MARIA HAUGER

Shakopee, cross-country

Maria Hauger's legs have taken her much farther than just across golf courses and outdoor tracks.

The Shakopee junior and defending Class 2A cross-country champion not only won the Rolf Melby Invitational at St. Olaf University in Northfield; she owned it.

Her time of 13 minutes, 56 seconds over the 4-kilometer course -- the same one used for the high school state meet -- marked the first time Hauger had broken the 14-minute mark for the distance and a full 22 seconds better than her time in the 2010 state meet.

How dominant was Hauger? She beat the second-place finisher by more than a minute-and-a-half.

"Basically, that's what my training was around," Hauger said. "Beating 14 minutes was my main goal. Now, I'm focusing on beating that time.''

Hauger's fantastic start to the season is merely a continuation of a successful summer. She won the young women's 3,000-meter championship at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Championships in Kansas in July and was named the USATF Minnesota female athlete of the month in August.

For the next two months, Hauger's focus will be on the Minnesota prep season. After that, however, she will be looking toward improving her profile on a national level, with plans to run in the Nike Cross Regional in South Dakota in early November and the Foot Locker regional in Wisconsin two weeks later.

"I love high school, because you get to run with your team and for your coaches," Hauger said. "But I would also like to get a scholarship to run in college someday. So you have to run the best races."

BRANDON CLARK

Blake, cross-country

The No. 1-ranked runner in Class 1A, Clark won the Tri-Metro preview with a 5K time of 16:08, 51 seconds better than the runner-up. This came four days after setting a course record at the Powderhorn Invitational with a 2-mile time of 9:54.

DANIELLE DONAHUE

Eagan, tennis

Donahue, a junior, has gotten off to a fast start as the Wildcats' No. 1 singles player. She is 5-0 for the season, including victories over highly regarded Meredith Lawrence of Visitation and Shelby Hendrickson of Lakeville South.

JAKE ENGNELL

St. Francis, football

With Engnell as the spark plug, the Saints cranked up the offense in the fourth quarter to rally past Duluth East 36-21. He rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns, all but one of them in the final quarter.

RENEE HOFFMAN

Minnetonka, volleyball

The senior outside hitter put up some big numbers in eight matches. She had 79 kills and 89 digs, including 23 kills in a victory over Jordan, 14 in a victory over Hutchinson and 29 in five matches in the Eden Prairie Pudas Invite.

PATRICK SMITH

Holy Family, boys' soccer

Smith scored a goal and drew a penalty kick in the Fire's 2-1 OT victory over Apple Valley, ending the Eagles' 48-game winning streak. Two day later, he had a hat trick in a 3-0 victory over St. Louis Park.

SARAH WILHITE

Eden Prairie, volleyball

The junior outside hitter and Wisconsin recruit helped the Eagles in seven victories, including the championship of their own tournament. She had 103 kills, 35 digs, seven blocks, six aces and 78 serve receptions.

JIM PAULSEN