Humboldt’s Gidel captures gold at regional event

Messenger file photo Humboldt sophomore Bryce Gidel took first place in a “Rising Stars” race at the NXN Heartland Regional.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Bryce Gidel made a name for herself on the regional cross country scene recently, winning the “Rising Stars” race at the NXN Heartland Regional.

The race featured runners from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It was held at Yankton Trail Park.

Gidel, a sophomore at Humboldt High School, placed fifth in the Class 3A meet at state in October, a 17-place improvement over her ninth-grade finish.

“This was my last race of the season,” Gidel said. “It’s such a neat place and cool atmosphere, which makes for a great place to end the season.”

Gidel clocked a time of 18:36.7, four seconds ahead of runner-up Mallory Stach, a sophomore from Prior Lake, Minn. Stach was 16th at the Class AA state meet earlier this month.

“The race went well,” Gidel said. “I was feeling really strong. It was so much fun running with nothing to lose, no pressure and no expectations.

“There were over 130 girls from six different states. At the start, I was able to get out in the front. There was a girl pushing me the entire way, so I couldn’t let up. That kept me running a fast pace.”

After just missing out on a personal-best time at state, Gidel set one in this event.

The Rising Stars race was comprised of freshmen and sophomores cross country runners from those seven states.

Lauren Erickson, a teammate of Gidel’s who helped Humboldt place seven at state, also ran a personal best at the meet. She was 38th overall in a time of 20:43.6 after placing 90th at state.

Quinton Orr, who competed for the Wildcat boys at state, was 51st in his race in a time of 17:12.2. The freshman finished 23rd overall at the state meet.