Cross country: Raptors girls win in Blaine; Woodbury boys take fourthThe East Ridge and Woodbury cross country running teams prepared for the upcoming Suburban East Conference and Section 4AA championship meets by competing in their final regular-season meet of the year – the Blaine Invitational – on Thursday, Oct. 6, in Blaine.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The East Ridge and Woodbury cross country running teams prepared for the upcoming Suburban East Conference and Section 4AA championship meets by competing in their final regular-season meet of the year – the Blaine Invitational – on Thursday, Oct. 6, in Blaine.
In the meet, the East Ridge boys were invited to the upper division for the first time at the Blaine invite, and placed ninth overall, while the girls earned another gold medal, taking first place.
“The teams did really well,” East Ridge head coach Chad Cronin said. “We are proud of their work ethic and their race smarts.”
The Woodbury boys had a strong showing, placing fourth, while the Royals girls took 12th place.
In the upper division, the Blue Division, the East Ridge girls had three runners finish in the top 10 places to run away with the first-place finish with 71 points, topping second-place Andover, which scored 100 points.
East Ridge sophomore Bailey Ness led the way for the Raptors girls, taking third place overall with a time of 15:11.8. Freshmen tandem Brenley Geortzen and Emily Betz came in just after Ness, in eighth and ninth places, respectively, at 15:17.9 and 15:18.4. A pair of juniors – Liz Maata and Taylor Jackson – rounded out the Raptors’ top-five placers, taking 24th and 27th, respectively, with times of 15:51.2 and 15:55.0.
For Woodbury, senior Darby Baranick led the way with a 25th place finish and a time of 15:52.2. Eighth-grader Lauren Smith and freshman Divya Melachuri followed with finishes of 41st and 42nd, respectively, and times of 16:15.8 and 16:16.2. Freshman Catherine Henning earned 67th place with a time of 16:52.2 and senior Lesely Lance took 100th place with a time of 18:24.0 to round out the Royals’ top five.
In the boys race, Woodbury’s top five runners all finished in the top 40 overall, as the Royals totaled 139 place points.
Sophomore runner Taylor Voit was the first Woodbury runner across the finish line, in 15th place overall, with a time of 17:11.1. Another sophomore, Nathan Orf, was next, taking 23rd place with a time of 17:34.9. Woodbury seniors Luke Wittman and Same Evans took 29th and 32nd, respectively, with times of 17:45.7 and 17:48.5, and freshman Nicholas Wareham rounded out the Royals’ top five with a 40th place time of 17:59.4.
Led by Nate Roese’s seventh-place finish, the East Ridge boys totaled 222 place points in the Blue Division race. Andover took first place with 39 points, having runners earn second, fourth, fifth and sixth.
“The boys showed they belonged in that division,” Cronin said.
Roese, a junior, paced the Raptors in the race, taking seventh with a time of 16:48.1. Sophomore trio Ryan Schiferl, Nathan Tigges and Roman Faller followed him across the line in 30th, 56th and 59th, respectively, with times of 17:46.2, 18:28.0 and 18:33.0. Senior Thomas Ollmann rounded out the Raptors’ scoring five with a 70th place finish in 18:49.8. Individually, Hopkins senior John Klecker won the race with a time of 16:18.0.
Next for the East Ridge and Woodbury boys and girls will be the SEC Championships on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Falcon Ridge Golf Course. The East Ridge girls won the conference championship last year – the first conference varsity team championship for any East Ridge program.