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MHS cross country teams look to improve on last year's state finish

The young Kernel cross country squad is looking to improve from last year’s state meet.

Mitchell will join 17 other Class AA schools Saturday at the state cross country meet at Robbinsdale Park in Rapid City. The Class AA girls’ 4,000-meter race begins at 2 p.m. Mountain time, while the boys’ 5,000-meter race begins at 3:15 p.m. Mountain time.

Last year, the Kernel boys finished 16th and the girls took 15th. Freshmen Mary Krause returns as Mitchell’s top finisher on the girls’ side. Kernel head coach Scott Munsen said he’s looking for Krause and sophomores Karlie Brown and Naomi Munsen to be aggressive from the start.

“If we can get those girls in the top 40, I’d be happy with that,” he said, adding they need to run under 16 minutes, 20 seconds to have a shot at the goal. “They’ve broken that mark in the past and if they can get themselves ready to run and get out fairly quick, they can do well.”

Mitchell junior Karla Resindez, sophomore Kaelyn Kaul, eighth-grader Kaylee Hart and seventh-grader TyAnn Hart will also run in the girls’ competition.

Yankton sophomore Savannah Woods looks to defend her title and will be pushed by last year’s runner-up and teammate Annie Kruse. Rapid City Central won the girls’ team title in 2012.

On the boys’ side, Munsen looks to get strong performances from sophomores Riley Cowins and Caleb Larson. The two return with experience from competing in last year’s state meet.

“They are key for us and have to run well,” Munsen said, adding he wants the pair to run under 18:30 in the boys’ 5,000-meter race. “It will really help our team score if they can run well.”

Seniors Luke Bartl and Isaiah Munsen, sophomore Christian Fossum and freshmen Josh Loecker and Rusty Munsen are also running for the Kernels.

Scott Munsen said this group must run what they are capable of doing and shoot for finishing under 19 minutes.

The state’s top two finishers return this year to battle for the title. Brookings’ Addison DeHaven will attempt to defend his title, while Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Nathan Schroeder looks to overtake the Bobcat. The Patriots won the team title last season.

The state meet kicks off with the Class B girls’ race at noon Mountain time.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.