Off day, but still 10th in state

by Tom Coombe

Jayne Dusich and the Ely Timberwolves couldn’t figure out what went wrong.<BR><BR>After a second straight section championship and a lofty ranking, the high school girls cross country team was primed for a high finish at the State Class A meet, held Nov. 6 at Northfield.<BR><BR>But across the board, the Wolves times were much slower than usual, and that doomed any chance for a spot in the top-four.<BR><BR>Instead, the Wolves fell behind the pack and placed 10th among 16 teams.<BR><BR>“We were kind of disappointed,” said Dusich. “Everyone was about 30 seconds slower than sections. We’re still trying to figure it out. We don’t know if it was the train that kept going by the hotel (the night before) that kept us up, or if it was the five-hour ride down there. We ran in the morning this year and last year we ran in the afternoon. It was a nice day. Maybe it was too warm.”<BR><BR>En route to the section title, Ely had four runners finish the section meet course in under 16 minutes, with a fifth coming in at 16:01.<BR><BR>The state meet, held at St. Olaf College, was the same 4,000-meter distance, but the best Ely time was turned in by sophomore Casey Sovil, who took 27th among state team participants in 16:01.<BR><BR>“Sometimes you go out too fast and I think that’s what happened with Casey,” said Dusich.<BR><BR>Senior Jenna Klein was next in the Ely lineup. She was 44th overall in 16:28.4, and teammate Carolyn Freeman, a sophomore, was right behind in 45th (16:28.7).<BR><BR>Sophomore Jen Zupancich placed 50th in 16:33.8, and senior Taryn Cunningham was the only Ely runner to improve from her state performance in 2003, taking 60th in 16:44.1.<BR><BR>Sophomore Amelia Donars (93rd, 17:43.1) and junior Mary Anderson (102nd, 18:23.6) rounded out the Wolves’ state roster.<BR><BR>Glencoe ran away with the team title, beating Staples-Motley by 10 points.<BR><BR>Hermantown, Ely’s Section 7A rival, finished seventh overall. Ely slipped to 10th after taking seventh in the 2003 meet.<BR><BR>“I think our section meet was probably our best,” said Dusich. “I think we were more pumped up for that, because we knew exactly what we had to do. The state meet was a lot different. Still it was a good year. These girls did really well.”<BR><BR>