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Lakers run at Briar Cliff Invite

By Staff | Oct 14, 2008

MCCOOK LAKE, S.D. – The Iowa Lakes cross country teams competed in their final regular season meet at the Briar Cliff Invitational on Saturday.

In the women’s race, Candace Klepper placed 73rd out of 109 participants with a time of 22 minutes, 9 seconds in the 5K race.

“Candace ran an excellent race,” said coach Molly Struve. “This course generally produces good times, since it is flat and consists mainly of grass and gravel. However, she ran a personal best time (for this season) by over 1 minute.

“She looks like a stronger and more confident runner than she did at the beginning of the season. It is hard for her to stay motivated with the other four girls injured, but she tries hard and stays focused in practice.”

In the men’s race, Bart Zimmer led the Lakers with a 56th place finish in 29 minutes. Brandon Minear placed 114th in 32:41, Dane Ross was 117th in 33:18 and Matt Baehler placed 118th in 33:26.

Fourteen teams featuring 127 runners completed.

Struve said all four Lakers had personal best times.

“Bart dropped his time by over a minute last week and was able to drop another 40 seconds this week,” she said. “He is running very strong and should perform well at regionals in two weeks.

“Brandon has been dealing with an ankle injury the last couple of weeks, but still managed to drop his time and run a good race.

“Dane ran a very strong race and had a good finish as well. He stayed close behind Brandon and stayed focused during the race.

“Matt came in right behind Dane, with a personal best time, as well. He picked it up during the last mile and was able to catch a couple guys.

All four men had great starts, which is very important in a race this size. Mitchel (Sparks) is recovering from a slight hamstring injury and will be ready to go for regionals. He has been running this week, but we didn’t want to risk injuring him more by running in this meet.

The Lakers travel to Iowa Falls on Sunday, Oct. 26 for the Region XI meet hosted by Ellsworth Community College.