Cross Country State Meet, 2022: Class A Girls
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 1:02 PM
Nevis senior Jade Rypkema turned a low moment of a year ago into a high point on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Minnesota State High School League’s Cross Country State Meet.
About two weeks prior to the League’s 2021 cross country state meet, Rypkema, one of the top runners in Minnesota regardless of enrollment class, was sidelined with COVID-19. Upon her return, she qualified for the state meet and finished fifth overall. Disappointed, but not daunted, she dedicated herself to getting stronger, faster and mentally strong.
“I also tried to remember that running is fun,” she said with a smile.
That preparation helped pave the way for the daily double of sorts last spring when she was the Class A champion in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events during the League’s Track and Field State Meet.
The journey also includes her senior season of cross country concluding with a crescendo after winning the Class A cross country meet at St. Olaf College. She covered the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 43.5 seconds to outduel defending champion Amanda Overgaauw, a senior from Murray County Central and the defending Class A champion. Overgaauw wasn’t able to catch Rypkema on the final stretch and finished runner-up by 4.5 seconds. Ashley Overgaauw of Murray County Central was third in 18:52.1.
The showdown race between the top two runners in Class A did not disappoint. From start to finish, they were within a couple of heartbeats of one another. Rypkema led at the first-mile mark, and then trailed by a fraction of a second at the two-mile split. Rypkema, knowing Overgaauw’s strength on hills, made her move on the downstretch of the last big hill on the course and finished with purpose.
Rypkema, who will run at Gonzaga University, was asked if this sets the tone for a successful track and field season.
“I sure hope so, I love track!” she said.
Perham won the Class A team title with 56 points. St. Cloud Cathedral was second with 78 and Staples-Motley was third with 107. Scoring for the Yellowjackets were freshman Gracie Morris, eighth-grader Ella Hendrickson, senior Quincy Anderson, freshman Leelou Novotny and senior Mya Morris.