NORTHFIELD – It would only be fitting if Bethany and Megan Hasz, who are juniors this year at Alexandria High School, cross the finish line at the 2015 Class 2A state cross-country meet in a dead heat and share the state championship.
Because at this point they each own one state title and one second-place finish. A year ago Bethany was first and Megan second, and Saturday at St. Olaf College it was Megan – who is 29 minutes older than her identical twin sister -- getting the win, followed closely by Bethany. (Pictured are Bethany, left, and Megan.)
“We will always race each other to win,” Megan said. “We are competitive with each other. We always want to win, but even if we don’t we’re happy for the other one.”
Megan’s winning time was an all-class state-meet-record 13 minutes, 40.9 seconds; Bethany finished in 13:44.4 and third-place runner Tess Misgen, a sophomore from Shakopee, was timed in 14:13.5. Misgen nosed out junior Emma Benner of Forest Lake, whose time was 14:13.6.
The previous state-meet record was 13:42.0, set by Maria Hauger of Shakopee in 2012.
The twins also are stars on the track. Bethany was third and Megan fourth at state in the 2A 3,200 meters last spring; in the 1,600 Megan was second behind Misgen and Bethany placed third.
On Saturday, Megan began pulling away near the two-mile mark in the 4,000-meter race. Bethany tried to stay with her sister but couldn’t maintain the pace.
“She started to pull away and I tried to go with her,” Bethany said. “I didn’t have quite the same kick as she does. I’m proud of her. She definitely deserves it.”
Megan stated it pretty plainly: “I guess I started kicking a little harder a little sooner.”
Asked if next year’s state meet will be the tiebreaker, the sisters laughed.
“I guess so,” Bethany said. “We’ll see what happens.”
--Wayzata won its third consecutive 2A girls team title with 65 points. Edina was next with 94 and Willmar placed third with 96.
CLASS 2A BOYS
After two top-five finishes in the last two years, Wayzata senior Connor Olson rose to the top level of the podium with a dominating victory. The second-ranked Olson held off third-ranked Joey Duerr of Chaska and top-ranked Joe Klecker of Hopkins, winning in 15:16.86.
Duerr was second in 15:22.96 and Klecker was third in 15:25.9
“That kid’s one tough racer and he stuck in there for a long time,” Olson said of Duerr. “I’m just happy I could pull it off at the end.”
--Olson – who placed fifth in 2012 and second last year -- led Wayzata to the team title. The Trojans finished with 47 points, and Hopkins and Stillwater shared second place with 87. It was the second consecutive state title for Wayzata.
CLASS 1A BOYS
Two years ago, Waseca’s Shane Streich finished third at state. Last year he was the runner-up. His route to a state championship was finally completed Saturday, but it came with an important boost from a race in late September.
Streich (pictured), a senior, was the top finisher in the Roy Griak Inviational when he placed sixth overall among a national field that included many of the top 2A runners in Minnesota.
“Just for the opportunity to come up here and race with the big dogs, being from a small town, I just wanted to hang with them,” he said after the Griak. “I think today was my day.”
Saturday was also his day. His time of 15:46.4was nearly 15 seconds better than runner-up Isaac Overmyer of Park Rapids. Placing third was Perham’s Billy Bessman.
“I’ve been shooting for this since I was a seventh-grader,” Streich said. “It’s nice, especially since last year I was second, the year before I was third. Ever since the end of track season this was my goal, and my main focus was going for the state championship. It’s definitely exciting to be able to fulfill that goal.”
--Mora won the 1A boys team title with a score of 104, followed by Martin County West (108) and Glencoe-Silver Lake (117).
CLASS 1A GIRLS
The Donnay sisters of Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball stole the show, with Emily – a senior and the top-ranked runner in 1A – claiming the state title and her sophomore sister Anna finishing third. The runner-up was Luverne sophomore Madison Schandelmeier.
“I figured she was right behind me at the finish,” said Emily, whose time of 14:27.5 was well ahead of Schandelmeier (14:49.0). “Tthat’s what I kept telling myself.”
Emily finished 10th at state last year; Anna had never before raced at state.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Anna. “I came and watched last year but that’s it.”
--Trinity School at River Ridge won the team title with a score of 55, followed by Annandale (87) and Fairmont (117).
--To see photo galleries from each race (provided by mnprepphoto.com), go to the MSHSL Facebook page.
BY THE NUMBERS
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