Brainerd’s Sarah Yeh didn’t attain the place she had hoped but achieved another milestone in the Class 2A state meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
The Warrior junior finished 34th, nine places shy of all-state honors, but ran a personal-best 14:55.1 in her quest to break the 15-minute mark.
“Our plan all along was to go out on pace,” Yeh said. “We knew some girls would be charging out, and we knew they wouldn’t be able to carry it through. I felt like I knew what I was doing. I felt comfortable. It was not like I had any injuries or pain during the race, but I was pushing it the entire way.
“I knew how I was doing. I was hearing my place, which was between 35th and 40th. I wanted to be top 25, and I knew I was on pace, but I also knew I was pushing it as hard as I could. I didn’t get the place I wanted but I did get my goal time.”
Yeh said her first mile was a little bit slower than she had hoped, but only by a second or two. After about the first mile, she began to make her move.
“I passed about 50 girls or so,” she said. “The field was so fast. It seems like each year the times get faster and faster. My time a few years ago would have been in the top 10 or 15.”
Her time tied the all-time best run by a Brainerd girl at state (Megan Holmes in 2010). In addition, Yeh’s time was the second-fastest ever run by a Warrior girl (Anna Gessell is No. 1).
“Sarah did an amazingly great job,” Warriors coach Dave Herath said. “Her time was 18 seconds under her previous best, which she set a week ago.”
This year’s state field was expanded to 176 runners, up about 30 from previous years. In addition, Herath said when Holmes ran the same time as Yeh she finished 12th.
“It was a significantly bigger field, which made it hard for her to maneuver early but Sarah just kept on coming and coming,” Herath said. “She was at the back quarter of runners at about the 800-meter mark and kept moving up.
“It was a great way to finish her season. She was not able to train this summer, having Lyme disease and mono at the same time. She did not get the summer mileage she was hoping for. In spite of all that, it’s amazing how well she did.”
Class 1A state meet
Crosby-Ironton’s Jude Severson finished 31st in the boys meet and teammate Will Goodwin was 53rd. C-I’s Margaret Stokman placed 79th in the girls race.
“(Assistant) coach (Roger) Twigg and I were very impressed how all three of them ran,” C-I head coach Erica Perpich said. “Lots of great runners were there. It was a very fast-paced race. All three of them held on and ran very well and very strong. Both boys ran personal records. Margaret did not PR but she ran strong, as she has all season.
“We’re really excited that all three will be able to come back next year. We’re excited, after the season they had, what they could accomplish next year.”
Staples-Motley’s Korey Zetah placed 41st in the boys race.
“Korey ran really well,” S-M coach Bruce Fuhrman said. “It was his fastest time of the year but the whole race was fast. He was ready to run and he was in the fast pack for most of the race. I was proud of him and he had a great fan base there encouraging him.”
Emma Schmitz of Wadena-Deer Creek was 45th in the girls race.
Pillager’s Matt Neururer finished 49th in the boys meet.
Mikey Ryan of Pequot Lakes finished 59th.
Class 2A Girls
Team scores: 1-Wayzata 50, 2-Eagan 93, 3-Edina 129, 4-Forest Lake 161, 5-East Ridge 163, 6-Lakeville South 163, 7-Moorhead 192, 8-Roseville 200, 9-Chanhassen 214, 10-Willmar 237, 11-Prior Lake 311, 12-Totino-Grace 315, 13-Chaska 319, 14-Mounds View 323, 15-Lakeville North 336, 16-Elk River 338
Individual winner: Maria Hauger (Shakopee) 13:42.0 (state record)
Brainerd results: 34-Sarah Yeh 15:55.1
Class 2A Boys
Team scores: 1-Stillwater 46, 2-Edina 80, 3-Wayzata 90, 4-Owatonna 125, 5-Rosemount 152, 6-Bemidji 206, 7-Centennial 227, 8-Eastview 233, 9-Moorhead 274, 10-Chaska 275, 11-White Bear Lake 276, 12-Orono 298, 13-Chisago Lakes 327, 14-Elk River 331, 15-Mounds View 33, 16-Rochester Century 338
Individual winner: Wayde Hall (Stillwater) 15:21.0
Class 1A Boys
Team scores: 1-Perham 37, 2-St. Cloud Cathedral 72, 3-Waseca 164, 4-Martin County West 200, 5-Cotter 200, 6-Esko 201, 7-Redwood Valley 205, 8-Minnehaha Academy 211, 9-Plainview-Elgin-Millville 218, 10-The Blake School 227, 11-Proctor 247, 12-Pelican Rapids, 13-Albany 260, 14-Mora 303, 15-Park Rapids 365, 16-Luverne 385
Individual winner: Matt Welch (Proctor) 15:34.0
Crosby-Ironton: 31-Jude Severson 16:42.5, 53-Will Goodwin 16:59.7
Staples-Motley: 41-Korey Zetah 16:52.8
Pillager: 49-Matt Neururer 15:67.2
Pequot Lakes: 59-Mikey Ryan 17:03.6
Class 1A Girls
Team scores: 1-Esko 115, 2-Annandale 150, 3-Minehaha Academy 151, 4-Waseca 157, 5-Dover-Eyota 184, 6-The Blake School 187, 7-Perham 194, 8-Adrian 204, 9-Rochester Lourdes 206, 10-Holdingford 212, 11-Canby-Minneota 237, 12-Martin County West 255, 13-Spectrum 257, 14-Warroad 267, 15-Albany 282, 16-International Falls 302
Individual winner: Clare Flanagan (Blake) 14:04.1
Wadena-Deer Creek: 45-Emma Schmitz 15:39.4
Crosby-Ironton: 79-Margaret Stokman 6:07.45