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Woodbury sophomore Nick Wareham finished 70th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 38 seconds in his first trip to the Class AA state meet at St. Olaf College Saturday.

Woodbury cross country: Wareham takes 70th in first state meet

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NORTHFIELD - Woodbury sophomore Nick Wareham displayed the poise of a veteran state cross-country runner in just his first trip to the Class AA state meet at St. Olaf College Saturday, which might serve as an indicator for the future.

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Wareham finished 70th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 38 seconds in the 5-kilometer race and ran confidentially and under control despite the quick pace of the meet.

"It was kind of crazy with how fast everything went," Wareham said. "I thought people would go out fast and kind of die, but they all kind of held their pace because of the adrenaline. It's different than most races."

His calm demeanor certainly helped in a meet with 176 runners.

"In a competitive situation like this if you can kind of block out the stuff that's going on around you, I think that's a real asset and he's got the capacity to do that," Royals head coach Mark Andrews said. "I think he ran a smart race and we're definitely looking forward to next year."

Perhaps Wareham made up for his lack of experience at the state meet through the knowledge his father, Pete, has bestowed upon the budding runner. Pete Wareham, who has served as the head coach of the University of St. Thomas cross-country team for the past 20 years, won the Class AA race in 1980 when the state meet was held at the University of Minnesota Golf Course. Pete went on to become a six-time All-American in cross-country and track at St. Thomas and helped lead the team to a national championship with a third-place individual finish at nationals in 1984.

Nick, who finished 14th at the Section 4AA meet, improved on his section time by nine-tenths of a second. Wareham finished 33rd a year ago at the section meet in 17:07.

"He's definitely been the leader on the team this year in times all year," Andrews said. "He's definitely going to be someone to be watching over the next couple of years."

Wareham started running cross-country in eighth grade and after a breakthrough season he wants to include the rest of the team next season.

"I'm hoping next year our whole team can get in this and finish kind of high," he said.

Woodbury finished fourth as a team at the section meet and four of its top seven runners from that meet will return next season.

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