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Cross country: Hyytinen wins conference title

Junior Justin Hyytinen added his name to an exclusive list last Tuesday – Farmington boys cross country conference champions.

Hyytinen, a second-place finisher at last year’s league meet, became just the third Tiger runner to ever win the race when he used a strong second half to pull away for a 16 minute, 24 second, clocking on the 5,000-meter course at Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park in New Prague. Roger Thelen was conference champion in 1982 and Ben Kampf topped the Missota in 2004.

“(Hyytinen) went out strong and relaxed and made his move about a mile and a half in and that secured his win,” Farmington coach Lisa Lippold said. “Having a year of experience under him has really helped him excel this season.”

Hyytinen’s performance led the Tigers to a fifth-place total of 125 points at the eight-team meet. Shakopee topped New Prague 56-64 for the championship.

Alex Hart placed second for Farmington and 12th out of 56 runners with a time of 17:11. Senior Sean Dougherty stepped up to run third for the team and 27th overall with a time of 17:41.

Another senior, Hunter Sevenich, followed in 39th in 18:20 and Derek Cole served as the team’s No. 5 runner with a 46th-place time of 18:35.

Devon Webb battled a foot injury in placing 50th in 18:57 and Matt Anderson was right behind with a 51st-place 19:11 clocking.

In the JV race, 11 of 20 Farmington boys runners turned in personal-best times.

The Farmington varsity girls matched the boys with a fifth-place finishing, moving up one spot from a season ago with 124 points. Chanhassen won the girls title 46-77 over runner-up Chaska.

Senior Maricia Pacheco paced the Tigers in her final Missota meet, placing 11th in 16 minutes flat. Seventh-grader Lauren Peterson was 11 seconds back and earned 14th place.

Another seventh-grader, Anna Palodichuk, served as the team’s No. 3 runner. She was 27th overall with a time of 16:35.

Sofia Chadwick (34th, 16:54) and Sam Hyytinen (38th, 17:09) rounded out the top five. Maricella Pacheco (41st, 17:26) and Emily Schaffer (49th, 17:45) also competed for the Tigers.

The teams close out the regular season with the Section 1AA Championships this afternoon at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. The top two teams and top 10 individuals advance to the Class 2A state meet Saturday, Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Hyytinen and Pacheco are vying for their second state meet appearances.