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Boys and Girls Cross Country: Woodbury, East Ridge, Park compete at SEC Championships

East Ridge's Halle Mestery (right) finished fourth overall with a time of 18:47.20. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 6
Woodbury's Anna Muellner (left) and Tiffany Holiday (right) finish 14th and 15th overall respectively. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 6
East Ridge's Joe Reimann finished eighth overall with a time of 16:14.70. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 6
Woodbury's Aidan Browne finished 13th overall with a time of 16:22.70. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 6
Park's Parker Hahn finished 25th overall with a time of 16:51.20. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 6
Park's Briahna Hensel finished 50th overall with a time of 21:53.00. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 6 / 6

Tuesday night

It was the final regular season meet for Woodbury, East Ridge and Park boys and girls cross country. It was also one of the biggest meets in the season as the three schools competed for the Suburban East Conference championship.

"This was a good test to see where we're at as a team against some of the schools we'll be facing in the section meet," said Woodbury's Grant Wittman. "I thought we did a good job out there and we built some confidence heading into next week."

Next week's race is the section meets and an opportunity for teams and individuals to qualify for the state meet in November.

As for the Suburban East Conference championship, all three teams said they did well and hope to carry the momentum into the section meet. For the boys varsity run, East Ridge finished sixth overall as a team and Woodbury and Park followed after the Raptors in seventh and eighth place respectively.

The top five East Ridge boys finished in the top 35 with Joe Reimann leading the pack as he finished eighth overall with a time of 16:14.70. The rest of the team finished 27th, 28th, 29th and 32nd overall.

The Royals boys had a similar outcome as the top five Woodbury boys finished in the top 55. The top finisher for the Royals was Aidan Browne who finished 13th overall with a time of 16:22.70. Wittman finished 20th overall and he was happy with that result after a hard couple of weeks.

"I've been dealing with a sickness the past couple weeks," Wittman said. "So, it was good to get back to my regular time and feel confident again heading into next week."

The top five boys for Park all finished in the top 55 as well with Parker Hahn finishing first for the Wolfpack in 25th with a time of 16:51.20.

Justus Robinson, who finished 36th with a time of 17:16.50, was happy with how the team ran and knows it's only getting better from here for sections next week.

"We've been working really hard these last couple of weeks and it's showing in our times these past couple meets," Robinson said. "Hopefully, we can continue to work this next week and be at our best for sections."

The girls varsity teams finished in a similar fashion as the boys on Tuesday. The Woodbury Royals girls team finished sixth overall as East Ridge and Park finished behind them in seventh and eighth place.

The top finisher between the three teams was Halle Mestery from East Ridge, who finished fourth overall with a time of 18:47.20. The rest of the Raptors finished in the top 45, but the space between the top five runners' finishes is what caused the Raptors to fall to seventh.

Woodbury had its top five girls finish in the top 40 and Anna Muellner and Tiffany Holiday finished right next to each other. Muellner, who finished 14th with a time of 19:32.80, and Holiday, who finished 15th with a time of 19:33.60, were happy with their individual times, but also the team's times.

"The SEC championship is always fun to run in because you're competing against some top schools," Holiday said. "You learn from these meets and hopefully incorporate them into the next meet, especially sections."

The Wolfpack had their top five runners finish in the top 55 as Park had a row of finishers. Park's top five girls runners finished 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd and 54th overall.

All three teams are looking forward to next week in hopes of reaching the state tournament on Saturday, Nov. 2. Woodbury will be running in the 4AA section meet on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the University of Minnesota, while East Ridge and Park will be competing in the 3AA section meet on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley.

"We will be practicing this week and weekend for sections," Muellner said. "I'm looking forward to sections next week."

Monday night

The Math and Science Academy Dragons traveled to St. Catherine's University for the Twin Cities Athletic Conference Championships on Monday night.

The girls team earned third place, but were five points behind second place and only 15 points behind first place.

The boys team team also finished third and were 20 points behind second place and 35 points behind first place.

The five runners for the Math and Science girls all finished in the top 25 overall for individual times. The Dragons were led by Greta Hansen who finished second overall with a time of 20:08.53, but Danielle Koperski was right behind her in fifth place with a time of 22:14.44.

The final three finishers were Sara Findlay who finished 13th (23:13.32), Grace Nhan who finished 18th (24:13.53) and Lily Stout who finished 21st (25:23.66).

Those five finishes helped the Dragons score a 50-point team score that placed them in third overall as a team.

The five runners that scored for the Math and Science boys team also finished in the top 25 overall for individual runners. The Dragons were led by Will Mattes who finished the race fifth overall with a time of 17:44.59. Jaad Stout wasn't too far behind Mattes as he finished seventh overall with a time of 17:57.43.

The other three runners to round out the scoring for Math and Science included Jagar Hansen who finished 14th (18:53.27), Phillip Wolfgram who finished 15th (18:59.27) and Ben Haland who finished 22nd (19:43.51).

The five finishes on the boys side allowed the Dragons to score 63 team points, which placed them third.

The Math and Science girls and boys teams will prepare for the 4A section meet on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Battle Creek Regional Park in St. Paul for a chance to run in the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College.

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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