2013 Fall Sports Preview: Anderson, Bonneson, Moran back to lead the way for Park cross country teams
Experience is a virtue for the Park cross country running program this year.
On the course, Park returns the majority of its top runners from a year ago, including both teams’ No. 1 runners from 2012 — Evan Bonneson and Cameron Anderson.
Bonneson, a senior, and Anderson, a sophomore, were each all-conference honorable mention award winners a year ago and each came close to earning trips to the Class AA state meet.
Park’s 2012 season ended at the Section 3AA Championship meet. The Wolfpack girls took eighth place in the 14-team section, while the boys finished in 14th place out of 15 teams.
Anderson was four spots shy of a trip to the state meet, leading the way for the Wolfpack girls team with a 23rd-place finish.
At sections, the top two teams and the next eight individual runners in the boys and girls race earn trips to state. Anderson’s time was under 30 seconds back from the last individual qualifier. Bonneson led the way for the Park boys, taking 36th place overall.
The Park girls will need to replace longtime standout runners Larissa Lurken and Brooke Anderson, who graduated in 2013, while the boys will have to replace 2013 grad Cade Fishbaugher, who was the Wolfpack’s third-best finisher at sections.
However, key runners back — in addition to Anderson and Bonneson — include: Juniors Rebekah Schulte and Bailey Aasen and sophomore Taylor Rumpca for the girls and junior Ryan Tolkinen and seniors Kyle Mohr and Conner Gabbert for the boys.
Schulte had the Wolfpack’s second-best time at sections, taking 31st place, just under 20 seconds back of Anderson. Rumpca had the Wolfpack’s fourth-best finish at the section meet, taking 49th.
For the boys, Tolkinen was Park’s second-best finisher at sections, after Bonneson, and Mohr and Gabbert were the fourth and fifth finishers, respectively.
As a team, the Park girls took eighth place in the 10-team conference, while the boys finished in 10th a year ago.
Moran said he expects Forest Lake and East Ridge to be the top two girls teams in the conference and Prior Lake, Rosemount and Burnsville to be the best teams in the section. On the boys side, two-time defending state champ Stillwater is believed to once again be the team to beat, while Eastview, Rosemount and Burnsville are the strength of the section.
The season begins Friday, Aug. 30, with a meet at St. Olaf.