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Motschenbacher leads the way for Wolverines at Johanna Olson Invitational

Wadena-Deer Creek's Abby Motschenbacher crosses the finish line with a second place finish and a personal record at the Whitetail Run Golf Course. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal1 / 2
Wadena-Deer Creek's Johanna Brunsberg takes a quick glance at the clock as she crosses the finish line at Whitetail Run. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal2 / 2

Wadena-Deer Creek senior Abby Motschenbacher continues to climb up the ladder for the Wolverines. The senior cross country runner started the season with a third place finish in Morris and followed it up with a second place finish at the Johanna Olson Invitational on Sept. 6 at the Whitetail Run Golf Course.

Motschenbacher set a new course personal record when she captured second place with a time of 21 minutes, 3.2 seconds overall. She helped the Wolverines to a third place finish as a team with 79 points, one point off of second place Little Falls. Staples-Motley finished first with 21 points. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle rounded out the field with 160 points.

After two top three finishes, Motschenbacher has her sights set on reaching the top spot on the podium and capture that first win this year.

Wadena-Deer Creek's Sam Malone dashes to the finish line.

“It’s been really good. I have been working really hard for this and it’s good to see the results,” Motschenbacher said. “I’ve started out third and now second, so hopefully getting first and a good personal record.”

Motschenbacher got off to a fast start and said she heard the time of six minutes and 15 seconds, and when she heard that, she thought it was going to be a good race. Her gameplan took to form early in the race.

“I wanted to start towards the back of the pack and build my way up, which is what I kind of ended up doing,” Motschenbacher said. “I was fifth for awhile and built my way up to second. I made the move about 800 meters into the race, because they all fell back a bit.”

Motschenbacher’s familiarity with the course helped as well and said she enjoys competing in front of the hometown fans.

“It’s an experience because we do workouts here, so I know the course really well,” Motschenbacher said. “I just know where all the dips are and the hills. It’s really nice because at every turn there is a bunch of people cheering you on.”

Ally Pavek turned in a top 20 performance for the Wolverines. She finished with a time of 21:51.4 for 16th place. She was followed closely by Johanna Brunsberg in 17th place. She finished with a time of 23:53.1. Sam Malone finished in 19th place with a time of 24:09.2. The Wolverines had five four inside the top 20.

Wadena-Deer Creek's Emma Ries heads to the finish.

“They (the team) did really good too,” Motschenbacher said. “We had a hard practice in the rain two days ago, so we were all feeling kind of tired and sore from that, but overall we did really well.”

Emma Ries finished in 25th at 24:28.2, while Eve Collins was 29th at 25:16.1. Sophie Kreklau finished at 25:38.1.

Johanna Olson

Girls Team Results

Staples-Motley 21, Little Falls 78, Wadena-DC 79, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 160

Individual Top 10 Results

1 Kira Sweeney, S-M, 20:24.3; 2 Abby Motschenbacher, WDC, 21:03.2; 3 Kyanna Burton, S-M, 21:18.9; 4 Addison Lorber, S-M, 22:00.8; 5 Ashley Robben, S-M, 22:01.8; 6 Jade Rypkema, Nevis, 22:10.2; 7 Katherine Corbett, LF, 22:15.3; 8 Addisyn Chicos, S-M, 22:32.6; 9 Sydney Hagen, MW, 22:49.7; 10 Courtney Loeffler, 23:06.9.

Wadena-DC Results

2 Abby Motschenbacher, 21:03.2; 16 Ally Pavek, 23:51.4; 17 Johanna Brunsberg, 23:53.1; 19 Sam Malone 24:09.2; 25 Emma Ries, 24:28.2; 29 Eve Collins, 25:16.1; 33 Sophie Kreklau, 25:38.1.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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