Buc girls want to break two streaks
The Blue Earth Area girls cross country team is looking to break two streaks — one is short, the other covers several years.
The Bucs will be aiming to return to the State Meet set for November at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Last year, BEA had its streak of four straight team State appearances snapped when they finished in fourth place, behind Waseca, Fairmont and United South Central.
Head coach Tom Plocker and assistant coach Chris Detert hope the team also ends another streak — placing third in the South Central Conference Meet the past nine years.
“We have a real strong contingent of fine runners who are also providing good leadership.” Plocker says.
This year’s squad will have plenty of quality letterwinners returning, including five who competed at last year’s SCC Meet and Section 2A Meet.
Leading the way will be junior Marissia Hagedorn, who has earned four varsity letters in her career.
Hagedorn was the only Buc runner to qualify for last year’s State Meet when she took seventh place at sections and also earned All-Section honors.
At State, she covered the 4,000-meter course in 16:01 — finishing 41 places and 12 seconds better than the previous year.
In the SCC Meet, Hagedorn was BEA’s first runner to cross the finish line with a ninth-place time of 15:31.
Four-year letterwinner Courtney Grandgenett also placed in the top 20 at the Section Meet.
The Buc junior took 17th in a time of 16:42. At the conference championship meet, Grandgenett posted the 11th overall best time of 15:45.
Hagedorn and Grandgenett currently rank seventh and eighth respectively on the Bucs Girls Varsity Club.
The Buc juniors also had an impressive outing at the Milaca Mega Meet.
Grandgenett placed first in the 10th grade 4,000-meter race with a time of 16:17. Hagedorn was eight seconds behind to take second place.
Five seniors enter the season earning a total of 19 varsity letters.
Rylee Wagner and Lindsey Ankeny each have five, while Kelly Aukes, MacKenzie Determan and LaNay Walker have three apiece.
Wagner placed 10th in the SCC meet with a time of 15:43.
In the Section Meet, she was clocked in 17:26 and placed 41st overall.
Wagner is No. 12 on the Girls Varsity Club.
Ankeny’s time of 16:52 was good enough for 24th in the conference meet and she was 45th at the Section Meet, crossing the finish line in 17:59. Entering the season, she holds the 22nd spot on the Girls Varsity Club.
The two other returning letterwinners are sophomore Cassie Thompson with one and freshman Sierra Halvorson, also with one.
The Bucs will have two meets before school even starts.
This Friday they travel to Fairmont for the Early Bird Invite at Cedar Creek Park beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The following Wednesday, Sept. 1, BEA goes to the Wolverine Invite at the Mountain Lake Golf Course.
This year, the conference meet is scheduled to be held Oct. 12 at St. James.
Plocker sees Waseca and Fairmont as the frontrunners in the conference.
The Bucs will host the Section 2A Meet on Oct. 28 at Riverside Town & Country Club.
In order to advance to the State Meet, a team must finish in the top two. And, that won’t be easy.
Again, perennial powers Waseca, Fairmont and United South Central appear to be the teams to beat.
“Waseca lost only one or two from last year’s state championship team. They’ll be the favorites in our Section, maybe even to win the state title again,” he says.