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Raider boys excel at Dakota Classic

Jason Schultz races toward the finish line at last week's cross country meet. (Photo special to the Star Gazette by Steve Rooker)

Anyone needing proof that the future of the Hastings boys cross country team is bright needs to look no further than the results from the recently-held Dakota Classic.

The boys varsity team had a solid sixth-place finish at the meet. The especially good news is that the Raiders' top two runners were sophomores. Runners No. 3 and No. 4 were juniors. The junior varsity team, meanwhile, placed second in the meet with a team composed of six sophomores and one freshman.

Three junior varsity runners, in fact, had finishes that would have made them the third-, fourth- and fifth-fastest runners on the team. They were Andy Rachuy, Jake Kelly and Jake Spitzack.

"That was a huge performance from those guys on junior varsity," coach John Dewall said. "Those top three guys on JV, they worked themselves on to the varsity lineup. That was a huge surprise from those three guys. That's going to add a tremendous amount of depth for us.

"Overall, we got 26 guys out and we have a great amount of depth. That's huge. If one kid falters in any meet, we'll have some serious backup to work with. We've got some kids who are working hard and they're willing to push each other."

The girls, too, had a nice surprise. In the season's first meet in River Falls, Michaela Mills ran on the junior varsity team. It was, after all, her first cross country race. At the Dakota Classic, Mills ended up surprising everyone by being her team's No. 1 runner.

"She's coming in in very good shape," Dewall said.

The Hastings girls varsity team placed ninth out of 11 teams with 219 point.

Lakeville South won the meet, followed by Eagan and Apple Valley.

Mills led the Raiders with a 25th-place finish. She had a time of 13:03.8.

Bri Strandberg was 38th in 13:31.9 and Helen Jensen was 46th in 13:47.9.

Kailee Harrington took 50th in 14:14.0 and Kate Curtis was 60th in 14:38.5.


The Hastings boys placed sixth out of nine teams.

Lakeville South won the meet with 60 points. Apple Valley, Eagan, Hill-Murray and New Prague finished ahead of Hastings.

Zack Benning placed seventh overall to lead Hastings. He had a time of 10:54.5.

Colby Smith was 14th in 11:10.9; Joseph Rabaey was 22nd in 11:28.1; Christian Weiland was 39th in 11:54.4; Ben Jackson was 43rd in 12:04.6; Bryan Rachuy was 44th in 12:05.2; and Jake Rachuy was 56th in 12:42.2.

Junior varsity

The Hastings junior varsity girls were eighth out of nine teams with 228 points.

Finishes went like this:

Abberly Smith, 34th, 14:58.2; Nicole Froehling, 44th, 15:35.7; Rachel Thomas, 48th, 15:49.6; Emily Klysen, 50th, 15:51.8; Taylor Engstrom, 52nd, 15:55.2; Savannah Fultz, 53rd, 15:56.5; Mikayla Minnaert, 63rd, 17:33.2.

The junior varsity boys were second with 68 points. Lakeville South won the junior varsity race with 32 points.

Andy Rachuy won the race with a time of 11:39.9. Jake Kelly was third in 11:43.9; Jake Spitzack was fifth in 11:47.6; Austin Reuter was 28th in 12:27.7; Brendan McCabe was 31st in 12:28.7; Isaiah Gardell was 47th in 13:02.9; and Sam Hoffman was 54th in 13:51.7.