Pacelli duo shines at BP triangular
BLOOMING PRAIRIE — A pair of Pacelli runners may be the opposite ends of their high school cross country careers, but they both finished in front of the pack at the Blooming Prairie triangular Tuesday.
Pacelli senior Jayden Lewis finished in first for the Shamrock boys and eighth grader Kirsten Koopal paced the girls’ field with a first place finish.
Lewis is embracing every chance he gets to run for Pacelli and he ran away with Tuesday’s race in the final mile as he finished with a time of 18:29.5. USC’s Micah Hansen took second as he finished nearly 30 seconds behind Lewis.
“I hadn’t run against USC before so I wasn’t sure what to expect from their top guy,” Lewis said. “I kind of just hung with him for the first two miles and I was kind of feeling good. I was able to extend it and pull away.”
Lewis has two first place finishes and one second place finish this season. He’s hoping to get his time as low as 17:30 before the season comes to an end.
“I’m just grateful to be out here running,” Lewis said. “I’m just trying to win as many races as I can.Even though there’s not a lot of competition in three team meets, you know you’re going to be in the top three or four guys and if somebody beat me before, I’m going to try and beat them.”
While Lewis is making the closing statements of his time with the Shamrocks, Koopal, who took first with a time of 21:15.8 is just getting started.
Koopal grew up looking up to some big time Pacelli runners like six-time state qualifier Kayla Christopherson and one-time state qualifier Rory Bickler.
Now she’s pushing hard to make a name for herself.
“We’ve had some runners here that were generally nice people and they motivated me. My teammate Lexi (Lewis) has been a big help too. I always like to think that I’m determined with what I put my mind to and what I want to do,” Koopal said. “I ran all summer and I ran just about every day. I’ve been working my hardest every time I get the chance to get after it.”
Hoseak Baker ran a personal best time to take third place for the BP boys, who took first as a team.
Pacelli won the girls meet and Bobbie Bruns took third overall for the Awesome Blossoms.
Blooming Prairie 31; 2. United South Central 37; 3. Pacelli 64
Pacelli: Jayden Lewis (first, 18:29.5); Javier Cifuentes (12th, 21:08.8); Grayson Bickler (15th, 21:45.5); Andrew Frederick (18th, 22:26.1); Blake Klingfus (23rd, 24:1413.3); Jack Klingfus (24th, 25:40.3)
BP: Hosea Baker (third, 19:11.6); Jesse Cardenas (fifth, 20:14.4); Alex Miller (sixth, 20:22.8); Luke Larkoski (eighth, 20:27.6); Tyler Forystek (ninth, 20:30.4); Dylan Johnson (10th, 20:49.3)
Pacelli 30; 2. BP 43; 3. USC 47
Pacelli: Kirsten Koopal (first, 21:15.8); Lily Weise (fourth, 24:18.1); Kendahl Lewis (seventh, 25:24); Lexi Lewis (eighth, 25:26); Abby Christopherson (10th, 25:43.5); Caitlin Drees (18th, 27:22.9)
BP: Bobbie Bruns (third, 23:14.2); Megan Oswald (sixth, 25:11.8); Emily Miller (ninth, 25:35.5); Chloe McCarthy (12th, 25:53.3); Maggie Bruns (13th, 26:09.9); Abby Smith (17th, 27:07.3)