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Motschenbacher qualifies for Class A Championships

Wadena-Deer Creek's Abby Motschenbacher leads a pack of runners during the Section 8A Championships at St. Olaf. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

Wadena-Deer Creek senior Abby Motschenbacher was doing math down the final stretch of the Section 8A Championships at the Twin Pines Golf Course in Bagley on Oct. 26. The senior was trying to figure out if she qualified for the Class A Championships.

“It felt really good knowing that I made it and it’s nice to finish off my senior year off going to state,” Motschenbacher said. “It feels really, really good that I was working towards something that happened.”

Motschenbacher said she was counting the girls in front of her and thought that if she kept her spot she would advance to state. She did just that with an 11th place finish. The top two teams advance to state and the next eight individuals advance. Motschenbacher finished with a time of 20 minutes and 3.3 seconds.

“It pretty well. My first mile was definitely pretty fast for me,” Motschenbacher said. “I got into a good pace and kept it going from there.”

Motschenbacher said she kept the thought of this potentially being her last race in the back of her mind and said she wanted to have one more race.

Motschenbacher said her plan was to pace off United North Central’s Annika Aho as much as she could during the race. The two ran side-by-side each other during most of the Park Region Championships as well.

“She pulled away from me at the mille and a half mark, but I kept going at a strong pace,” Motschenbacher said. “I was able to pull through.”

It’s been a goal of Motschenbacher to qualify for state since she started running and said this year felt different than past years.

“At the beginning of the year, I knew I was stronger than I have been the past few years,” Motschenbacher said. “Knowing that I made it to state puts the icing on the cake and it’s really nice.”

Perham won the team title with 32 points, while East Grand Forks was second with 97. Wadena-Deer Creek finished eighth with 193 points.

The overall race winner was Crookston’s Katherine Geist. She finished with a time of 18:54.7. Perham’s Liz Birkeland was second, followed by Caitlin Covington at 19:21.0 and 19:34.0, respectively.

The Wolverines set three career personal records during the race. Motschenbacher, Ally Pavek and Sophie Kreklau hit their personal bests.

Pavek finished in 43rd place with a new personal best time of 21:54.1. She was followed by Johanna Brunsberg. She finished in 48th place with a time of 22:21.9. Samantha Malone crossed the line in 56th place at 22:37.3.

Kreklau finished her high school career with a new personal best. She finished with a time of 22:57.0 for 61st place.

Wadena-DC’s Eve Collins came in 64th place with a time of 23:03.9. Emma Ries rounded out the varsity field for the Wolverines when she finished with a time of 23:46.3.

Motschenbacher will be making her first state meet appearance on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Section 8A Girls Team Results

Perham 32, East Grand Forks 97, Pequot Lakes 102, Pelican Rapids 141, United North Central 174, Hawley 178, Lake Park-Audubon 187, Wadena-Deer Creek 193, Warroad 205, Crosby-Ironton 244, Frazee 257, Nevis 291, Roseau 317.

Individual Top 10 Results

1 Katherine Geist, CRK, 18:54.7; 2 Liz Birkeland, PER, 19:21.0; 3 Caitlin Covington, PER, 19:34.0; 4 Calia Chaney, PQL, 19:40.4; 5 Jade Rypkema, NEV, 19:42.5; 6 Annika Aho, UNC, 19:50.0; 7 Abby Syverson, PEL, 19:50.4; 8 Lydia Floden, EGF, 19:54.3; 9 Mya Morris, PER, 19:58.3; 10 Quincy Anderson, PER, 19:59.4.

Wadena-DC Individual Results

11 Abby Motschenbacher, 20:03.3; 43 Ally Pavek, 21:54.1; 48 Johanna Brunsberg, 22:21.9; 56 Samantha Malone, 22:37.3; 61 Sophie Kreklau, 22:57.0; 64 Eve Collins, 23:03.9; 78 Emma Ries, 23:46.3.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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