Cross country: Tigers 2nd to Owatonna in section previewFarmington's boys cross country team got a chance to see the class of Section 1AA at Thursday's Northfield Invitational.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington's boys cross country team got a chance to see the class of Section 1AA at Thursday's Northfield Invitational.
Owatonna's top five runners all finished in the top 10, all in a span of 10 seconds, as the Huskies dominated the meet with a total of 39 team points. For the second straight year their top competition came from the second-place Tigers, who used the strong 1-2-3 punch of Elliot Fenske, Ryan Monroe and Nick Arenberg to score 111 points. The Tigers got revenge on third-place Eagan, who had finished ahead of them at the Eagan and Lakeville meets earlier this season. Missota Conference opponents Northfield, Shakopee and Prior Lake finished fourth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 11-team field.
"Owatonna is scary fast and ran away with first place well ahead of us," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "They are the team everyone will be chasing at (Section) 1AA."
The Tigers held their own, cutting their team spread from 1:45 at Pine Island to 1:29 despite once again missing No. 3 runner Levi Freetly due to a muscle strain. Arenberg stepped up in his absence and clocked in at a 17th-place time of 17:20 on the 5,000-meter St. Olaf College course.
Fenske once again set the pace for the Tigers, coming in sixth in a sharp time of 16:43, 48 seconds faster than his time on the same course a year ago. Monroe finished just 14 seconds back for a 14th-place 16:57 clocking.
Farmington's No. 4 and 5 spots were occupied by freshman Chad Retterath and sophomore Matt Thomas. Retterath was 35th in 18:08 and Thomas was four seconds back in 39th, halfway back in the field of 79 runners.
Sophomore Carl Elmer finished 56th in 18:48 and senior Harrison Roske rounded out the Farmington lineup with a 60th-place time of 19:01.
The Tigers host their lone home meet of the season today at 4 p.m. at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. Teams from Henry Sibley, Mahtomedi, Pine Island, Rochester Lourdes, Simley, Trinity, Lakeville South and Benilde-St. Margaret’s will be on hand as Revels' team takes its final test before attempting to defend its Missota Conference title Oct. 9 at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.
The Tigers have beaten every conference foe they've faced this season, but they have yet to compete against Hutchinson and Red Wing.
Girls finish seventh
Four runners broke the 17-minute barrier, but the Farmington girls slipped from sixth to seventh in the team standings at Thursday's 11-team meet with 199 points.
Missota rival Shakopee won the meet with 65 points, two ahead of another league foe, Prior Lake. Waseca, Visitation, Owatonna and Breck rounded out the top six, and the Tigers were able to beat Section 1AA teams from Northfield, Faribault, Rochester Century and Albert Lea.
Senior Jackie Beckett cut 37 seconds off her time at last year's Northfield Invite to reach the finish line 26th in 16:08. Six seconds later, sophomore teammate Nicole Clifton came in for a 30th-place performance against a field of 77 runners.
Freshman Bailey Opsal finished right in the middle of pack with a 38th-place time of 16:35, and steady Maria Kiminski once again served as the Tigers' No. 4 runner with a 44th-place 16:59 clocking.
Seventh grader Maricia Pacheco completed the varsity scoring with a 61st-place 17:39. Marissa Stewart (62nd, 17:46) and Emily Gerster (64th, 18:01) also competed.