Prodoehl Stays Undefeated, Fossil Ridge Gets It Done At RXC4

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Evelyn Prodoehl put together a how-to tutorial on Saturday at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships. 

Specifically, a how-to on what it takes to win. 

The salient points?

  • Get out
  • Find your rhythm
  • Settle into a pace
  • Stay in control
  • Run with the front pack
  • Answer a challenge
  • Make your move. 

The Lakota West junior then finished off her undefeated season in style, taking the gold championship girls race in 17:32.80. It was her 11th straight victory to finish off the fall and circled back from her 41st-place finish as a sophomore.

"I overtook first with probably a K to go," she said. "I felt tired, as always. But I felt like if I could hold her off until I got through the big ring sign with point-one to go, then I felt like I had it." 

To do it, though, she had to answer a strong challenge from Providence Day School's Morgan Boonshaft, who moved on the field just into the mile and then separated from them, toggling her lead from just a few strides all the way up to about 30 to 40 meters. 

Prodoehl, however, didn't let her go. She stayed on Boonshaft before making her final surge and hammering home over the last 800 meters. 

"With all the competition here, I knew it wasn't going to be, 'I'm going to gap them right away and cruise on to the finish,'" she said. "I definitely had to work for this last kick, especially with all the mud." 

The Covenant School's (VA) Sadie Adams would finish second in 17:40, while Boonshaft was third in 17:44.60. Gail Vaikutis was fourth in 17:48.50, while Valley's Addison Dorenkamp finished fifth in 17:50.30.

Delta's Nicki Southerland, the Indiana state runner-up who began the race a little behind the leaders, made up ground toward the end, finishing sixth in 17:50.30. 

The girls team battle, meanwhile, came down to the final three, four and five runners. 

Photo Credit: Ben Thompson

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While Barrington (IL) scored the top points in the team race -- between Scout Storm's seventh-place finish in 17:57.20 and Mira Sirois' ninth-place nod in 18:03.00 -- it was Fossil Ridge, the Colorado squad with the top average and the state's Class 5A runner-up, that found their depth in the final deciding moments. 

With three scorers in the top 16 of the team race and its fourth- and fifth-runners scoring 30th and 36th-place points, the Colorado 5A program outlasted Barrington by 18 points to win. 

"I think it's hard to be recognized, because we're in such a big state and we're surrounded by the top teams in the nation," said Alaire Serrell, who was the team's seventh-scorer on Saturday. "But we're just seen at the state level. Even though we might be third or second at state, coming out here and proving we can get first means a lot." 

Later that evening, Air Academy won a Nike Cross Nationals title, while Niwot finished second. 

In claiming the gold championship, the Colorado team, which finished fourth in the gold race last year and vowed to come back and win, was the only gold championship team to dip under 100 points on Saturday. 

Barrington was second with 112, while Brentwood was third with 136. Lucas Lovejoy, which entered the race ranked at No. 18 in the country, struggled on the day in the conditions and fell to sixth with 170 points.

Evelyn Prodoehl's Post-Race Interview

Fossil Ridge's Interview

Top Photos

Photo Credit: Alison Markham

Photo Credit: Alison Markham

Photo Credit: Alison Markham

Top Results

Girls 5000 Meter Run Gold Results
  Pl Athlete                   Yr Team                                          Time
   1 Evelyn Prodoehl              Unattached                                17:32.80 
   2 Sadie Adams                  Unattached                                17:40.00 
   3 Morgan Boonshaft             Unattached                                17:44.60 
   4 Gail Vaikutis                Unattached                                17:48.50 
   5 Addison Dorenkamp            Unattached                                17:50.30 
   6 Nicki Southerland            Unattached                                17:50.50 
   7 Scout Storms                 Dark Horse Distance Project               17:57.20 
   8 Addison Moore                Unattached                                17:58.10 
   9 Mia Sirois                   Dark Horse Distance Project               18:03.00 
  10 Tula Fawbush                 Unattached                                18:03.90 
  11 Sofia Day                    Unattached                                18:05.40 
  12 Micaela Villarreal           Unattached                                18:08.20 
  13 Annamaria Bacchetta          Unattached                                18:11.50 
  14 Annabella Tomasic            Unattached                                18:12.10 
  15 Julie Moore                  Mountain View UT                          18:12.80 
  16 Amaya Aramini                Unattached                                18:12.90 
  17 Mackenzie Babcock            Unattached                                18:13.30 
  18 Natalie Bierbaum             Unattached                                18:14.90 
  19 Chandler Welsh               Unattached                                18:17.10 
  20 Sienna audrey                Unattached                                18:19.90