Trojan freshman wins at South Winn
When Sarah Bakula saw where her star freshman stood late in the race Tuesday afternoon, the Turkey Valley cross country coach had a good feeling.
And Jalyssa Blazek turned that feeling into reality as she chased down Decorah’s Leila Johnson to win the individual title at the South Winneshiek Invitational.
“Jalyssa’s a real competitor and with about 400 [meters] to go, she was in striking distance,” Bakula said. “It was pretty fun to watch. She just didn’t want to lose that race.”
Blazek’s time of 19:50.46 bested Johnson by more than two seconds and was the first time she had broken the 20-minute mark in a 5K race.
It was also the first victory of Blazek’s career and highlighted a big day for the Trojans, who got personal bests from almost all of their runners in what turned out to be the final regular season meet of the year for Turkey Valley.
New Hampton, meanwhile, was just happy to find a place to race, and the Chickasaws got a strong fourth-place finish from Nolan Usher in the boys race and season-best times from both Jacob Hidding and Kaiser Croell.