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Staying on course

By Staff | Aug 26, 2009

ELCAR’s Traci Speltz battles for first place with an Algona runner. EDN photo by David Swartz

SPENCER – While not at full strength for the first meet of the season, the Estherville Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringsted cross country team’s second-place finish was satisfying with 72 points.

Senior Traci Speltz led the way with a second-place individual finish in 16 minutes 40 seconds with fellow senior Brooke Egeland finishing seventh in 16:58.

“Both girls ran an outstanding first mile and a half,” said ELCAR coach Tina Burton. “We just need them to maintain their place.”

Freshmen Mackenzie Woodyard and Paige Taylor also showed early promise with a 12th and 13th place finish, respectively.

“They showed us they belong,” said Burton. “Mackenzie had never run cross country before. They both carried out a plan and it worked for them.”

ELCAR freshman Mackenzie Woodyard leads a pack of runners near the end of the first cross country race of the season at Spencer on Tuesday. EDN photo by David Swartz

Bailey Raska was the final varsity runner as she finished 38th in 19:03.

“Bailey was hurting halfway through the race, but overall she did fine,” said Burton.

Spirit Lake Park won with 56 points followed by ELCAR then Algona with 79, Galva-Holstein with 110, Spencer with 123, Western Christian with 130, LeMars with 131, Emmetsburg with 194, Storm Lake with 280 and Cherokee with 295.


ELCAR had just four runners on junior varsity with Krista Pelzer taking first in 18:48 with Melissa Gjerde finishing fourth in 18:52. Samantha Natterstad was 17th in 20:06 with Kayla Bortvit finishing 43rd in 21:43.

“Krista came in and gave the (second-place) girl a race and pulled it out,” said Burton. “Melissa stayed up front the whole race and I’m happy with Sam’s run. Kayla ran a strong first mile.”


ELCAR had just one male runner with David Roach finishing 26th in the junior varsity boys race in 21:41.

“David has had good practices and keeps showing improvement,” said Burton.

ELCAR has other runners that weren’t ready to compete in the first race due to various reasons.

ELCAR is back in action next Tuesday at the Spirit Lake Invitational.