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Kernels' coach hopes to 'maintain' last year's finish at cross country meet

The Mitchell cross country teams end their seasons at the Class AA State Cross Country Meet today at Broadland Creek Golf Course in Huron.

The girls' race begins at 3 p.m. and the boys' race begins at 4:15 p.m. Awards will be given after all races are completed.

Last season, the Mitchell girls' team took 10th place, while the boys' finished in 15th.

Head coach Scott Munsen said it would be an accomplishment to place in the same spots.

"We would sure like to maintain if all possible," Munsen said. "We were extremely disappointed with our conference finishes, so we'd really like to rebound from that."

Both Kernel teams finished eighth at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Meet.

Runners returning to the state meet for Mitchell are senior Berkley Rietveld, freshman Naomi Munsen and eighth-grader Mary Krause.

"Krause and Berkley have been consistent this year and feel confident," Scott Munsen said. However, Naomi Munsen, who took 15th in the girls' 4,000-meter race last year, didn't run at ESD due to the development of exercise enduced asthma, the Kernels' coach said.

"She's had health complications all season," he said. "Right now, she's in good shape physically but I don't know where she's at mentally. It's hard to say how she's going to respond, but if she can breathe well, she has the potential for a good race."

Other runners for the girls' team include senior Courtney Moore, junior Sakura Higa, sophomore Kaitlyn Jacobson and sophomore Ellie Rew.

Yankton claimed the girls' team title last season and Sioux Falls Roosevelt looks for its third consecutive boys' title today.

Mitchell freshman Riley Cowins and Josh Loecker are the only Kernel boys to return to the state tournament, which is a 5,000-meter race. Newcomers include junior Sam Dee, junior Martin Simonsen, junior Luke Mauer, freshman Caleb Larson and eighth-grader Rusty Munsen.

"Cowins and Larson are some good positives for us right now," Scott Munson said. "I'm hoping we can get some good runs by all of our guys."

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