Kiera Olson
Kiera Olson
Sixteen teams and 174 runners competed at the Minnesota Class A Girls 4K State Cross Country Meet on Nov. 2. The venue was the rolling hills of St Olaf College in Northfield.

Lanesboro/Fillmore Central did not qualify to go as a team, but did send freshman Kiera Olson to the event in individual competition. She placed 66th in the elite field with a time of 16:03.

Cannon Falls senior Emi Trost won the race in 14:40. Second place went to junior Mary Naas of St Paul Academy and Summit School, while sophomore Becca Wilkin of Trinity School at River Ridge took third.

"She ran really hard, and she gave it all she had," L/FC assistant coach Joe Cullen said of Olson's first trip to the state meet. "She ran a really good race.

That 16:03 time was mere seconds slower than Olson's PR of 15:56, which was recorded on an essentially flat course.

The St Olaf run consists of plenty of small "speed bump" hills, Cullen noted. Conditions were good, even if the wind was a bit chilly.

"It was a good experience for her. Hopefully she's got a couple more years to go up there, and now she knows what it's like," said Cullen.

That state tournament experience could pay dividends in the future, Cullen added.

"It's a lot different when you're running in a pack of around 50 kids who are all capable of a about the same time as you," he said. "For the kids in that middle pack, most are used to running near the front."

In team scores, Annandale claimed the championship, while Lac Qui Parle Valley took second. Third went to Perham.