Section 5AA cross country; Two individuals make state, Cardinals barely out of it

Coon Rapids boys’ and girls’ cross country turned in great team-wide races at the Section 5AA meet Thursday afternoon at Anoka High School.

Anoka’s Alexis Fritz and Spring Lake Park’s Jake Ajax each qualified for the state meet with strong performances. Ajax finished 10th overall in 16:34 while the team placed 13th among the 15 teams. Fritz finished eighth overall in 15:23.7, edging Centennial’s Megan Kienholz by 0.4 of a second.

The Cardinal girls’ finished third, four points behind runner-up Mounds View (94-98) for the second state-qualifying spot. Totino-Grace won the meet as three runners finished inside the top 17 positions.

Meanwhile the boys’ garnered fourth place, nine points behind third-place Maple Grove as Centennial won the team title with five runners inside the top 15 places. Mounds View was runner-up with 90 points.

Coon Rapids girls’ had its entire team of seven runners finish inside the top 32 places with a meet-best 30 seconds spread between the runners. Senior Paige D’Heilly paced the Cardinals and finished one spot outside of the state meet in 13th place at 15:30.5 and classmate Anna Nelson missed out on a state spot by three spots with a 15th place finish in 15:32.3.

Sophomore Elise Weimholt finished 19th in 15:41.5 and senior Samantha Dills was 25th in 15:56.8. Eighth grader Bryna Delcastillo placed 26th in 16:01.1.

The future of the team seems very bright as the junior varsity team won its meet with 52 points.

Anoka tied Osseo for eighth place with 215 points as the Tornaodes were led by a trio of juniors. Fritz was followed by Lindsey Gast 22nd in 15:44.4 and Heather Jensen was 59th in 16:58.4.

Spring Lake Park’s young squad finished 14th as ninth grader Gaby Fey placed 66th overall to lea the team.

Blaine finished at the bottom of the team standings with 427 points. Junior Emma Cherney led the team with a 77th place finish in 17:46.7.

Coon Rapids boys’ were guided by a pair of juniors who finished in the top 17 places. Jackson Bednar led the team with an 11th place finish followed by David Dujmovic in 17th place.

Anoka placed 10th, two points behind Irondale as the Tornadoes were led by senior Thomas Hagerty’s 49th place finish in 17:40.1.

A young Blaine finished 11th in the field of 15 teams, led by junior Oliver Houghtling who finished 37th overall and junior Eric Hiel in 48th place.

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