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CROSS COUNTRY: Bemidji girls take 13th at ‘solid’ state showing

The Bemidji High School cross country teams put a bow on the season Saturday, competing with the best of the best at the Class 3A state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

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The Lumberjacks huddle together near the starting line before the beginning of the Class 3A state meet on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Northfield. (Jared Rubado / Forum News Service)

NORTHFIELD -- The Bemidji High School cross country teams put a bow on the season Saturday, competing with the best of the best at the Class 3A state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

The Lumberjack girls grabbed 13th in the team standings, while Mia Hoffmann’s showing of 35th place led all BHS individuals.

“I’m very proud of the kids,” Bemidji head coach Ryan Aylesworth said. “Overall, it was a solid day. As they get done and look back on it, I think they’ll realize that they had a pretty good day as a team.”

Hoffmann crossed the finish line in 19:10.78, just missing out on all-state honors with a top-25 spot by 15 seconds. Nevertheless, she still recorded the program’s best individual state finish since Sadie Hamrin was 24th in 2017.

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Bemidji sophomore Mia Hoffmann (399) leads a pack of runners down the stretch of the Class 3A state meet on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Northfield. (Jared Rubado / Forum News Service)

“She was shooting for a little bit higher, and you come to the meet and it’s very good competition,” Aylesworth said. “I was very proud of where she finished and ended up in the team lead for the girls.”

Elsewhere for the Jacks, Josey LaValley (19:46.06) and Regan DeWitt (20:16.15) placed 54th and 95th, respectively, while Lauren Berg (119th, 20:37.58) and Addison Maish (153rd, 22:09.05) closed the team score. Also running for BHS were Aubrey DeWitt (155th, 22:17.37) and Camille McDermott (160th, 26:21.63).

“They did a nice job of competing,” Aylesworth said. “We placed about where I thought we were going to be at. … We were seeded 14th, and we ended up in 13th and only a few points out of 12th. I was very proud of their efforts as a whole.”

Bemidji tallied 303 points, squeezing in right between 12th-place Stillwater (297) and 14th-place Champlin Park (306). Edina won the team title with 75 points, while Section 8-3A produced the individual state champion in St. Michael-Albertville’s Ali Weimer (17:42.81).

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Bemidji sophomore Josey LaValley runs in front of a packed crowd of spectators during the Class 3A state meet on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Northfield. (Jared Rubado / Forum News Service)

In the boys race, the two Lumberjack individual qualifiers finished within two seconds of each other. Carson Maish posted a time of 16:56.08 for 79th, while Bryce Kondos clocked a time of 16:57.73 to take 84th.

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“They’ve been running together, training together, so I’m not surprised they were that close,” Aylesworth said. “There were a lot of people, a lot of traffic, but they ended up pretty near each other. It was really close to their best times of the year, a couple seconds (off) for both of them, so it was a solid day.”

Nick Gilles of Minnetonka won the individual championship with a time of 15:22.81, while Wayzata won the boys team title.

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Bemidji junior Carson Maish nears the finish line during the Class 3A state meet on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Northfield. (Jared Rubado / Forum News Service)

Class 3A State Meet Girls Team Results

1-Edina 75; 2-Wayzata 100; 3-Prior Lake 117; 4-St. Michael-Albertville 176; 5-Farmington 177; 6-Mounds View 178; 7-Hopkins 186; 8-Eagan 197; 9-Forest Lake 251; 10-Lakeville South 262; 11-Eastview 263; 12-Stillwater 297; 13-Bemidji 303; 14-Champlin Park 306; 15-Centennial 339; 16-Woodbury 384.

Related Topics: CROSS COUNTRY
Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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