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Saxony captures district crown
JACKSON -- After Saxony Lutheran sophomore Kristen Dippold was the first runner to cross the finish line at the Class 1 District 1 girls meet Saturday afternoon, she hardly could wait to call her sister Deanna to tell her about her run.
Deanna Dippold, a 2008 Saxony graduate, ran for the Crusaders and now is a member of the cross country team at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. Deanna got Kristen to go out for the team as a freshman last year.
Kristen has taken after her sister nicely, emerging as her team's top runner. She credits Deanna with helping her become a better runner.
"She told me to [call her]," Kristen Dippold said. "She's really helped me so much. I'll just really thank her."
Dippold finished the Jackson City Park course in 21 minutes, 31 seconds and will compete at the Class 1 state meet next weekend in Jefferson City.
Valley Park's Kelly Messina came in 21 seconds behind Dippold. Saxony Lutheran sophomore Lucy Gage captured third in 22:21.
Saxony coach Larry Cleair said he does not remember Deanna Dippold ever finishing first at a district meet.
Dippold improved her performance after finishing fourth, right behind her sister in third, last year. She also shaved 1:41 off her time from last year.
"It's a really big improvement that I've dropped all that time from last year," Dippold said. "And it's pretty cool getting first."
Cleair was impressed with how Dippold ran when approaching the finish line.
"She was just so strong at the finish," Cleair said. "She's just such a hard worker and such a good kick that it's fantastic. She ran a smart race ... and just showed so much strength at the end."
Dippold also helped the Saxony girls team make state with a first-place team finish.
"I'm really excited that we all get to experience state," Dippold said. "I guess the goal is just to do better than last year."
The Crusaders came in eighth last year as a team.
Dippold said she hopes to place in the top 25 individually at state this year. She finished in 39th with a time of 22:47 last year.
"Last year I dropped a lot of time from my regular time at state, so I hope I can drop even more, and hopefully break 21 [minutes]," Dippold said. "I definitely feel more confident. I think the practices are getting harder and we're being pushed more so that really helps us improve."
@z_agate_no tab_no indnt_bld ld:Team scores -- 1. Saxony Lutheran 22, 2. Chaffee 32
Saxony -- 1, Kristen Dippold 21:31; 3, Lucy Gage 22:21; 11, Claire Skelton 24:01; 12, Tori Winter 24:13; 17, Sarah Winningham 24:47
Chaffee -- 5, Sarah Rieshman 23:12; 13, Liz Schlosser 24:15; 14, Randi Wiley 24:19; 15, Sierra Miller 24:30; 16, Sarah Sigman 24:38
Oak Ridge -- 4, Amanda Lappe 22:56; 8, Shelby Proctor 23:50; 18, Erin Owens 25:47; 20, Lisa Schneider 28:36
Advance -- 7, Bekah Shrum 23:50; 22, Miranda Middleton 29:17
Delta -- 10, Renae Bartels 23:58