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Fresh off its fifth-place finish in the state meet, the East Ridge girls cross country running team took sixth place out of 29 teams at the Nike Heartland regional meet in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sunday, Nov. 11.

East Ridge cross country: Raptors girls finish sixth at Nike Regional in South Dakota

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Fresh off its fifth-place finish in the state meet, the East Ridge girls cross country running team took sixth place out of 29 teams at the Nike Heartland regional meet in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sunday, Nov. 11.

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With seven different states competing in the regional, East Ridge was the third-best Minnesota team at the meet. The Raptors finished with 243 place points. Wayzata, which won the Minnesota Class AA state championship a week before, won the meet with 122 place points, again topping Eagan, which had 206 points.

East Ridge junior Bailey Ness led the way for the Raptors in the meet with a time of 18 minutes, 52.55 seconds, taking 14th place overall. Four-time Class AA state champion Maria Hauger, out of Shakopee, won the meet with a time of 17:33.55.

For the Raptors, sophomore Emily Betz had the team's second-best time, finishing in 18:58.38, which was 17th overall. Fellow sophomore Brenley Goertzen was the third East Ridge finisher with a time of 19:49.89, taking 57th. East Ridge seniors Taylor Jackson (19:58.49) and Liz Maata (20:09.13) rounded out the Raptors top five, taking 73td and 82nd, respectively.

In addition to the East Ridge girls, Raptors' senior Nate Roese competed in the meet, taking 19th overall out of 331 runners. Roese, the defending 400-meter dash state champion who earned All-State honors this year by taking 17th place at the state meet, finished the regional race in a time of 16:05.95.

Jake Leingang of the Demon XC Club won the race with a time of 15:16.04. Minnesota's state champ, Stillwater senior Wayde Hall didn't compete in the meet. Minnesota's top finisher was Obsa Ali, who took third place with a time of 15:31.28.

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