Girls CC team proves they are more than lucky

Last Thursday, the defending state champion Magic faced their toughest task in a still young season; conquering 17 other teams, including two state-ranked opponents.
Mission accomplished, with ease.
Monticello got an outstanding fourth-place finish from Amber Seidenkranz as well as a personal best and a fifth-place finish for Mariah Betzler to help lead them to a 35-point victory at the Myron Ahle Lucky Lindy Invitational in Little Falls.
For Seidenkranz, it was a continued push toward her top form from a couple of years ago. For Betzler, it was the best form the team has seen from her yet.
“Mariah has been chasing that 15 minute mark for two years,” said Coach Gail Grieme.
Thursday, she got it with ease.
Brooke Rasmussen, fresh off a personal best in a prior meet, ran solidly to earn a 12th place finish in 15:21. Meanwhile, Krista Steele, the fourth returning state runner, continued to close the gap. Steele finished in 20th place, running a time of 15:48 on the team’s toughest course of the season.
Behind the top four, a group of young ladies continued to fill in the remaining spots. With Alex Revenig unavailable due to a tennis conflict, freshman Anna Fasen ran her best race of the year, coming in with a time of 16:29 and finishing 38th overall to wrap up the Magic scoring.
Alexa Yeager and Patty Bray both finished just over the 17-minute mark to finish sixth and seventh respectively.
For Grieme, neither the continued success of her top runners, or improvement of her newcomers, is coming as a surprise.
“The confidence the top four have in their abilities rubs off on the new kids,” said Grieme. “They see what it takes daily to be at that level.”
With each meet, each and every one of them is getting close to the level that is needed to match the heights the program has set as the standard.
As a team, they continue to inch closer to the top, a place they’ve shown they belong in recent years.
The 35-point win came over a talented field, including second-place Hopkins who was ranked seventh in the latest Class AA poll, as well as the top-rated team in Class A, St. Cloud Cathedral.
“In my mind, it gives me confidence in how we’re doing as a team,” said Grieme, of knocking off some tough competition.
After winning easily at Big Lake Tuesday night, the Magic will look to continue to build that confidence Saturday when they head to Milaca for their annual mega meet.