Eden Prairie Cross Country (EPXC) is heading to state. On Oct. 25, EPXC’s top seven girls and top seven boys runners competed in the Section 2AAA Championship Meet at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista.
Head coach Courtney Brandon said, “Our boys team did just what they’ve done all season — they raced together and were able to qualify as a team for the State Meet.”
“This group is incredibly special — there is no ego, and they collectively work toward their shared goal,” she said. “We are so proud of what they have achieved so far this season and are excited to see what they can do at the State Meet next Saturday.”
Senior captain Will Ross ran a personal best of 16:13 and placed seventh overall, and Jameson Drieslein continued his breakthrough season with a time of 16:43, placing 12th overall.
Matthew Holje, Elijah Donaldson, Nolan Bakken, Tyler Doolittle, and Jake Heimkes were quick to follow in 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th, and 19th place, respectively.
“On the girls side, sophomore Sarah Williams was able to secure the last individual qualifier spot with her 5K time of 19:38,” Brandon said. “She ran a solid race and was constantly focused on putting herself in a position to advance to the state meet.”
Junior Berit Berggren placed 21st individually in 19:50, and freshman Katie Metzger ended her season with a big personal best time of 19:59.
Brandon said, “Our girls team placed a respectable fourth overall in the team standings — they have laid the foundation for successful seasons to come!”
The Minnesota State Cross Country Meet takes place Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The Girls AAA race begins at 9:30 a.m., and the Boys AAA race begins at 10:30 a.m.
Lefty Wright Grade Level Race
Athletes who did not qualify for sectional championships competed on Oct. 24 in the Lefty Wright Grade Level Race at Bassett Creek Park in Plymouth. Runners raced against other athletes in their grade.
Brandon said, “Our JV student-athletes had a strong showing for their last meet of the season, despite cold rain. It was a great way to end the season — with many season or personal bests.”
Some meet highlights:
Nathaniel Thomas won the sophomore and under boys race in 16:57. Matthew Berge placed second in the junior/senior boys race in 17:08, with Mark Derouin placing eighth in 17:34.
Ani Dirks placed 25th in the 10th grade and under girls race in 22:18, and Amelia Dewberry placed 25th in the junior/senior girls race in 22:20.
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