2011 Fall Preview: East Ridge girls cross country the team to beat in conference, sectionThis year, the Raptors earned a No. 4 preseason ranking and will be looked at as the team to beat in the conference and section.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
The East Ridge girls cross country team had a breakout campaign in 2010, winning the Suburban East Conference and Section 4AA championships over perennial powers Roseville and White Bear Lake and went on to end the year with an eighth-place finish at the Class AA state meet. This year, the Raptors earned a No. 4 preseason ranking and will be looked at as the team to beat in the conference and section.
In addition to qualifying for the state meet as a team in 2010, East Ridge had two girls qualify for state as individuals — Bailey Ness and Brenley Goertzen.
Bailey Ness, now a sophomore, was the Section 4AA champion and earned All-State as a sophomore taking 13th at the state meet. Goertzen, currently a freshman, took 51st overall at state. The girls return to lead the team again this year, along with junior Taylor Jackson, sophomore Abbey Beissler, freshman Emily Betz and eighth-grader Taylor Rumpca.
One runner from last year’s state-entrant team, Sarah Nesheim, didn’t return to the squad this fall. However, East Ridge head coach Chad Cronin said his team has a number of runners who will compete for the seventh spot — and possibly more.
“It’s a very patient, determined group,” Cronin said. “We’re still rather young but have some good experience after a successful season last year.”
Key races for the Raptors girls include: Thursday, Oct. 8, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, the Milaca Mega Meet on Saturday, Sept. 24, and the SEC Championships on Tuesday, Oct. 18.