Looking to build off a 12th-place finish as a seventh-grader and an eighth-place mark as an eighth-grader, Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanamingo freshman Natasha Sortland faltered in the later stages of Saturday’s Class A cross country state championships.
Running in second place at the 2-mile marker, Sortland staggered across the finish line of the 5-kilometer race in 78th place with a time of 20 minutes, 29.6 seconds. Sortland was the top-ranked runner in Class A entering the meet.
Murray Country Central junior Morgan Gehl, who was neck-and-neck with Sortland after the first mile, and 6 seconds behind after the second mile, won the state title with a time of 17:53.5.
Also running at Saturday’s meet were a pair of runners from Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton. Freshman Addison Peed sped to a 62nd-place finish in her state debut with a time of 20:13.1, while sophomore Lauren Dimler, in her second appearance at state, finished 110th out of 176 entrants with a time of 20:55.4.