East Ridge cross country: As temps fall, Raptors heat upIn their final tune-up before the Suburban East Conference and Section Championship races, the East Ridge girls – ranked third in the state – finished in first place at the Blaine Invitational last week, while the East Ridge boys earned seventh place in the 15-team meet.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
As the temperatures are starting to fall, the East Ridge cross country teams seem to be just warming up.
The Raptors rounded the final turn of the season last week and are looking good heading down the home stretch.
In their final tune-up before the Suburban East Conference and Section Championship races, the East Ridge girls – ranked third in the state – finished in first place at the Blaine Invitational last week, while the East Ridge boys earned seventh place in the 15-team meet.
“We have a very tough conference on both sides (boys and girls),” East Ridge head coach Chad Cronin said. “However, the coaches believe this could be our best year yet with both teams.”
At the Blaine meet, the East Ridge girls crushed the competition with five runners finishing in the top 12 and just 33 place points. Andover finished second with 105 points.
Individually, East Ridge sophomore Emily Betz edged teammate Bailey Ness for first place in the 4K race. Betz’ time was 14 minutes, 55.9 seconds. Ness, a junior who is ranked 10th in the state as an individual, took second place with a time of 14:56. In addition, for the Raptors, eighth grader Megan Schiferl earned seventh place overall with a time of 15:13.7 for the Raptors’ third-best time. Junior Sandra Gramer (15:22.9) and senior Taylor Jackson (15:29.8) rounded out the Raptors’ top five, taking 11th and 12th overall.
The East Ridge boys had 184 points to take seventh place. Minneapolis Southwest edged second-place Hopkins to win the meet with 59 points.
Leading the way for the Raptors was senior Nate Roese, who took fourth place overall with a time of 16 minutes, 23.7 seconds in the 5K race. Junior Ryan Schiferl continued to make strides, crossing the finish line second for East Ridge – and 20th overall – with a time of 17:25.1. Juniors Aaron Gorden (17:59.5) and David Huffman (18:02.7) and sophomore Andrew Berg (18:12.8) rounded out the Raptors’ top five, respectively, taking 48th, 51st and 61st overall. Andover senior Steven Cotter was the top finisher with a time of 15:56.9.
Next, the Suburban East Conference Championships will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Stacy and the Section 4AA Championship race will take place the following week on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Les Bolstad Golf Course on the University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus.