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Girls Cross Country: Alexandria's Hasz sisters dominate again

Headline Team: Alexandria won, Brainerd third Individual: Alexandria's Bethany Hasz won followed by her twin sister Megan Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Monticello Invitational at Vintage Golf Course, Otsego, 4 p.m. Thursday; Pillager, at Wadena...

Brainerd Warrior Meritt Miller crosses the finish line in fourth-place with 21:05.16 in the Run for the Melon meet at Forestview Middle School Friday. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls)
Brainerd Warrior Meritt Miller crosses the finish line in fourth-place with 21:05.16 in the Run for the Melon meet at Forestview Middle School Friday. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls)

Headline

Team: Alexandria won, Brainerd third

Individual: Alexandria's Bethany Hasz won followed by her twin sister Megan

Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Monticello Invitational at Vintage Golf Course, Otsego, 4 p.m. Thursday; Pillager, at Wadena-Deer Creek Invite 4:30 p.m. Tuesday; Crosby-Ironton, Pillager at Pequot Lakes Invite at Emily Greens Golf Course 4 p.m. Thursday

BAXTER - There was no surprise at the top of the Run for the Melon Friday.

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For the third straight year since the event moved to Forestview Middle School, Bethany and Megan Hasz of Alexandria finished first and second to help the Cardinals win the event.

Brainerd's Meritt Miller posted a fourth-place 21:05.16 and was followed by teammate Molly Selisker in fifth with a 21:22.4.

Miller, a returning junior on the Warriors, wasn't going to chase the Hasz sisters, but was happy she had them in her sights for as long as she did.

Bethany won with a time of 18:47.7, but her and her sister didn't break away from the pack until about the two mile mark.

"I wasn't quite sure at first how to run the course since we've never done a 5K," said Miller. "We had to pace differently. I think I went too fast in the beginning, but it was OK.

"I just stayed mentally strong."

Miller said she was happy to have a time down so she can beat it the rest of the season.

Brainerd's Grace Erholtz placed 18th in 23:25.5 and Jazmin Sutherland was 23rd as the Warriors finished.

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"I think we can be really good," Miller said. "We push each other at practice every day."

In her first ever cross country event, Grace McGuire placed seventh to lead the Pequot Lakes Patriots to fourth place. It was the first time Pequot and McGuire competed at the Run for the Melon.

"Before hand we walked through the whole thing, and this being my first year in cross country, I didn't even know how to pace myself in the beginning," McGuire said. "I just tried to pace myself with the girls in front. I started to back down because I could feel it on the second lap around. But then I kept that pace pretty much through the whole course. On the home stretch, Ari (Lemieur) was right behind me and I could hear everyone screaming at her to catch up to me and I was like, 'no way. That's not happening.' I just pushed it really hard at the end."

McGurie, a 400-meter phenom during the track and field season, said when she saw the Hasz sisters break from the pack she was in awe. Her first thought was they should be running with the boys.

But or her first race, the Pequot sophomore impressed herself. McGuire was followed Kristin Skog in 12th place. Jannah Hall was two spots back in 14th.

"I think we have a pretty good shot at being really good," McGuire said. "Our new coach (Staples-Motley graduate and two-time Class 1A individual champion Jeff Brever) is really good. He pushes us so hard. This past year he was our track coach too and he got the 4x8 team to state and they got third. That was a part of his coaching and I think he's an unbelievable coach. That's going to happen a lot."

Crosby-Ironton's Lemieur placed ninth in 21:49.0. Annie Goodwin was 25th and Miranda Berg 26th.

Sophia Sowada's 23:38.5 was good for 19th place as she led Little Falls to seventh.

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"I thought our Meritt and Molly looked great," said Warriors head coach Dave Herath. "You had the Alexandria twins who were first and second at state last year and the Greenway girl, who finished third, is ranked in Class 1A. Those three girls were a ways ahead of everyone. That's pretty good competition for your first meet. It was a new distance for them and I was very pleased with both of them. I know they came in with many miles under their belt and that paid off."

Girls results

Team scores: 1-Alexandria 38, 2-Pine City 66, 3-Brainerd 86, 4-Pequot Lakes 102, 5-Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin 113, 6-Albany 136, 7-Little Falls 147, inc-Pillager, Crosby-Ironton

Individual winner: Bethany Hasz (Alexandria) 18:47.7

Brainerd results: 4-Meritt Miller 21:06.1, 5-Molly Selisker 21:22.4, 18-Grace Erholtz 23:25.5, 23-Jazmin Sutherland 24:04.4, 40-Lauren Reed 25:04.0, 41-Faith Watson 25.17.2, 47-Emily Nelson 25:50.1

Crosby-Ironton results: 9-Ari Lemieur 21:49.0, 25-Annie Goodwin 24:15.0, 26-Miranda Berg 24:16.2

Little Falls results: 19-Sophia Sowada 23:38.5, 21-Amelia Kresha 23:56.9, 33-Megan Borash 24:35.1, 38-Madison Marquette 24:49.8, 49-Nica Gammon-Deering 26:01.6, 56-Molly Lange 26:42.1, 69-Elizabeth Becker 28:29.8

Pequot Lakes results: 7-Grace McGuire 21:48.4, 12-Kristin Skog 22:08.2, 14-Jannah Hall 23:07.9, 34-Kenzie Nelson 24:38.0, 43-Abby Person 25:30, 50-Eloise Gitchell 26:08.4, 51-Rachel Friberg 26:11.0

Pillager results: 63-Heather Joslin 27:55.0 78-Emily Kautz 30:28.8, 90-Vanessa Peterson 34:32.3, 91-Lacie Hines 41:40.9

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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