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Farmington cross country: Tiger runners open at Classic

The Farmington boys and girls cross country team both improved upon last year’s fifth-place finishes Friday at the Dakota County Classic in Eagan.

The boys team tied Lakeville South for second place after each scored 77 points, but lost a tiebreaker and settled for third in the nine-team field. The Tiger girls placed fourth with 103 points.

Returning state track and cross country qualifier Justin Hyytinen was the highest individual place-winner for Farmington. He earned third place out of 62 runners in the two-mile race with a time of 10 minutes, 25 seconds. Returning state 3,200 champion Obsa Ali of Richfield, coming off a state-record time of 8:57 three months ago at Hamline University, jogged to first place in 10:04. Zack Benning of Hastings, fourth in the state 3,200 last spring, was second in 10:06.

Two Farmington sophomore runners finished just outside of the top 10. Alex Hart was 12th in 11:00 and newcomer Devon Webb was 13th in 11:03.

Seniors Hunter Sevenich and Sean Dougherty provided the final two scoring runs. Sevenich was 24th in 11:32 and Dougherty 25th in 11:36.

Matt Anderson (47th, 12:19) and Ryan Newton (51st, 12:32) also competed in the varsity race.

The Farmington girls were led by seventh-grader Lauren Peterson’s ninth-place time of 12:18.

Returning state qualifier Maricia Pacheco was 15th in 12:46 and junior Sofia Chadwick placed 23rd in 13:11.

Maricella Pacheco cut about 90 seconds off her time of a year ago to place 27th in 13:32 and freshman Sami Hyytinen rounded out the top five with a 29th-place time of 13:38.

Seventh-grader Anna Palodichuk (35th) and Sarah Cummings (42nd) also ran for the Tigers, who compete again tomorrow at the Faribault Invitational.

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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