around for another five years. Kayla Woltz, just a seventh-grader, finished in a time of 15:43.6, which was good for third place and a berth in next week’s state meet.

Other individual state qualifiers are Kyle Blakeslee of Cannon Falls (fifth place, 15:52.2), Jennifer Martin (eighth, 16:03.0) and Kelsey Dieterman (10th, 16:05.9) of Lake City and Cortney Kasten from Byron (ninth, 16:03.8).

The state Class A cross country meet is scheduled for Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

The Class A girls race is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

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