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Area Female Athlete: LF's Hendrickson running down a dream

Mattia Hendrickson is not shy about talking about her goals this season.

The senior cross country runner for the Little Falls Flyers has Nov. 3 on her mind. That’s the date of the Class 2A state cross country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Hendrickson plans on going. Unlike in years past, however, she plans on running in this year’s event.

“I was hoping to break 15 minutes sometime during the year, preferably get around 14:30,” said Hendrickson. “That was a goal of mine. Actually another one of my goals was to win the Wadena Invite. I had already gotten high places there and have improved those very year. That was one of my goals. Then there is state.”

Of those goals, Hendrickson already has one. She claimed the individual title at the W-DC Invite Tuesday with a winning time of 16:13. She said she knew right away it was going to be a good race and she felt confident.

“Her game plan was to win that meet,” said Flyers head coach Jacki Devine. “She was third last year and last year’s winner graduated and I don’t remember if the second-place girl graduated or not, but Mattia knew she had a good chance going in.

“It was a bigger meet this year with 12 full teams so she had some good competition. Perham had five girls in the top 10 for the first mile, but Mattia was able to break out of the pack.”

Hendrickson was third at the Brainerd Run for the Melon Invite Aug. 31 with a time of 16:07. She was sixth in the season-opening Milaca Invite Aug, 27 with a time of 16:20.

Devine is confident Hendrickson will reach her time goal and believes it will come quickly. The reason for her confidence is Hendrickson’s offseason work ethic.

“I think hard work will help me reach my goals and I put in a lot of time this summer,” said Hendrickson. “I had a strict plan that I followed. I have continued that hard work and perseverance should help me reach my goals.”

As for state, Devine thinks it’s an obtainable goal.

“She has some pretty high goals this year and this summer she did her homework and ran more than 300-plus miles,” Devine said. “She was strong coming into the season and took care of some injury and health issues that hurt her last year. She was ready to go. These first couple of meets she’s been running really well.

“Her chances at state are very good. She was close last year — she finished 15th in the section. This year her chances are even better. She still needs to get to the low 15s, but she is very coachable and is a great team leader.”

Like many cross country runners, Hendrickson battled iron deficiency last season. She’s taking supplements to keep her levels normal and believes her summer training, better health and confidence in herself will have her running the hills of St. Olaf.

“I think I’m on the path to getting there,” said Hendrickson.

Other notable performances:

Tennis: Mikayla Wing, Staples-Motley, finished the week 2-0.

Ellie Erholtz and Lauren Bengtson, Pequot Lakes, were 4-0 last week.

Volleyball: Caitlin Volkmann, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 13 digs, 10 kills, seven blocks and two ace serves against Moorhead.

Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 20 kills, nine digs and nine blocks against Moorhead.

Noelle Kurowski, Little Falls, finished with 25 digs, 17 kills and three ace serves against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
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