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Fischer, Hagen take first at Sleepy Eye meet

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s/Sleepy Eye/New Ulm Cathedral cross-country runner Clare Fischer took first place in 20:18 in a meet held at Eagles Park in Sleepy Eye on Friday. The Knights won the meet with a team score of 22 points.

SLEEPY EYE — Despite warmer weather and some rough terrain at times, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s/Sleepy Eye/New Ulm Cathedral cross-country runner Clare Fischer didn’t seem to have any problems running away from the rest of the field.

Fischer, a junior from New Ulm Cathedral, overcame the wind and heat and took first place by more than 4 minutes, winning in 20:18. Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Naomi Anderson finished second in 24:05 and Madelia-Truman/Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Elle Bergemann finished third overall in 25:36.

It was the first win of the season for Fischer, who has been consistently a top finisher for the Knights.

“Definitely the wind, and then the weather, I’m used to running in the 60s [temperature-wise], today’s really not that bad,” Fischer said. “Even today with the terrain, I feel like there was a lot of holes so I was running a little bit slower to watch out for those.”

Anderson took the early lead in the race, but Fischer paced herself well and caught her less than a third of the way through the course. She continued to distance herself the rest of the way and dominated the race, but it was somewhat of a challenge for her at times to keep pushing since she had such a big lead.

“It’s helpful, I’m glad that I pushed myself in front of second place, but it also is nice to be directly racing with that person, because I’ve gotten my best times head-to-head within 10 seconds of that first-place runner.”

The SM/SE/NUC girls won the triangular with a 22. M/T/GHEC was second with a 37 and MVL had an incomplete team score.

MVL’s Pricilla Bauer was fourth overall in 26:10 and Rylee Woller was fifth overall in 26:28. Dora Grubbs finished 11th in 28:32.

For the Knights, Liz Schwint was sixth in 27:07 and Kayla Schroepfer was seventh in 27:39. Elle Kyllonen (ninth, 28:07) and Jenny Piotter (12th, 29:27) rounded out the Top 5 for the Knights.

After Bergeman, Coral Osborn finished eighth in 27:46 and Corban Tatro finished 10 in 28:29. Audrey Zaleski (15th, 32:25) and Autumn Lewis (16th, 33:56) were the final runners for M/T/GHEC.

On the boys side, Joshua Hagen continued his strong year for the Knights. The senior took first in 18:48, 13 seconds better than his teammate Nate Fliszar, who finished in 19:01.

Hagen was also not as used to the course, but he overcame the heat, too.

“Three laps is a lot more than we’re used to,” he said. “It’s just not as easy to run three as it is two, it’s a flat course so that’s nice.”

M/T/GHEC and SM/SE/NUC tied for first with 36 points and MVL had a team score of 50 to finished third.

Hagen and Fliszar stayed close to each other for about two-thirds of the race, but Hagen slowly distanced himself away from his teammate at the end of the race. The two seniors have challenged each other all year, both at practice and at the meets.

“It’s nice having somebody that competes with you and we work together,” he said. “My time wasn’t bad, I’ve gotten better, that’s for sure.”

After Hagen and Fliszar, Noah Christensen was sixth overall for the Knights, finishing in 20:15. Garrett Grathwohl finished 10th overall (21:08) and Charlie Macho was 17th in 23:44.

Josiah DeMaris, an eighth-grader from M/T/GHEC was third overall in 19:05 and his teammate Ryan Koberoski, a freshman, was fourth in 19:26. Isaac Bergeman (seventh, 20:44), Blake Altenburg (eighth, 20:58) and Cale Odegard (14th, 22:30) rounded out the Top 5 runners for M/T/GHEC.

For the Chargers, Mitchell Ulrich was fifth (19:32). He was followed by Josiah Guenther (ninth, 21:07), Ben Halvorson (11th, 21:51), Jacob Guenther (12th, 22:18) and Landen Merseth (13th, 22:25).

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