|11/5/2021 1:00:00 PM|
Three 'Cats continuing to state x-country meet
With an expansion of classes and some reshuffling, the Chisago Lakes cross country teams knew they would have a good shot to send some of their runners to state out of the Section 4AA meet last week, and sure enough, three Wildcat runners punched their ticket to Northfield.
In the girls race held at St. Paul Highland 9 Golf Course, Chisago Lakes got two underclassmen, including freshman Kaia Osmundson, who came oh-so-close to winning the 46-runner meet, and Lainey Hallan, a sophomore to the state meet.
On the boys side, sophomore Henry Johnson, who has been CL’s top runner for the past two years, made his final push in the new section and came in fifth place to earn his first career berth to St. Olaf College in Northfield.
For Osmundson, the freshman finished the race in 20:07.09, which was just one second behind the pace set by Mahtomedi senior Makayla Fischer. That pair ran together the whole last half of the race and ended up pulling away from the rest of the group near the end. The third place finisher, Mahtomedi’s Sarah Brings, was over 10 seconds behind Osmundson.
Osmundson set a person best, and Head Coach Tyler Stettler believes she may have broken the school’s record for the 5K distance.
“It was a battle between Kaia and the gal from Mahtomedi,” Stettler said. “It was an impressive race from her.”
For Hallan, she finished her race in 21:12.48, to come in seventh place. She was right on the heels of senior Maia Hernandez of St. Anthony Village, who came in just two-tenths of a second in front of her.
“Lainey is working on moving in faster and we’ve been working a lot with her,” Stettler said. “She’s really trying to get under 21 minutes.”
Hallan and Osmundson were some of the few underclassmen that populated the top 10. The pair was joined by five seniors and two juniors, so they should have a bright future in the section as those girls continue to graduate and move on.
The pair will first take on the best that Class AA has to offer at St. Olaf College on Saturday, November 6 at 3:30 p.m.
For Johnson, his state dream came to fruition with an impressive showing in the field comprised of 74 runners.
He finished his race in a time of 17:22.37, and had run with a majority of the top finishers for the whole race. He was just four seconds behind third place, three seconds out of fourth and just a few seconds in front of the sixth, seventh and eighth place finishers.
“Henry wasn’t feel the best coming into this race, but he dug deep. It was a tight race at the end and some guys passed him, but he fought it off and retook his spot and earned a trip to state,” Stettler explained.
Charlie Power-Theisen of St. Paul Como Park is one of the elite runners in the state and cruised to a victory in a time of 15:59.39, more than a minute clear of second place.
Johnson’s final burst at the end of the race allowed him to punch his ticket as there were a number of runners hot on his heels.
As a team, the boys finished fifth out of 11 teams with a score of 146. St. Paul Como Park won the meet with 43 points.
On the girls side, Mahtomedi crushed the competition of five teams (many of the city schools didn’t feature full lineups to register a team score.)
The Zephyrs had four of the top five finishers, with only Osmundson breaking that up and had 25 points. St. Anthony Village was second with 46 points and Chisago Lakes was third with 66 points.