Photo submitted by Per Johnson
In low temperatures with high energy, the cross country team raced at the state cross country meet with supporters that lined the stands. On Nov. 2, the team and supporters headed down to St. Olaf College to compete in the very competitive state meet. 16 teams raced in the state meet and among them were some of the best cross country runners in the state. This year, the girls team qualified for state and junior Michael Moran qualified in the mens race.
9th grader Becca Richman explains her take on how the race went for her and the team, “I think this race went really well. It was a very good strategy race and we all went out a little fast but with the adrenaline and just being at state, going in it a little fast was expected. But we were really ready to keep our focus and really just raced as a team with the support of each other. Knowing that, we all could do it no matter what felt really good,” she said.
Many supporters from the rest of the team and family members attended the event in the freezing cold.
“I thought our team raced fantastically and every single person at this race is at a very high level, so there is a lot of competition, but just looking at the times, these were some of the best times of the entire season and our girls raced really well together. I’m proud of all of them,” said junior Isabel Toghramadjian.
Junior Levi Mellin, a member of the boys team, was there to cheer on his teammates at the meet. “Today, at the state meet, they did their best and gave it their all. The conditions were tough but [they] persevered and the fact the girls even made it here, to state, is just a win in itself. The girls team is in the top 16 of the state,” he said.
In addition to the girls race, Moran raced in the mens section. He placed 32nd out of 175 runners. His time was 16:44 while running a 5k.
Moran shares his experience being alone out on the track and placing so high in the meet.
“The race today was so great. I wasn’t really nervous at all. I was just ready to have a good race and I did. I raced how I wanted to and I felt in control and I felt like ‘this is my race.’” Moran said.
Cross country coach Kellan Minter said, “Both Michael and the whole girls cross country team finished out the season with great races at state. [There were] a lot of personal bests; Michael with a personal best on an already really fast time. I think half of the girls team had their personal bests today after already running their best last week at sections. I’m really proud of this whole team and all of the coaches. It’s a great way to finish the season.”
Despite the cold temperatures and the nervous feeling, the cross country team raced really well and worked really hard.
“It’s been a huge season for me and it’s been a huge season for the cross country team as a whole and this [race] feels like the perfect capstone moment of it all,” Moran said.