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Tiger girls' and boys' cross country teams are state bound

Junior Aaron Kruse led the Farmington boys with his best performance of the year, taking fourth at the section race to help the Tigers to a second-place finish and qualify for the state meet. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
The Tiger boys completed the sweep as they took second at Brooktree Golf Course to join the girls in qualifying for state. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Senior Lauren Peterson, a recent Furman commit, won the section title after finishing second last year. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
The Farmington girls won the Section 1AA title and qualified for state for the second year in a row last Thursday in Owatonna. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' cross-country teams managed the clean sweep in qualifying for the class AA state meet last Thursday. The girls dominated on their way to a Section 1AA championship at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna while the boys were runners-up behind Red Wing. This is the second year in a row the Tiger girls have qualified for the state meet, while last year now-junior Noah Revels qualified as an individual for the boys.

Girls fill up the top-10

The girls' team was absolutely dominant with five runners in the top-10 and all of them taking 30th or better. Senior Lauren Peterson continued her excellent season with a section championship, winning the race over her sophomore teammate Anna Fenske by more than 10 seconds. Peterson finished with a time of 17 minutes, 27.30 seconds while Fenske ran a 17:39.90. Last year their positions were switched with Fenske winning and Peterson taking second.

After the race, the two talked about their time running together and the past season with such a young team (three seventh-graders, three sophomores and one senior on varsity).

"It's been awesome having her (Fenske), it's nice having someone to train with and compete with at a higher level," Peterson said. "It's been a little hard adjusting, just a little bit. I think the middle schoolers had to learn how to race toward the beginning of the season, but as its gone on it's gotten a lot better."

Fenske said that heading into the year, they wanted to repeat their success at sections from last season.

"We wanted to win again since we won last year, so coming back and winning again would be cool," she said. "And then qualifying for state obviously, but just doing really well."

Seventh-grader and the sister of Anna, Mariah Fenske, took fifth with a time of 18:33.20. Fellow seventh-grader Marianah Scott (19:04.20) and sophomore Laura McGregor (19:04.40) finished together in seventh and eighth respectively. Sophomore Maleah Scott finished 17th in 19:28.30 and seventh-grader Mackenzy Lippold placed 30th (20:02.00).

Girls' head coach Adam Lippold was beside himself as the results came in.

"The girls had really big goals, but these seven girls I didn't think that would be possible," he said about having five runners in the top-10. "Blown away, I'm speechless, our youngsters just crushed it. Anna Fenske is finally running like she should, these girls are amazing."

Adam attributed a lot of this year's continued success for the girls to, in his words, "taking care of the small things."

"The main thing is they stayed healthy all year," he said. "I think they believe in the system, taking care of just each day, taking care of the small things. It's not easy to stay healthy all year long, besides one or two small injuries we've been there all year long, it's been great."

Looking ahead to the state meet, Fenske said she looks forward to racing at St. Olaf.

"I'd say my favorite course is the state course," she said. "When you go out to the prairie, I love that part because there's nobody back there."

A total team effort

While the Tiger boys' might not have as high-profile runners as the girls' team, they still get the job done and are one of the top teams in the state with their teamwork. They had two top-10 finishers in juniors Aaron Kruse (16:01.00) and Noah Revels (16:04.40) who took fourth and seventh respectively. Sophomore Brennen Peterson took 18th with a time of 16:38.60, senior Nolan Levack finished 22nd in 16:51.40 and fellow senior Regan Sevenich placed 27th (16:56.70). Junior Caden Speikers took 57th with a time of 17:31.20 and senior Trevor LaVigne was 60th in 17:34.20.

Boys' head coach Lisa Lippold said that her team's success started months before the season started.

"It all started back in the summer, we really focused on the summer, about getting those miles in, upping our mileage from the previous summer, and then really our focus all year has been how do we run together, how do we work as team and they've been awesome," she said.

She said the teamwork the boys have shown all season came from meshing person and team goals.

"We always talk about what our individual and team goals are at the beginning of the season and they all had decided, unanimously, their goal was to make it to state as a team," Lippold said. "We also focused on, if you're going to go out there and run the best you can run, you're also going to run the best that you can for the team."

Individually, Lippold added that it was only a matter of time before Revels and Kruse had a race like they had in Owatonna.

"He (Revels) just keeps getting faster and faster every week and it's been so much fun to watch him grow as a runner," she said. "Soaking in the workouts, excelling in every workout that we do, it's going to be fun to watch him."

"Kruse had mono last year so that wiped him out all season, or pretty much all season, so this year's he just been creeping up there every week and we've just been waiting for him and Noah to have an explosive race like this," Lippold said.

The state cross-country meet is this Saturday, Nov. 3, on the grounds of St. Olaf College. The class AA boys race at 10 a.m., followed by the girls at 11 a.m.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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