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Here we go again

By Staff | Oct 27, 2009

The Estherville Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringsted girls cross country team earned a trip to the state meet by finishing second at Monday’s Class 3A Regional meet in Spencer. Front from left are Mackenzie Woodyard, Alyssa Ayers and Ashley Stinar; back row: Brooke Egeland, Traci Speltz, Bailey Raska and Paige Taylor. Find more photos at cu.esthervilledailynews.com. EDN photo by David Swartz

SPENCER – The Estherville Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringsted girls cross country team wasn’t ranked headed into Monday’s Class 3A Regional meet.

That didn’t stop the team from setting its sights on taking down No. 3 Bishop Heelan. ELCAR nearly did it too.

Bishop Heelan won the meet with 66 points, just five points ahead of ELCAR’s 71.

However, as one of the top three teams at the regional, ELCAR still earned a trip to state-their fourth consecutive trip.

“I’m speechless,” said ELCAR coach Tina Burton. “They did an amazing job and we had six girls in the top 25. They ran like is was their last race and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Bailey Raska and Paige Taylor stayed close together throughout Monday’s race. EDN photo by David Swartz

Unranked Garner-Hayfield/West Hancock also is headed to state with 88 points. No. 13 Webster City was denied a spot, finishing fourth with 108 points.

ELCAR senior Brooke Egeland doubley earned the right to make the trip to Fort Dodge as she was an individual qualifier. Her time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds was good for fourth overall.

“It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling to finally get out and do good,” Egeland said, who has been hampered with injuries and other problems over her career.

Senior Traci Speltz is making her third trip to the state meet. Speltz finished 11th in 16:51.

“I went out like it was my last race and felt pretty good,” said Speltz. “It’s amazing. The whole team went out and ran for Amy (Jensen).”

Mackenzie Woodyard was just two places back as she finished 13th in 16:36..

“It’s a amazing. I didn’t think I would do it,” said the freshman. “I never thought something like this would happen.”

Fellow freshman Paige Taylor said she felt that Monday was the team’s day.

“All day I felt like today was the day and I feel like nobody was slacking,” Taylor said. “I have to say it’s one of the happiest days of my life.”

Bailey Raska rounded out the scoring with a 23rd place finish in 16:57.

“I felt good through the whole race,” said Raska. “It was one of the smartest races I ran.”

Alyssa Ayers also finished in the top 25 taking 25th-place in 17:04. Ashley Stinar finished 48th in 18:02.

Rounding out the team scoring, Denison-Schleswig was fifth with 143, Algona had 148, LeMars 179, Spencer 196, Clear Lake 205 and MOC-Floyd Valley 223.

ELCAR will run Saturday in the Class 3A Meet at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge.