Cross country runners celebrate season with awards

Maple Lake cross country award winners include (front) Blair Stewig, All-Conference and Hardest Worker; Halle Geyen, All-State and Runner of the Year; Jessie Wohlrabe, Most Improved Runner; Sommer Carlson, All-State and All-Conference; (back) Andrew Schonnesen, Runner of the Year; Ross Hickey, Most Improved and Hardest Worker; and Jackson Willard, All-Conference.


Ending a season isn’t always fun, but for the Maple Lake cross country team, they walked away with many accomplishments to look back at and remember. Although not every race went the way the team hoped, each runner is an important part of the team and whether looking at varsity, junior varsity or junior high, each had many astonishing moments throughout the season. A cross country banquet recognized the team’s accomplishments on Nov. 11.
Coached by three knowledgeable and encouraging coaches, Ben Youngs, Nikki Christiansen, and J McClelland, each shared their experiences of running to give their team tips and motivating words.
Twenty-six girls participated on the Irish cross country team. Team highlights included finishing second at the Central Minnesota Conference Meet and fourth in the section meet. 
Individually, Halle Geyen and Sommer Carlson qualified for the state meet. Bettering both their times from the previous year, Geyen placed 17th out of 176 and Carlson finished 24th out of 176 both receiving All State honors. 
With strong runners, the junior varsity and junior high teams racked up six Team Championships including, Maple Lake, Holdingford, Delano, Eden Valley-Watkins-Kimball, and the Central Minnesota Conference meet held in Pierz. 
Along with team championships, individual race champions were Blair Stewig at the Litchfield JV meet, Jordan Sifferle at the Central Minnesota Conference JV meet, Margaret Graham winning the Delano and EVW/K JH meets and Katelynn Kramer taking the Holdingford JH meet. Sustaining an average GPA of 3.63, the girls earned the Silver Award in academics for their section. 
Being recognized for summer miles, 100 Mile Club participants included Jordan Sifferle, Mollie Graham, Lori Elsenpeter, Halle Geyen, Sommer Carlson, Emma Carlson, Ashlee Martie, Kennedy Gorres, and Kayla Hoistad. Receiving an award for 150 Mile Club was Blair Stewig. 
The Evident Improvement Award went out to Skyler Manka, Margaret Graham, Jordan Sifferle and Blair Stewig. Voted Most Improved by the team was Jessie Wohlrabe. Blair Stewig was voted Hardest Worker second year in a row by her teammates and Halle Geyen was voted Most Valuable Runner. 
Central Minnesota Conference coaches picked Halle Geyen, Sommer Carlson and Blair Stewig for Athlete of the Week honors throughout the year. Placing in the top ten at the Conference Meet and receiving the All-Conference Award was Halle Geyen, Sommer Carlson and Blair Stewig. Placing top 15 at the Conference Meet and receiving All-Conference Honorable Mention was Kayla Hoistad. Halle Geyen, Sommer Carlson, Blair Stewig, Katelynn Kramer and Jessie Wohlrabe all made the 2013 All Time Fastest List. 
More information appears in this week's Messenger.
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