Isabelle Schmitz

Hutchinson girls runner Isabelle Schmitz ran with Laci Provenzano of Hopkins during the Litchfield Invitational last week. Provenzano and another Hopkins runner helped push Schmitz during the race to break a school record.

Litchfield’s flat golf course was the perfect setting for Hutchinson girls cross country runner Isabelle Schmitz to make a run at the school record, and that’s exactly what she did last Thursday.

Schmitz took first at the Litchfield Invitational and came in with a time of 17:57.5, which is the fastest time by a Hutchinson girls runner at any course ever. She beat the previous school record by 39 seconds, which she set last year at the state meet.

What helped Schmitz run so fast? It was a combination of factors including the course and competition.

“The course was switched onto the road because it (the golf course) was underwater, and running on the road really helped,” Schmitz said.

She also ran side by side with a pair of Hopkins runners she credited with forcing her to run faster.

“They really pushed me,” she said. “I never let them get too far ahead.”

This was Schmitz’s third straight first-place finish now after not racing for nearly a month. After taking second at the Orono meet Aug. 28 in the season opener, Schmitz missed the second meet nursing an injury and Hutchinson’s home meet was rained out. She didn’t race again until the Milaca Mega Meet Sept. 21, and it’s been nothing but first place since.

“When I came back, I totally kicked back into the season and got a win (at Milaca), which I was not expecting at all,” she said. “That really boosted my confidence and self-esteem.”

As a team, the Tigers finished 14th out of 20 and were well behind conference squads such as Waconia, Delano and Orono.

In the boys race, the Tigers were led by Ben Becker in 12th place and took eighth place as a team out of 21 teams. They were also behind Delano and Waconia but beat out Orono.

Hutchinson had a meet Tuesday in Jordan, but its next competition is the Wright County Conference East Championship at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Baker National Golf Club in Orono.

Coach Mike Reponen said the Tigers are right about where they were expected to be at this time of the season.

“I think we’re right where we need to be, where we expected our teams to be,” he said. “Luckily we have everyone running and healthy … which really always helps.”

Litchfield Invite (Oct. 3)

Girls team results — 1. St. Louis Park 115, 2. Hopkins 123, 3. Howard Lake-W-W 125, 4. Albany 142, 5. Waconia 148, 6. Eastview 166, 7. Maple Lake 204, 8. Delano 231, 9. Annandale 239, 10. West Central 255, 11. Lester Prairie/HT 267, 12. Eden Valley-W-K 268, 13. Orono 288, 14. Hutchinson 313, 15. Dassel-Cokato 394, 16. Northwest 399, 17. Holdingford 461, 18. Litchfield 478, 19. Watertown-Mayer 496, 20. New London-Spicer 530

Medalist — Isabelle Schmitz (Hutch) 17:57.5

Hutch results (136 runners) — 1. Isabelle Schmitz 17:57.5, 53. Bella Conn 20:46.7, 72. Lydia Gross 21:24.3, 74. Morgan Dean 21:25.7, 114. Corina Powell 22:56.6; 125. Jena Lanska 23:56.7, 127. Addie Plath 24:18.2

Boys team results — 1. Hopkins 42, 2. West Central 62, 3. Northwest 130, 4. Delano 170, 5. Waconia 194, 6. Annandale 196, 7. Albany 221, 8. Hutchinson 256, 9. Litchfield 262, 10. St. Louis Park 281, 11. Orono 312, 12. Dassel-Cokato 325, 13. Glencoe-Silver Lake 337, 14. Maple Lake 357, 15. New London-Spicer 372, 16. Howard Lake-W-W 394, 17. Sauk Rapids-Rice 401, 18. Holdingford 442, 19. Lester Prairie/HT 490, 20. Eden Valley-W-K 508, 21. Watertown-Mayer 599

Medalist — Jacob Bright (West Central) 15:25.3

Hutch results (142 runners) — 12. Ben Becker 16:34.3, 22. Gabe Stassen 17:05.9, 30. Mason Getz 17:22.6, 81. Austin Hagen 18:29.2, 111. Micah Schmitz 19:16.7, 112. Cameron Wagner 19:16.7, 127. Austin Dean 19:58.8

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