Decorah girls cross country team finishes 9th at the Luther All-American

Posted: Mon, Sep 16, 2019 11:04 AM
Pictured L to R: Varsity runners Meg Sessions, Leila Johnson, Rebecca Anderson, Sam See, Kalea Oftedahl, Shayla Betts and Annette Leschensky. (All photos by's Clara Knudson)

It was a beautiful morning to race on Saturday at the All-American Race at Luther College. 27  teams traveled to Decorah to compete in the varsity race where Decorah finished 9th overall.

Decorah's top varsity runner was newcomer Rebecca Anderson. The freshman blazed the challenging 5K course in 20:36, placing 32nd out of 191 runners. Not far behind Anderson was junior Leila Johnson at 29:59 (44th), and senior Meg Sessions at 21:37 (63rd). Seniors Annette Leschensky and Kalea Oftedahl finished next for Decorah with times of 21:53 (71st) and 21:54 (73rd) respectively. Decorah's 6th runner was junior Sam See, making her varsity debut at 23:13 (120th). Rounding out the varsity squad was senior Shayla Betts clocking in at 24:09, good for 162nd place overall.

Head coach Cristy Nimrod says, "We were pleased with the performances at Luther! Several of our athletes had season bests and some had personal bests. Our varsity line-up continues to change, but this only helps us to improve! Both levels have put in a lot of quality practice time and this should propel us to continue to achieve at a high level."

Decorah's JV race was led by sophomore Brielle Buresh who ran the 5K in 22:34, earning her 17th place overall. The team finished in 3rd place with 111 points.

Coach Nimrod says, "Thanks to the grounds crew, the course was in good shape considering the amount of rain we had on Thursday. We appreciate the support from our fans. It's an advantage to run at 'home.'"

The Decorah cross country teams will travel to Cedar Falls on Thursday to run in the Rich Engel Classic.

Freshman Rebecca Anderson finished first for the Decorah varsity.
Junior Leila Johnson was Decorah's 2nd varsity runner.
Junior Sam See making her varsity debut.
Sophomore Brielle Buresh was Decorah's 1st finisher in the JV race.