Pacelli’s Christopherson finishes strong at state cross country meet

Published 5:47pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

NORTHFIELD — Pacelli seventh grader Kayla Christopherson wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when she competed in the Class ‘A’ state cross country meet at St. Olaf College Saturday, but she shook off some early nerves to come up with one her best finishes off the season.

Christopherson finished in 62nd place out of 174 runners with a time of 16:02.4. She finished with a time that was 21 seconds faster than her time at the Section 1A meet.

“There was a lot of scenery and it was beautiful. I felt faster and everything was going by fast,” Christopherson said. “At the beginning I was super nervous. Coach (Jim Parlin) told me to keep an eye on who I wanted to pass and that relaxed me.”

While the hills at at St. Olaf can be a detriment to first time state qualifiers, Christopherson said they didn’t slow her down too much. She was pleased with her time and thankful for those who helped her out.

Christopherson is also hoping her performance helps out the Pacelli cross country team.

“I hope it motivates others,” she said.

Southland junior McKenzie Kirtz became the first Southland girl to ever run in the state cross country meet as she represented the Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Southland program, which was just started last year. Kirtz finished in 51st place with a time of 15:55.7.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect,” Kirtz said. “I thank God. He’s the reason I’m here and it feels good to represent Southland.”

Hayfield junior Gabe Tempel made a big improvement in his second run at the state meet. Tempel finished in 75th place with a time of 17:32.9.

“I was nervous, but I was here to have fun. I demolished from my time from last year and that’s a good step towards next year,” Tempel said. “I felt much stronger. I memorized some of the hills from last year and I found away to use them to push myself.”


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