The Hastings boys and girls cross-country teams both had strong showings Tuesday, Oct. 24, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park for the Metro East Conference Championships. The Raider boys took second behind St. Thomas Academy thanks to strong performances by seniors David Nogle and Griffin Myers, who finished back-to-back in the fifth and sixth, respectively. Meanwhile, despite missing one of their top runners in Linnea Urban and being stretched thin numbers-wise, the girls took fourth out of eight teams.
Boys all finish in top half of field
Out of a field of 60, the Raiders had all of their runners place in the top-30. Nogle was just three seconds behind the fourth-place finisher with a time of 17 minutes and 23 seconds (17:23.00) for fifth place. Right behind him was Myers in sixth with a time of 17:32.70, while junior Eric Howd took 11th in 17:53.90. Sophomores Devon Haraldson (18:35.80) and Isaac Huntington (18:36.10) also finished back-to-back in 20th and 21st, respectively. Fellow sophomore Luke Harris took 30th with a time of 18:57.00.
All-Conference runners for the boys were Nogle, Myers and Howd. All-Conference Honorable Mention were Haraldson and Huntington.
Girls run well despite low numbers
The top finisher for the Raider girls was freshman Avery Daley who took 16th with a time of 21:9.40. Behind her, Hastings had three runners between 20th and 30th: junior Megan Mattson in 25th (22:47.90), freshman Linnea Hanson placed 29th (23:31.60) and right behind her in 30th was fellow freshman Emma Bratvold in 23:35.40. Junior Abby Siebenaler place 41st with a time of 25:29.50 and following her in 42nd was sophomore Brianna Amundson (25:30.90). Mattson was named all-conference honorable mention.
"I thought they (both Raider teams) ran really well, a lot of PRs (personal records)," head coach John Dewall said. "Linnea Urban didn't run, she's nursing an injury but will be back for sections."
"We're limited in our number of girls racing and that's something for next year that we'll certainly have to do," Dewall said. "Looking for some more kids who are willing to go out and run. There's not a ton of kids out in the middle school running in comparison to other schools, so I think we need to do some more recruiting at younger ages to get kids more interested in running.
Hastings next runs Thursday, Oct. 26, at the section 1AA race in Owatonna, which is held at Brooktree Golf Course. The course is considered a favorite among runners in the area.
"We'd like to see the kids run some fast times down there," Dewall said. "It's a fast course, there was a meet down there a couple weeks ago and a lot of kids were setting PRs. We race all sorts of slow courses, soft courses and rainy courses so we're ready for a nice, fast golf course. I'm looking forward to seeing how kids can improve on their times and I'm looking for some fast times from our athletes. Our goal obviously is to get as many kids to state as possible."