There’s nothing like running a cross-country meet for the first time and winning the whole thing.
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva’s Quinn VanMaldegham did exactly that Thursday in Hayfield as she completed the course in 21 minutes, 58 seconds to win the meet.
“She ran a very smart race and pulled away in the last 400 meters to win,” NRHEG head coach Miles Otsot said.
The Panthers placed three other runners in the top 10 to finish second with 34 points. Maple River won the meet with 24 points and Hayfield ran an incomplete team.
Torri Vaale took fourth with a time of 22:59 while Sydney Schultz captured seventh with a time of 25:09 and Annabelle Petsinger placed ninth with a time of 25:58. Olivia Kofstad gave NRHEG its fifth time after a 13th-place finish and a time of 28:44, edging out Hallie Schultz, who finished in the same time for 14th place.
“Torri Vaale took fourth and ran a great race with a 22:59, almost a minute faster than her first meet of the year,” Otstot said. “Hallie Schultz and Olivia Kofstad also had great individual races, both running a 28:44, which was about two minutes faster than the first meet for Hallie and about four minutes faster for Olivia.”
Daniel Nydegger turned in his fastest time of the season by finishing the meet in 19:30, good for third place. George Roesler cracked the top 10 with a ninth-place finish and a personal-best time of 21:06. Conner Nelson finished 12th in 21:51, Tylar Malakowsky took 13th in 21:54 and Samuel Christensen took 18th with a time of 23:22.
Maple River won the meet with 29 points while Hayfield took second with 39 and NRHEG finished third with 55 points.
It’ll be the last meet for the Panthers after the NRHEG elected to move to distance learning for students in grades six through 12 beginning Monday. Otstot doesn’t know when the team will compete again.