The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 4, 2013

Thies brothers go 1-2 in St. Peter race

Thies brothers of Arlington place 1-2 in 8K race

By Shane Frederick
The Mankato Free Press

---- — ST. PETER — The Thies brothers of Arlington said all the right things about brotherly love following the annual Freedom Fun Run on Thursday morning.

After running together ahead of the pack and finishing first and second, respectively, in the 8-kilometer (5-mile), Eric and Andrew shrugged off any kind of sibling rivalry.

“We’re both competitive, but we’re not like rivals,” Andrew said.

“As long as a Thies wins the race, it doesn’t matter,” Eric added.

Easy for him to say. The 24-year-old former University of Nebraska runner won with a time of 26 minutes, 57 seconds, besting his brother, a member of the South Dakota State University track and cross-country teams, by 5 seconds down the stretch on Fourth Street near Minnesota Square Park.

But the truth eventually came out. Eric didn’t want to lose to his little brother.

“I tried to run away from Andrew at about 3 ½ miles, but I didn’t get very far ahead of him,” said Eric, who also won the annual Fourth of July race in 2008 and 2009.

Andrew, 20, took second last year, while Eric finished fourth.

“(Eric’s) in really good shape," Andrew said this time. "At the finish, he had a little more than me.”

Jensen Orlow, 19, of Jordan, a college teammate of Andrew’s, took third place with a time of 28:31.

Continuing the SDSU theme, Jessica Eibs was the second woman to finish the 8K. The Jackrabbits’ sophomore-to-be was18th overall with a time of 33:46.

“We have a crew of people here,” said Eibs, 18, who also attended Sibley East High School with Andrew Thies.

Ericka Joecks, 26, of Waseca was the women’s winner. She finished in 33:09, which was also good enough for 15th place overall.

The third woman was Julia Orlow, 17, of Jordan with a time of 35:35.

In all, 187 runners finished the 8K. Another 118 people competed in the 5K.

In the 5K, Daniel Kroenke, 20, of Mankato won with a time of 17:40 and had a 25-second cushion on his closest competitors.

For second and third, Andrew Fritz, 17, and Ben Broze, 16, both of North Mankato, sprinted to the line against each other, with Fritz getting the 1-second edge in 18:05.

The top female 5K finisher was 14-year-old Anna Egli of Mankato with a time of 22:50. Second place was 13-year-old Alison Eibs of Henderson in 23:20, followed by Melody Morrow, 14, of Eagle Lake in 23:58.

It was sunny but a comfortable 70 degrees when the 14th annual race began, certainly more tolerable than the heat wave of last year’s event.

“This was the third year I’ve run it,” Jessica Eibs said. “It was definitely much cooler this year.”

"Good weather," Eric Thies said.

St. Peter Freedom Fun Run 8K Top 10 males 1--Eric Thies, 24, Apple Valley, 26:57; 2--Andrew Thies, 20, Arlington, 27:02; 3--Jensen Orlow, 19, Jordan, 28:31; 4--Ray Werner, 39, Janesville, 29:50; 5--Robby Riley, 20, Fairmont, 30:25; 6--Joshua Henning, 34, Elysian, 30:26; 7--Joel Dudgeon, 46, Wabasso, 30:27; 8--Brad Pederson, 33, Belle Plaine, 32:09; 9--Mark Determan, 52, Fairmont, 32:21; 10--Richard Templin, 33, Mankato, 32:27. Top 10 females 1--Ericka Joecks, 26, Waseca, 33:09; 2--Jessica Eibs, 18, Henderson, 33:46; 3--Julia Orlow, 17, Jordan, 35:35; 4--Shannon Prososki, 27, St. Peter, 36:48; 5--Morgan Wittrock, 15, Herndon, Va., 37:14; 6--Stacy Lafrance, 32, Elysian, 37:41; 7--Cheryl Johnson, 40, North Mankato, 37:49; 8--Tressa Farnam, 38, Phoenix, Ariz., 37:52; 9--Sabina Koij, 41, St. Peter, 38:28; 10--Camilla Bjelland, 14, St. Peter, 38:49. 5K Top 10 males 1--Daniel Kroenke, 20, Mankato, 17:40; 2--Andrew Fritz, 17, North Mankato, 18:05; 3--Ben Broze, 16, North Mankato, 18:06; 4--Joe Broze, 52, North Mankato, 18:40; 5--Joey More, 15. St. Peter, 19:22; 6--Darick Bloom, 33, Mankato, 20:50; 7--Justin Cafourek, 43, La Crosse, Wis., 21:17; 8--Corey Nelson, 39, Luverne, 21:33; 9--Kristian Hartmann, 20, Mankato, 22:09; 10--Brent Chouanard, 20, St. Peter, 22:13. Top 10 females 1--Anna Egli, 14, Mankato, 22:50; 2--Alison Eibs, 13, Henderson, 23:20; 3--Melody Morrow, 14, Eagle Lake, 23:58; 4--Madison More, 10, St. Peter, 24:38; 5--Jessica Joval, 37, Mankato, 24:59; 6--Ashley Steinberg, 21, Vernon Center, 25:39; 7--Trinity Webb, 15, Belle Plaine, 27:05; 8--Lynch Wenner, 48, 27:22; 9--Hannah Hansen, 13, St. Peter, 27:23; 10--Kendall Wenner, 13, St. Peter, 27:24.