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Cross country: Hyytinen, Pacheco fare well in state meet debuts

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A pair of Farmington runners came away satisfied with their performance at their first career state meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

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Sophomore Justin Hyytinen placed 29th in a time of 16 minutes, 11 seconds on the hilly 5,000-meter course and junior teammate Maricia Pacheco placed 134th with a 4,000-meter time of 15:51.

Hyytinen turned in his best time of the season as he just missed All-State honors and came in sixth out of all the sophomores in the field.

"Justin ran great at state. For him to place 29th and run his PR time of the season was a great accomplishment. If you can go to the state meet and run your PR time, then the training and preparation worked well this year," Farmington coach Lisa Lippold said. "The first mile of the race was fast, but Justin was able to still hang on and push through to still run his fastest this year."

Pacheco ended up turning in a time that was close to what she averaged throughout the course of the year.

"Her goal for state was really just to do her best and really enjoy the experience," Farmington girls coach Heidi Revels said. "She said that she felt good for the race and although she is one that is definitely not afraid of hills, the course was a pretty tough one."

Both runners are already setting new goals for themselves, including raising the difficulty of their training, as they look to improve their performance in both track and cross country.

"Our goal for next year is to have more intensive summer training and to aim for placing in the top three at conference and sections," Lippold said.

"Maricia is a very positive person and she is looking for a return (to state) next year, and we are always aiming to make it as a team, as well," Revels said. "She is already talking about how to best train through the winter and summer so that she starts out next season strong."

Stillwater defeated runner-up Edina 46-80 for the boys team title. The girls' championship went to Wayzata, 50-93 over second-place Eagan.

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Matt Steichen
Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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