It was good, but not good enough for Allison Kosobud.
The captain of the Brainerd Warriors repeated her fourth-place finish Friday in the Run for the Melon event at Brainerd’s Northland Arboretum, but it wasn’t the place she was worried about. It was her time.
Kosobud, who ran a fourth-place 16:50 at last year’s event, opened her senior campaign with a 16:20. Good, but...
“I feel pretty good,” she said. “I was hoping to improve my time a little bit more than I did, but I feel like I left it all out there and I think that’s all I can really hope for.”
Kosobud is hoping for a state appearance this season after struggling last year. She got off to a good start to that goal as she managed the difficult, sandy course at the Arb.
“We practice here a lot so we train on the hill that we run in the race,” said Kosobud. “We just keep convincing each other and before the race starts that it’s going to be a hard race and we encourage each other to push through it and finish with all you have and then put it behind you.”
Kosobud’s performance, along with top 10 finishes from Abby Selisker and Maria West, landed the Warriors in second place, seven points behind Alexandria.
“Ali looks strong,” said Warriors coach Dave Herath. “She got caught by Mattia (Hendrickson) at the end, but again this is our first step in a very long season. She got off to a very nice start and dropped a lot of time. She’ll be one of our leaders.”
Selisker improved eight spots and a minute from last year’s race. The junior topped West by a second. West improved four spots and 40 seconds from last year.
“They both had their best times on our course,” said Herath. “Abby had a nice strong summer of running and really, now as a junior, is starting to get that mental part of running. I was a little surprised because Maria has been so strong and had a nice race as well. Top seven for those two is very good.”
Lydia Herath battled allergies and still finished 14th and Anja Smith cut three minutes off her previous best time to place 17th for the Warriors, who were without Sarah Yeh. Sarah Fairbanks placed 20th and first-year runner Sofie Carlson placed 22nd in her first meet.
Hendrickson led the Little Falls Flyers to third. Crosby-Ironton’s Molly McCusker was fifth to lead the Rangers to fifth. Tiana Eng’s 15th-place finish helped Pillager to sixth.
For Hendrickson, having knowledge of the course helped.
“I’ve (Nordic) skied here before so I was prepared for the hills and we raced here last year so I was prepared for the sand and everything,” said Hendrickson. “I just wanted to break my time from last year at this course, which was 17:34. That was my goal to do better than that.”
Hendrickson ran a 16:07 to pace her team, which saw Chelsea Rutz finish 11th, Laura Moe 12th and Heidi Moe 13th.
Alexandria’s Alex Andria won the race in 15:29.
“I’m actually really pleased with how I did,” said Hendrickson. “I was hoping to place, and then just stay mentally tough throughout the race. I knew that was going be the most challenging part of the day.”
Hendrickson, who finished ninth at last year’s Melon run, said she would love to make it to state this season and believes it’s a realistic goal. So does Kosobud.
“I would love to make it to state,” Kosobud said. “Last year, I didn’t have the year I wanted. This is my senior year so I really just want to leave it all out there. I’m hoping to break 15 minutes hopefully by the middle of the season so I can keep cutting down my times.”
Team scores: 1-Alexandria 41, 2-Brainerd 48, 3-Little Falls 59, 4-Crosby-Ironton 75, 5-Pillager Inc.
Individual winners: Alex Andria (Alex) 15:29
Brainerd results: 4-Allison Kosobud 16:20, 6-Abby Selisker 16:59, 7-Maria West 17:00, 14-Lydia Herath 18:11, 17-Anja Smith 18:50, 20-Sarah Fairbanks 18:46, 22-Sofie Carlson 18:57
Crosby-Ironton results: 5-Molly McCusker 16:38, 10-Margaret Stokman 17:25, 16-Lauren Peterson 18:28, 18-Samantha Goshey 18:32, 26-Victoria Severson 19:12, 29-Kaleen Lewis 19:37, 30-Cassidy Bonsante 19:45
Little Falls results: 3-Mattia Hendrickson 16:07, 11-Chelsea Rutz 17:27, 12-Laura Moe 17:30, 13-Heidi Moe 17:35, 19-Amelia Kresha 18:36, 27-Kaitlin Geisenhof 19:13, 31-Linzee Gerads 19:55
Pillager results: 15-Tiana Eng 18:17, 23-Sarah Neururer 18:58, 28-Sonora Nolan-Rapatz 19:28, 32-Jade Rau 21:22
Brainerd JV: 1-Carina Figliuzzi 19;09, 3-Sara Whiteman 19:19, 7-Emma Anderson 19:49, 8-Cassidy Pelkey 19:54, 9-Jenny Muesing 19:56, 10-Gabrielle Haire 20:-04, 11-Ariana Huber 20:22, 13-Kaylin Cherne 20:24