Photo: Maddie Lavin (Vermillion) by Kernit Grimshaw
By Rich Winter
When the girls entered in the Class A, state cross country meet in Huron toe the line Saturday, I'm thinking any one of five girls have a legitimate chance of winning the race.
Maddie Lavin of Vermillion is the defending champion who has run pretty well this season. That said, she finished 5th in her region meet, 19 seconds back of Lexy Leischner.
In last year's state meet, Madison's Emily Hawkes finished a disappointing 23rd. She put that race behind her and has manufactured a phenomenal 2014 Cross Country season.
Saturday's race final.
Here are the top three finisher in each Region:
1 Schmidt, Nicolette 10 Redfield/Doland 15:19.78 1
2 Prouty, Mikayla 12 Clark/Willow Lake 15:27.01
3 Litzen, Isabel 10 Aberdeen Roncalli 16:02.27 2
1 Hawkes, Emily 12 Madison 14:57.24 1
2 Streff, Hailey 10 Madison 15:11.40 2
3 Streff, Cami 8 Madison 15:23.39 3
1 Leischner, Lexy 8 Ethan/Parkston 15:24.36 1
2 Schulz, Marisa 10 Dakota Valley 15:30.82 2
3 Heeren, Josie 11 Elk Point-Jefferson 15:38.21 3
5 Lavin, Madisen 9 Vermillion 15:58.88 5
1 Herman, Kelsie 7 Todd County 15:26.00 1
2 Gregerson, Lorna 8 Mt. Vernon/Plankinton 15:38.00 2
3 Byers, Ella 8 Chamberlain 15:54.00 3
1 Cooper, Kaci 7 St. Thomas More 15:15.81 1
2 Glazier, Tori 9 Custer 15:28.29 2
3 Delmont, Mallory 7 Custer 15:40.30 3
Analysis: It is so hard to put up region times to compare, but that's all we have.
Hawkes scorched the field with that 14:57. I'd say she is the clear race favorite and she would likely need to have an off day not to win it.
Who else is in the conversation?
* Nicole Schmidt - Finished third a year ago!
* Hailey or Cami Streff - Madison - Hailey Streff was a disappointing 56th a year ago. I'm sure she'll be looking to get up and in the mix one last time. Cami Streff was fourth a year ago.
* Kelsie Herman - Todd County
Kaci Cooper - St. Thomas More - Could be a dark-horse in this race because not a lot of people know about her. Handled Custer's Tori Glazer fairly easily at the Region meet. STM athletes always seem to get a whole lot better right before the state meet.
The Team race:
Madison - I cannot see Madison not getting this team title. They have so much talent in their top-3 they can afford to have a bad day by one of their runners and they still should get through.
After that, it's really a bugger picking the other contenders.
Mt. Vernon/Plankinton, Garretson, Ethan/Parkston should battle for those top plaques and awards.
Dark horses: St. Thomas More, Custer and even Todd County who gave Mt. Vernon/Plankinton a good go at the Region meet.
It's going to be interesting, that's for sure. The weather looks decent. Friday's high is supposed to be 69 and not much wind.
Good luck to all the athletes, coaches, parents and administrators.
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