Grace Ping Opens Up Freshman Season With 17:45 5K FTW

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 

St. Olaf Invitational Top 5 Girls Finishers

1Grace Ping9 Winona Cotter High School17:45.001
2Tierney Wolfgram9 Math & Science Academy18:04.00--
3Lauren Ping7 Winona Cotter High School18:21.002
4Emma Atkinson10 Wayzata High School18:32.003
5Sasson Caroline10 Wayzata High School18:34.004

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