Cross country: Farmington runners struggle at state meet
The state cross country meet didn’t go as planned for either of Farmington’s entrants on Saturday.
Coming off a second-place time of 15 minutes, 53 seconds at the Section 1AA Championships, Justin Hyytinen figured to be a contender for all-state honors. The junior was in the top 15 when he reached the mile marker in 4:51, but quickly faded back into the pack and reached the finish 83rd in a time of 16:53 on the fast 5,000-meter course at St. Olaf College.
Hyytinen was 29th last year at state with a time of 16:11.
“I was right where I wanted to be at the mile marker. At the beginning of the year I came through at 4:50 and felt decent. Today was terrible. It was the worst time I’ve run in my life,” he said. “I didn’t feel good at all. I was out of breath 200 meters into the race. I don’t know what was happening. I could tell something wasn’t right – I just felt crappy today.”
The day unfolded in a similar fashion for Farmington girls runner Lauren Peterson. The seventh-grader broke out with a season-best time of 14:52 at the section meet, and started strong at her first state meet before struggling through the final mile.
Peterson reached the mile marker in 5:49 and ended up placing 131st in a time of 16:03 on the 4,000-meter course.
Both runners said they are planning to spent a lot of training in the off-season to prepare for another run at the state meet next fall.