Left to right: Canby/Minneota runners Claire Stoks, Braelyn Merritt and Grace Drietz, shown running here in the Section 3A cross country meet on Thursday, all qualified for the state meet this Saturday.

C/M advances 5 to state

3 girls, 2 boys to compete Saturday in Northfield

Canby/Minneota will send five of its runners to next week's state cross country meet after they qualified at the Section 3A meet Thursday at Lac qui Parle Valley High School.
Both the C/M boys' and girls' teams finished third in the section meet, just missing a chance to compete at state. The top two teams and top six individuals not from those top two teams advance to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 6 at St. OIaf College in Northfield.
The three C/M girls qualifying were Grace Drietz, Claire Stoks and Braelyn Merritt, who finished sixth, seventh and eighth overall, respectively. Merritt and Stoks ran in personal best times to advance.
Zach Ourada and Kolton Duis qualified for the boys' state meet, finishing sixth and ninth overall, respectively. Ourada also ran a personal best time.
Although the C/M teams didn't advance to state, they each ran exceptionally well at the sectional meet. The only other school besides Canby/Minneota that finished in the top three in both the boys' and girls' races was Luverne.
"We knew it was going to be close for our boys," said C/M coach Allyson Pesek. "We, of course, were hoping for that top two, but ultimately everyone had great races. We are proud of their season and all they accomplished.
"For the girls, we were hoping for top five," Pesek added. "Again, top two is the goal, but we knew Luverne and Murray County Central would be hard to challenge. We were very pleased to be within nine points of second place."
Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd finished first in the boys' race with 75 points, followed by Luverne with 81 and Canby/Minneota with 93.Luverne prevailed in the girls' meet with 50 points. MCC was second with 69 and Canby/Minneota placed third with 78 points.
For Drietz, a senior, this will be her fifth time qualifying for state and fourth time competing. She also qualified last year, but there was no state meet due to the COVID pandemic. This is the third qualifying and second competing state meet for Merritt, a sophomore. Stoks, a freshman who also qualified last year, will be competing in her first state meet.
This will be the first state meet for both Ourada and Duis, both sophomores.
Both the Canby/Minneota teams also achieved Academic GOLD with the boys having a 3.95 GPA, and the girls having a 3.91 GPA.
"Many runners ran their best race of the season, if not their careers today," said Pesek. "We have four amazing seniors who have been with us for years and truly leave a legacy. I am truly proud of each and every one of our runners."
The seniors running their last section meet were: Drietz, Delaney Houseman, Blake Stoks and Tristan Bierschenk.

(Top 2 advance to state)
(1) Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 75 (2) Luverne 81 (3) Canby/Minneota 93 (4) Redwood Valley 127 (5) Jackson County Central 140 (6) Windom Area 141 (7) Mountain Lake Area 186 (8) Springfield/Cedar Mountain 247 (9) Pipestone Area 261 (10) Murray County Central 281 (11) Montevideo 303 (12) BOLD/Buffalo Lake-Hector 362 (13) Adrian/Ellsworth 368 (14) Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton 380 (15) Central Minnesota Christian 408 (16) Heron Lake-Okabena 413 (17) Lakeview 425 (18) Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 505 (19) Wabasso 534

(1) Camden Janiszeski, Luv, 16:40.70 (2) Owen Janiszeski, Luv, 16:47.94 (3) Will Ahrens, RV, 16:49.26 (4) Payton Sterud, LQPVDB, 16:55.03 (5) Andrew Boyum, JCC, 17:04.63 (6) Zach Ourada, CM, 17:06.13 (7) Caden Strasser, Pipe, 17:13.21 (8) Tim Salentiny, HLOL, 17:14.72 (9) Kolton Duis, CM, 17:19.48 (10) Evan Paplow, JCC, 17:24.69

(6) Ourada (9) Duis (20) Blake Stoks 17:59.75 (25) Blake Giese 18:12.19 (33) Tristan Bierschenk 18:31.57 (38) Colton Ruether 18:39.41 (64) Michael Tol 19:34.85

(Top 2 advance to state)
(1) Luverne 50 (2) Murray County Central 69 (3) Canby/Minneota 78 (4) Redwood Valley 106 (5) Springfield/Cedar Mountain 133 (6) Pipestone Area 174 (7) Adrian/Ellsworth 232 (8) Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 233 (9) Jackson County Central 260 (10) Central Minnesota Christian 286 (11) Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton 297 (12) Windom Area 307 (13) Mountain Lake Area 319 (14) Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 406 (15) Yellow Medicine East 425 (16) Wabasso 435 (17) Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 443 (18) Montevideo 508

(1) Amanda Overgaauw, MCC, 18:01.58 (2) Tenley Nelson, Luv, 18:31.63 (3) Jenna DeBates, Luv, 18:46.44 (4) Ashley Overgaauw, MCC, 18:51.92 (5) Kaylee Walklin, Win, 18:52.88 (6) Grace Drietz, CM, 19:26.54 (7) Claire Stoks, CM, 19:50.20 (8) Braelyn Merritt, CM, 20:05.41 (9) Brylei Schreier, MCC, 20:10.30 (10) Taylor Post, Pipe, 20:23.53

(6) Drietz (7) Stoks (8) Merritt (27) Hannah Vlaminck 21:44.27 (30) Lillie Wollum 21:59.52 (45) Nohemi Diaz 22:38.23 (57) Hannah Fadness 23:08.83

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