Redwood Valley standout eighth-grader Maddie LeSage capped off a fantastic season with a 12th-place finish Nov. 2 at the Class A state cross country meet in Northfield.
LeSage – who finished in 43rd place as a seventh-grader in a time of 19:56 – knocked 42 seconds off of her 2018 time to earn All-State honors with a time of 19:14 (12th out of 175 runners).
She led the Cardinals all season long, finishing fourth at the competitive Section 3A meet (19:48), second at the Big South Conference meet (19:05) and finishing in the top five or better in every meet she took part in during the course of the season.
Senior Jasmine Barnes capped off a career year by finishing 104th (20:46) at the state meet. Barnes had a nice season, grabbing the final spot at state with a 14th-place finish at Sections (20:38) and was seventh at the Big South Conference meet (20:22).
“Maddie had a great season, and for her to finish in the top 12 is amazing,” Coach Shawn Cilek said. “Jasmine worked her tail off to be the best she could be this season and was rewarded with a great finish to her career.”
It was a strong showing for Section 3A, as Luverne finished second as a team and Fulda/MCC was fourth. Perham successfully repeated as the girls champion.
The Redwood Valley boys, meanwhile, were competing as a team for the 11th time in the past 15 seasons and would finish in 16th place overall.
Junior Jayson Peyerl led the way for the Cardinals, earning a 40th-place finish in a time of 16:51 (bettering his 44th place finish from a season ago). Fellow junior Mason Clark would finish 89th overall in 17:23 (knocking 11 seconds off of his 111th place finish a season ago).
The final five Cardinal runners were all appearing in their first ever state meet. Camden Cilek capped off a nice season with a 148th place finish (18:33). Tate Goodthunder (18:49) was 156th, Luke Hammerschmidt (18:51) placed 157th, Leo Steffl (19:25) was 166th and Beau Allen (19:47) finished in 169th.
“For the boys, several of them put in their biggest summer of their careers and had an incredible season and performed well enough to get back to state,” Cilek said. “I like to remind myself and the kids that it is not the destination but the journey that makes a season, and we had a really nice year.”