State meet not what Austin runners hoped for
NORTHFIELD — Austin High had two girls start the race at the Class AA state cross country meet Saturday afternoon.
One Packer finished.
Seventh-grader Madison Overby got her feet wet against the state's best runners and placed 89th in a time of 15:48.0.
Her teammate, Haley Splinter, started out strongly and was within the top one-third of the 154-runner field in the first 1,600 meters. But she suffered a cramp in her leg going up one of several hills on the course at St. Olaf College and was forced to withdraw from the meet.
Splinter was competing in her second state meet. She placed 46th last year in 15:47.2.
Overby and Splinter earned the final two spots in the Class AA girls state meet out of Section 1AA. Overby placed ninth at the section meet on Oct. 28, while Splinter placed 10th.
Maria Hauger, a sophomore from Shakopee, won the state individual championship. She finished in 14:18.9, more than 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria. Eden Prairie won the team title with 69 points, 10 ahead of runner-up Monticello. Section 1AA champion Lakeville South was a distant third, with 141 points.
Wayzata breezed to the Class AA boys championship with 61 points, while second-place Moorhead finished with 130 points. Owatonna placed eighth. Senior Adam Zutz of St. Francis won the individual state championship in 15:33.4. He edged Cole O'Brien from Burnsville by less than two seconds.
In Class A, the Perham boys and Adrian girls won team championships. Defending state Class A boys champion Plainview-Elgin-Millville placed second.
Esko's Marisa Shady and Mounds Park Academy's Mason Ferlic won individual titles.
Chatfield's Kayla Woltz was the top Section 1A finisher, placing fifth. It's the third consecutive top-five finish for Woltz, who was the state runner-up the previous two seasons. Caledonia senior Matt Jergenson was the top boys finisher from Section 1A. Jergenson finished in second place, 13 seconds behind Ferlic.