Winona Cotter (Minnesota) High freshman Grace Ping opened her season with a big 5K performance, winning the St. Olaf High School Showcase Thursday in Northfield in a new U.S. No. 7 time of 17:45.00.
Ping dueled with another freshman, Math and Science Academy's Tierney Wolfgram, who finished second in a U.S. No. 14 time of 18:04.
"I didn't really remember this course very well," Ping said. "But it was good."
And not surprisingly, either, was Ping's sister Lauren, a 7th grader who finished third in a U.S. No. 26 time of 18:21.00.
"I've been waiting to compete, because I've been waiting her races for a long time," she said.
This begins what should be an exciting 2017 for Ping and her sister. A year ago, the Pings resided in Park City, Utah, though they weren't able to compete in a varsity season. The performances by the Ping sistsers aided Winona Cotter to a 12th-place finish in a massive field of 31 teams at St. Olaf.
Perennial powerhouse Wayzata won the girls field by scoring 37 points, which was over 130 points less than second-place Forest Lake Area.
But the story -- as it will be early in the season -- was the performance of the Pings. Stay tuned for more action, race video, and interviews as it comes in on MileSplit.com.
St. Olaf Invitational Top 5 Girls Finishers
|1||Grace Ping||9 Winona Cotter High School||17:45.00||1|
|2||Tierney Wolfgram||9 Math & Science Academy||18:04.00||--|
|3||Lauren Ping||7 Winona Cotter High School||18:21.00||2|
|4||Emma Atkinson||10 Wayzata High School||18:32.00||3|
|5||Sasson Caroline||10 Wayzata High School||18:34.00||4|