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Tiger cross country season enters the home stretch

Farmington runner Justin Hyytinen displays the medal he won at last Tuesday's Shakopee Invitational.

Both the Farmington boys and girls cross country teams finished in the middle of the pack in their final tune-up for championship season.

The girls placed fourth out of eight teams with 115 points and the boys fifth out of 11 teams at last Tuesday's Shakopee Invitational at Memorial Park in Shakopee. The teams were back in action at the Missota Conference Championships Tuesday at New Prague and will close out the season next Thursday at the Section 1AA Championships in Owatonna.

Sophomore Justin Hyytinen could be in contention for all-conference honors and a possible state berth after turning in another high finish at Shakopee. He placed third out of 91 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds, on the 5,000-meter course.

Freshman teammate Alex Hart was the team's next finisher just under a minute later. He came in 15th in a time of 17:44. Senior Adam Wallenta also broke the 18-minute barrier, crossing the line 21st in 17:53.

Seniors Tyler Lerbakken (30th, 18:11) and Caleb Eiffert (46th, 18:32) served as the team's fourth and fifth runners. Also competing were Clayton Webb (48th, 18:53) and Hunter Sevenich (53rd, 19:24).

Two Missota Conference teams finished ahead of the Tiger boys. Northfield was second with 92 points and Shakopee was fourth with 95 points.

All three spots ahead of the Farmington girls were occupied by Missota Conference opponents. Host Shakopee won with 49 points, followed by Northfield with 63 and Chanhassen with 89.

Junior Maricia Pacheco snuck into the top 10 with a 10th-place finish of 15:53 on the 4,000-meter course. Senior Maria Kiminski moved into the No. 2 runner role with a 16th-place 16:14 and Sofia Chadwick was 24th in 16:29.

Also breaking 17 minutes were Maricella Pacheco (28th, 16:40) and eighth-grader Sami Hyytinen (37th, 16:53). Sarah Cummings (40th, 17:05) and Lexie Laube (50th, 17:30) rounded out the varsity lineup.