The Hastings boys and girls cross country teams had dominant performances at the 2015 Simley Invitational last week.
The girls won their five-team meet, and the boys followed suit and won their five-team meet as well.
“Everybody ran really well,” coach John Dewall said.
Hastings has now turned its attention to the section meet, which is today (Thursday) in Owatonna.
The top 10 individuals advance to the state meet, as do the top two teams. Hastings will hope to qualify a few athletes, but it won’t be easy.
“It promises to be a really cold day, and a really windy day,” Dewall said. “The winds will be 30 mph. It will be a strategic race. You don’t want to be by yourself in that kind of wind.”
Realistically speaking, qualifying as a team is a long shot for the boys and the girls. Dewall is hoping to get some individual athletes to the state meet, and it figures that the top two boys and top two girls will all have a shot.
The boys’ top runner this season has been Kyle Gudmunson, followed closely by Griffin Myers. For the girls, Avery Daley and Megan Mattson could figure into the mix.
Several section opponents had conference races at the same course Hastings will be running on Thursday, and Dewall was surprised at how many athletes turned in stellar times. Several, he said, finished in about 16 to 17 minutes on the 5k course.
“It just depends on who, in that last half-mile, can light it up and go after it,” Dewall said.
More importantly for the Raiders, though, will be a strong showing from everyone on the team, Dewall said.
“If every kid runs well, and they can say they ran their best race of the year, that’s all we can ask,” he said. “We’re not used to it being windy and cold, but nobody really is.”
At the Simley meet, Dewall was excited by what he saw from the Raiders.
“It was a good tuneup for the section meet,” he said.
The girls finished with 38 points to edge North St. Paul, which finished with 47. Also racing were Hill-Murray (60), Richfield (85) and Simley (105).
The girls were led by Avery Daley, who was second overall in 13:26.
“She is racing really well, and she has been all season long,” Dewall said. “She’s been really consistent.”
Megan Mattson was third overall in 13:32.
“Megan and Avery are both racing really tough,” Dewall said.
Julia Mach finished sixth in 13:56.
Cali Bernard was ninth in 14:07.
“She is really coming on in the last couple of races,” Dewall said. “It’s very impressive to see that.”
Emily Hovseth finished 18th in 14:37.
“She’s a great track runner and has really come on here at the end of the season in cross country,” Dewall said.
Gudmunson won the two-mile race with a time of 11:02.
Griffin Myers was third overall in 11:16.
Also racing for Hastings were: Will Briercliffe, sixth, 11:29; Nick Sampson, eighth, 11:45; and Mason Minnick, 10th, 12:02.