East Ridge came a point shy of winning the Class 2A Section 3 girls cross-country championship meet Oct. 26 in landing a spot for the Nov. 4 state meet.
The Raptors scored 94 points while Rosemount took the title with 93 at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley. Added to the drama, the Raptors earned the tie-breaker over Bloomington Jefferson, which also had 94 points. Visitation finished close behind with 95 points in fourth place.
"Any of the top five teams could've been the section champion team," Raptors coach Chad Cronin said. "The scores were incredibly close. Every girl on the team's finish made it. If anyone was one spot back, we would've been third."
Eighth-grader Halle Mestery led the way for East Ridge with a fourth-place finish in 19 minutes, 28.6 seconds. Senior Abby Witte took 13th at 19:49, and sophomore Gwyneth Gerlach made it three in the top 20 at 20th in 20:06.3.
Raptors senior Eleasha McKenzie aided the cause at 27th in 20:27.7. Freshman Tatum Geving completed the fifth top-30 finish for the Raptors at 20:34.3 for 30th. Eighth-grader Mary Kenney came right behind at 20:35.8. Senior Emily Tupper followed up their efforts with a 51st-place finish at 21:17.8.
Kenney's finish in particular sealed the tie-breaker when she beat a Bloomington Jefferson runner by two seconds.
"It was one of the greatest team efforts I've seen," Cronin said. "Many of the girls either held runners off or passed runners right at the finish."
Reimann qualifies for state
East Ridge junior Joseph Reimann had the team's top finish at 16 minutes, 29.3 seconds at the Section 3 meet for fourth place and a spot at state.
"Along with the rest of his team, he was smart out there," Cronin said. "He moved from 18th at the mile up to a fourth-place finish."
He also helped the Raptors take sixth as a team with 103 points. The Raptors finished 13 points back of Prior Lake, which had 90, for the second place. Rosemount won the meet with 59 points.
Raptors junior Michael Kenney placed 21st at 17:09.2. Juniors Zach Getting, 17:10.3, and Ryan Imse, 17:13, followed close behind at 24th and 25th, respectively.
East Ridge also had a 29th-place finish from freshman John Faller at 17:17.6. Junior Adrian Marin placed 50th at 17:50.3, and sophomore Eric Gramer took 61st at 18:05.7.
Park boys, girls finish at Section 3 meet
Park's boys team placed 11th in the meet led by eighth-grader Parker Hahn at 17:28.3 for 34th. Junior Justus Robinson took 48th at 17:49. A pack of seniors came in together at 65th through 69th —Thomas Ohmann at 18:12.2, Jacob Diaz at 18:16.8, Ben McDonald at 18:17.4 and Reeding Amland at 18:21. Sophomore Peyton Klecatsky came in at 18:50. 2 for 83rd.
On the girls side, Park took 12th in the team standings. Freshman Laurel Watters led with a 72nd-place finish at 22:31.9. Senior Michaud Victoria came close behind at 74th in 22:35.1, Hannah Schlutter placed 76th at 22:47.3. Four Wolfpack freshmen then came in together at 78th through 81st — Madeline Watters at 22:48.3, Tate Abrahamson at 22:49.2, Briahna Hensel at 22:58.9 and Hope Thompson at 23:00.1.
Holiday earns ninth, spot at state
Woodbury sophomore Tiffany Holiday clocked 19:33.8 for ninth place and a trip to the state meet at the Class 2A Section 4 girls cross country championship Oct. 25 at the University of Minnesota Golf Course.
Holiday helped the Royals takes sixth as a team with 128 points. White Bear Lake won the team title at 62 points.
Woodbury had four runners in the top 31 starting with Holiday. Eighth-grader Maggie McCarthy placed 20th in 20:11.8, and sophomore Isabelle Browne ran 20:35.8 for 26th. Annika Melander, an eighth-grader, took 31st at 20:45.6.
Senior Haley Orf came in 42nd at 21:34.2 followed by sophomore Grace Ajayi at 53rd in 22:28.6. Junior Margaret Stephenson rounded things out at 60th in 23:20.7.
Michalowicz qualifies for state
Woodbury senior Peter Michalowicz earned a spot in the state meet with a 16:45.5 time for 22nd place at the Class 2A Section 4 boys championship.
Michalowicz led the way for Woodbury to finish sixth as a team with 162 points. Junior Grant Wittman helped the cause with a 25th-place finish at 16:56, and sophomore Aidan Browne came in 30th at 17:13.2. Freshman Christopher Romain came in 35th at 17:22.4.
A crew of Royals at 50th through 52nd place as helped the cause: junior Okuny Awow at 18:12.8, junior Henry Scheit at 18:12.9 and freshman Chase Blodgett at 18:17.
White Bear Lake won the boys team title with 28 points.