The Gerry Smith Invitational formerly named the Redbird Invitational is recognized as one of the largest high school cross country meets in the State of Minnesota. The 2012 version featured 28 teams with a lot of eyes on the gals race as two nationally ranked runners went head to head, junior Clare Flanagan of Blake (ranked 17th in the country) and senior Maria Hauger of Shakopee (ranked 25th in the country). Hauger led the race through the halfway mark (a two loop course) with Flanagan right behind her. About 100 yards after the halfway mark, Flanagan made a move and Hauger did not cover the move. The distance between the two gradually extended through the end of the race with Flanagan finishing with a time of 13:55 and Hauger at 14:13. Hauger led her team to a team title as Shakopee scored 92 edging Prior Lake by 1 point. The Shakopee team included Hauger, senior Winona Rachel (15:41), 8th grader Tess Misgen (15:54), senior Ali Lynch (16:37), junior Alyson Walker (17:19), junior Katie Mulcrone (17:42), and sophomore Maggie Jakubiak (17:58).
Chatting with both competitors after the race, they both understand early season meets get you ready for the Championship portion of the season. The crowd was large and supportive of both competitors, as many fans were cheering for both runners.
The guys race was dominated by sophomore Shane Streich of Waseca right from the start as he cruised to victory with a time of 16:09. Junior Scott Harrison of Mound-Westonka edged junior Thomas Schlitz of NRHEG by one second running a time of 16:30. The Blake School edged Waseca by 4 points for the team title. The winning guys team included senior Zach Edinburgh (16:45), junior Quinn Coyle (16:55), 8th grader Michael Mitchell (17:11), junior Danny Levin (18:20), sophomore Matthew Mitchell (18:20), junior Chris Hall (18:25), and senior Danny Smith (19:16).
Top 15 Podium Gals: Clare Flanagan: Blake (13:55), Maria Hauger: Shakopee (14:13), Emily Mantor: USC (14:52), Emi Trost: Cannon Falls (15:20), Mackenzie Schell: Prior Lake (15:33), Winona Rachel: Shakopee (15:41), Hannah Goemann: USC (15:43), Janessa Mueleners: Belle Plain (15:45), Sadie Novak-Klug: Waseca (15:52), Tess Misgen: Shakopee (15:54), Sally O'Brien: Waseca (15:55), Victoria (Tori) Burr: Glencoe-Silver Lake (15:58), Alexis Willems: Waconia (16:04), Tessa Rykken: Prior Lake (16:05), Carolyn Nye:Blake (16:08).
Top 15 Podium Guys: Shane Streich: Waseca (16:09), Scott Harrison: Mound-Westonka (16:30), Thomas Schiltz: NRHEG (16:31), Zach Edinburgh: Blake (16:45), Cade Ekstrom: Madelia (16:50), Drew Campbell: Mahtomedi (16:50), Jonathan Surber: St. James (16:54), Quinn Coyle: Blake (16:55), Kevin Dado: Mahtomedi (16:59), Jesse Delgado: Waseca (17:05), Blake Wooten: New Prague (17:05), James White: Mound-Westonka (17:09), Kole Retterath: Mound-Westonka (17:10), Michael Mitchell: Blake (17:11), Alex Wischnack: Norwood-Young America (17:16).