The boys cross country team finished up their season at the MSHSL State Cross Country Meet today at St. Olaf College with an 8th place finish. Braving the frigid, dreary weather, the Lightning finished with several top performances. Junior AJ Green lead the way for the Lightning. Green started the race just off the leaders in the chase pack, crossing the first mile in 4:59. At this point a 5 second gap had formed between the leaders and the chase pack and Green found himself in the position of trying to close this gap. By running a consistent second mile in another 4:59 he found himself in 15th place, within striking distance of several competitors who could no longer handle the pace being set by the group of race leaders. Over the final mile Green was able to pass roughly half the runners ahead of him to finish as the 8th best runner in the state with a new school record time of 15:42.1.
Not to be outshone by his teammate, sophomore Gabe Mahlen also finished with All-State honors coming home in 24th place. Mahlen started the race a few seconds back of Green, and like Green used a consistent second (5:11) and third miles (5:16) to steadily move through the throng of runners ahead of him. With 1,000m left to go Mahlen found himself in a pack that was battling for the final All-State honors. By putting on a strong close he was able to open up a gap on several of the runners and secure his finishing position. Mahlen is only the second sophomore in school history to finish with all-state honors, and lowered his sophomore record today by another 5 seconds to finish in 16:03.
The rest of the Lightning team used a conservative start to the race to ensure that they would be able to run strong in the middle and ends of the race. Seniors Jesse Laursen and Ben Danner lead sophomores Sam Setterlund and Colby Rubischko through the early parts of the race, before the sophomores started to set the tone and took over the leading duties from their senior leaders. Bridging the gap between these four and the two leaders was junior Sam Morgenstern who finished with his characteristic kick passing several runners on route to the finishing chute.
For complete results please visit our schedule/results page
A special thank you to all the friends, family, fans, and alumni who came out in support of the team again today. And, congratulations to all team members on the completion of a successful season high school league season, and good luck at the NXN Heartland Regional next weekend.