Thursday, January 26, 2012

Top MN Runners of All-Time- Girls List

A sequel to the Boys list.  Like the boys list, this only includes high school achievements.  The rankings are based on times, post-season meets, head to head match-ups, range, and state championships won. These are pretty objective and entirely my opinion.  Feel free to leave a comment if I forgot someone, if you don't like my order, or anything else.  Enjoy!

1. Elizabeth Yetzer ('06), Lakeville/Lakeville North- Yetzer finished 3rd, 5th, 4th, 2nd, 1st and 1st in AA Cross Country competitions.  That consistent high level of performance is rare in girls cross country.  Often girls are good when young and fade away or become good as they get older.  Yetzer also had the best range of any girl ever in Minnesota.  Her PRs of 2:10, 4:46, and 10:08 combined with her XC credentials make her #1.
Yetzer in spotted vents

2. Jeanne Kruckeberg ('86) Blooming Prairie- Jeanne is the fastest 800m runner in the state's history as well as the third fastest 1600m runner. 2:08 and 4:48 respectively.  Not only was she fast but nobody was even close to her in class A competitions in her era.

3. Bria Wetsch ('06), Holy Family- Wetsch ran 10:10 (10:06 3200) at the National Two-Mile in 2006 and ran the state meet in 13:54, faster than Yetzer on the same day.  She also beat Nikki Swenson by 21 seconds at the same race.  Bria also had a 1600 PR of 4:49 and an 800 PR of 2:13i.

4. Carrie Tollefson ('95), Lac Qui Parle- Carrie had PRs of 2:15, 4:58, and 10:30.  She won numerous track titles and won 5 cross country titles.  2 of those in AA and 3 in A.  Her last cross country title was over the formidable Kara Wheeler (Goucher) with a time of 14:09 in AA.

5. Nikki Swenson ('07), Dawson-Boyd- Nikki had PRs of 2:12, 4:53 and 10:55.  Nikki had 7 state titles in track and 2 in cross country.  She also recorded 2 second place finishes in cross country and many more in track.  She most likely would have had even more titles if she had been able to run more than two distance events.  Her state meet schedule often included the 400 combined with 2 distance events.
Swenson vs. Calabrese

6. Shannon Bergstedt ('04) Hopkins- Bergstedt has troubles during cross country but ran well on the track recording PRs of 2:16, 4:49, and 10:26.  Her best cross country finish was 2nd in 2002.

7. Lisa Dyer ('01) Moorhead- Won one state Cross title by nearly 20 seconds and carried track bests of 4:54 and 10:27.

8. Maria Bug Hauger ('13) Shakopee- Has won 3 AA Cross Country titles and has a shot at one more.  Also brings track PRs of 10:41 and 4:59 with two seasons to better those.

9. Lani Granowski ('80) Owatonna- Brings track PRs of 4:55 and 10:33 all the way from the 70s.  Also had a runner up finish in xc.

10. Michele Marthaler ('86) Belgrade-Brooten- Won state cross country in 1985 with a then course record of 11:06 and had a 1600 best of 4:53 and 3200 best of 10:32.

Honorable Mention: Lisa Waanen ('03) Maple Grove, Kara Wheeler ('95) Duluth East, Bonnie Sons ('83) Norwood-Young America, Heather Dorniden ('05) Rosemount, Hannah Grinaker ('06) Detroit Lakes, Ladia Albertson ('04) Stillwater, Jamie Cheever ('05) Minneapolis SW, JoAnna Deeter ('96) Eden Prairie, Heidi Lindeman ('02) Coon Rapids

After completing my list and trying to not make the same mistakes as the guys I find myself afraid that I made different ones.  Girls were even harder because some were great at cross country and not good at track and others were the opposite.  Some were great but had really off days, especially when they got older.  Then there's the ever present question of where to put the middle-distance stars.  Obviously Kruckeberg is good but does any other mid-distance runner deserve a spot?  I think my list is pretty good but again, I encourage comments and discussion.


Anonymous said...
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jdbaer00 said...

Sarah Rank would have been a good one to add

Kyle Schmidt said...