Runners excel at sections, qualify for state meet

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Section 6AA, commonly known to high school runners as the “section of death,” held their section finals race at Gale Woods this past Wednesday.

To qualify for state, a runner must be either on one of the top two teams or one of the next 13 fastest individuals, discounting those who qualified as a team.

The girl’s team did not qualify for state, but runners Renae Anderson and Bit Klecker, juniors, qualified individually. Their times were 18:57 and 19:15, finishing seventh and thirteenth, respectively.

In first place came Minnetonka sophomore, Sophie Whicher, with a time of 18:40. The top two girls teams were Edina and Wayzata. Edina impressed with their top four runners coming in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth places.

The Royals boy’s cross country team came in first with top ten performances from Owen Hoeft, senior, Seth Eliason, junior, and Hunter Staack, senior.

Hoeft finished the race second overall with a time of 15:45. Wayzata senior, Jaret Carpenter, came in just seven seconds ahead of Hoeft. Eliason finished fourth with a time of 15:58, and Staack finished eighth with a time of 16:12.

The boys won with the lowest score of 52 points, while Minneapolis Washburn pulled off an upset, beating nationally ranked Edina and Wayzata with a point total of 57.

The five kilometer race at Gale Wood Farms marked the first step for the boys cross country team to be the first national qualifier in Hopkins history. Before this historic feat, Hopkins must run well in regionals, and before that, state.

The state race will be held at St. Olaf on Nov. 7. The cross country community has high expectations for this talented squad, but expectations are even higher within the Hopkins program.