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MSA cross country: Siekmeier earns second All-State honor

Jacob Siekmeier earned All-State honors for the second-straight season, finishing 25th overall Class A State Cross Country Meet, held Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Jacob Siekmeier earned All-State honors for the second-straight season, finishing 25th overall Class A State Cross Country Meet, held Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Siekmeier, a junior, ran a time of 16 minutes, 53.5 seconds in the 5,000 meter race, slightly off his pace last year when he finished 20th overall with a time of 16:38.1. All-State nods go to the top 25 individuals at the state meet.

In 2009, as a freshman, Siekmeier became the first Math and Science Academy student-athlete to qualify for a state competition.

"He did a great job all season and ran well at state," MSA first-year head coach Cami Paulson said. "He had his sights set a little higher after finishing 20th last year, but I thought he did a very nice job. He was pretty happy with that."

Paulson, the former head coach of the track and field and cross country teams at Bowling Green State University in Ohio the past 12 years, took over the Math and Science Academy cross country program this fall for former head coach Daniel Scheff, who led the Dragons the past four years.

Paulson said she believed the race was more blustery than a year ago.

"Jacob said it was substantially windier than last year," she said. "Based on that it was close to where he ran last year with the wind factor. But, Jacob is such a nice young man, he's always pretty happy. He was happy with his finish and had quite a few friends and family come to watch, so that's always fun."

Nevis senior Bryon Schuldt became his school's first state cross country champion, completing the course in 15:55.3 - four seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Senior Brandon Clark, from The Blake School in Minneapolis, led for much of the race and finished in second place with a time of 15:59.4.

St. Cloud Cathedral captured the Class A state championship title in the boys competition, narrowly defeating last year's champion, Perham, by just one point. The Crusaders finished with 72 points, and Perham finished with 73 points.

"I've seen quite a few talented runners coaching at the college level, and what stands out about Jacob is that he is such a nice young man," Paulson said. "He's really a nice young man and a real team player. There's no ego there at all - he just goes out there, runs hard and wants to do well for the team and to get the most out of his ability."

Siekmeier earned a trip to state by finishing in third place at the Section 4A meet, held on Friday, Oct. 28, at Battle Creek Regional Park in Maplewood.

As a team, the Dragons boys earned sixth place and the MSA girls took fifth place overall.

Blake won the Section 4A title in both the boys and girls races. The Blake girls totaled 40 points to top second-place Trinity (81 points). In the boys competition, Blake edged Minnehaha Academy with a tie-breaker, after each teams scored 47 place points. At sections, the top two teams and top 10 individuals qualify for state.

"I thought both teams ran well," Paulson said. "The big goal is to do well at the section meet. Everybody performed well at that meet and I'm certainly happy with the results."

Siekmeier led the Dragons boys with his time of 16:21 at the 5K section meet. Senior Brady Hannula was the second MSA runner across the finish line with a time of 17:51.4, taking 29th place in his final prep cross country meet. Also, sophomore Shawn Ramberg was 33rd overall with a time of 18:04.0, freshman Noah Stout took 54th place with a time of 18:47.2 and senior Sam Danienwicz placed 67th with a time of 19:26.4 to round out the (leDragons' top five, who contribute to the team's score. Additionally, junior Han Yong Wunrow took 69th with a time of 19:41.1 and sophomore Keith Nixon placed 78th in 20:12.9 for the Dragons. Blake's Brandon Clark won the race in 15:48.8.

"Brady, our senior captain was a real leader of the team," Paulson said. "He did a real nice job to finish off his cross country career with his best time. The boys ran a nice race. We were pleased to finish well in the race after losing their second and third best runners last year."

In the girls race, five freshmen paced the Dragons.

Freshman Greta Siekmeier took 17th with a time of 15:55.4 to lead the way. Greta Siekmeier was in seventh place overall with roughly 25 meters to go, when she fell from exhaustion and ended up crawling to the finish line while being passed by a number of runners.

"She was certainly on her way to making it to state, but she recovered and was happy with the race she ran," Paulson said.

Freshman Elise Lohmann was the second MSA girls runner to cross the finish line, taking 19th overall with a time of 15:58.0. After Lohmann, ninth-grader Katie Baumann took 28th in 16:33.8, freshman Ines Siepmann took 42nd in 17:09 and freshman Julia Ing placed 43rd in a time of 17:12.5 to round out the Dragons' top five. Also, seventh grader Ellie Haland was the sixth-fastest Dragons' runner with a time of 17:15.7, taking 45th place, and junior Maddie Ames ran a time of 18:57.4 to take seventh for MSA and 67th overall. Blake sophomore Clare Flanagan won the girls meet with a time of 14:17.1.

"It's definitely a young team on the girls side," Paulson said. "They did very well all year working on having a tighter pack. They certainly showed that and ran their best race of the year at the section meet. That was great to see."