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Girls cross country: Pacheco, Opsal set the pace

Farmington runner Maricia Pacheco sprints toward the finish line during a 20th-place showing at the Missota Conference Championships.

Even with a good showing, there's not much room for Farmington to move up when facing the talented competition in the Missota Conference.

Tenth-ranked Chanhassen needed a sixth-runner tiebreaker to beat Shakopee in the team race and No. 1-ranked Maria Hauger of Shakopee led a strong individual field while the Tigers, who turned in some of their best times of the season, had to settle for a sixth-place finish at New Prague Golf Course.

The Tigers scored 142 points, 10 off the pace of fifth-place Red Wing and 14 ahead of seventh-place Northfield.

"We would have liked to do better, of course, but we knew we were up against some tough competition in New Prague, Shakopee and Chanhassen," Farmington coach Heidi Revels said.

Freshman Maricia Pacheco earned the team's only individual honors, sprinting past teammate Bailey Opsal in the final 100 meters to claim honorable mention all-conference honors with a 20th-place time of 16:06 on the 4,000-meter course.

Opsal led the team throughout the race and settled for a matching time of 16:06 while finishing 21st out of 54 runners.

"Both Pacheco and Opsal were happy with their times, and are hoping for the best at sections next week."

Sophomore Maria Kiminski once again served as the Tigers' No. 3 runner. She crossed the finish line 31st in 16:50, two seconds ahead of eighth-grade teammate Sofia Chadwick, who came in 33rd in 16:52. Another eighth-grader, Victoria Jacoby, completed the counting varsity scores with a 37th-place time of 17:02.

Marissa Stewart (44th, 17:26) and Maricella Pacheco (50th, 18:15) also completed the varsity race.

The senior-less Tigers close out the season today with the Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.