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New faces to crack varsity cross country lineup

Hastings runners line up at the start of the race. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)1 / 3
Quinn Myers, a Hastings junior, is pictured during the annual Dewey Minnaert Cross Country Invitational on Thursday afternoon at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. Myers led the Hastings girls for the day. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography) 2 / 3
Kyle Gudmunson was the top Hastings runner at the Dewey Minnaert invitational last week. He was 23rd overall. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)3 / 3

Just how youthful the Hastings cross country teams are going to be this year became apparent at last week’s Dewey Minnaert invitational at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

Two middle school girls raced so well a day after joining the team that they earned varsity spots.

Another member of the team is a seventh grader.

“It’s really exciting to see those middle schoolers come in there, racing for the first time, and performing that well,” coach John Dewall said. “It shows we have a lot of potential. Once they get in great shape, they’ll really be able to help our team.”

The Raider girls were led by Quinn Myers, a junior, who finished 55th in 18 minutes and 45 seconds. Alexis Edmundson, an eighth-grader, was 64th in 19:17.

Then came two newcomers, Hannah Peterson and Megan Mattson, who had only been out for the team for a day. They ran in the junior varsity race, but their times put them third and fourth on the team. They came in at 20:07 and 20:11, respectively.

Abberly Smith, a sophomore, finished in 20:16. Reilly Johnson, a seventh-grader, finished in 21:33 and Cici Carlson, a freshman, finished in 20:59.

Boys

A similar situation played out for the boys, too. Mason Minnick, running in the junior varsity race, turned in a time of 19:55 to have the fifth-fastest time on the day for the Raiders.

Hastings was led by Kyle Gudmunson, who finished 23rd overall in 18:38.

Bobby Verchota was 41st in 19:11, Mike Tappella took 58th in 19:42 and Nick Johnson finished in 19:44.

Finley Myers had a time of 20:07 and Jonathon Vouk had a time of 20:11.

Lineup

The strong performances by athletes in the junior varsity events last week have Dewall excited. That will foster more competition on the team every week.

“Every week, the varsity shifts depending on who was in the top seven from the previous meet,” he said. “It really brings up the competition among the team. Just because you made varsity one meet doesn’t mean you’ll be racing varsity the next meet. That gets some competition going, and that makes everybody better.”

Dakota County invite

The Hastings boys and girls both competed on Friday, Aug. 29, at the Dakota County Classic in Eagan.

The boys race was won by Eagan with 59 points.

New Prague was second with 63. Lakeville South (94) and Apple Valley (99) finished just ahead of Hastings. The Raiders were fifth with 112 points. There were seven teams in the meet.

“Our guys ran really well,” Dewall said. “Our top five guys ran really, really well. Even the top seven. They were really close together. They’re going to be a good group.”

The varsity boys were led by Gudmunson, who was seventh overall with a time of 11 minutes, nine seconds.

Will Caturia was 12th in 11:17.

Verchota finished 24th in 11:27.

Will Briercliffe had a time of 11:58 and finished 34th.

Johnson was 35th in 12:01. Tappella had a time of 12:05 to place 37th and Vouk was 46th in 12:27.

For the junior varsity boys, the Raiders were led by Nate Holm, who was 16th in 12:28.

Brandon Haraldson was 30th in 12:51; Griffin Myers was 35th in 12:57; Austin Rink was 46th in 13:16; Nick Sampson was 53rd in 13:22; Levi O’Tool was 59th in 13:33; Mike Cherry took 63rd in 13:36; Mark Swinehart finished 67th in 13:42; Logan Gove had a time of 14:32; Tate Gahnz had a time of 15:00; Victor Lindgren had a time of 15:08; Dan Eggert finished in 15:15; and Hayden Schutt had a time of 18:00.

The girls were led by Quinn Myers, who was 34th in 14:08.

Smith was 40th in 15:09, Reilly Johnson took 42nd in 15:14 and Carlson was 53rd in 17:48.

Hastings had five runners in the junior varsity race. Edmundson was 31st overall in 15:04.

Also racing were: Kira Welshons, 17:43; Kaitlyn Walderon, 18:04; Savannah Henderson, 18:41; and Maddie Eggert, 22:45.

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