The East Ridge boys' cross-country team started the 2019 season with a couple strong meets including Thursday. The top five runners for the Raptors all finished in the top 15 to give them a second-place finish and a team score of 46.
East Ridge was only 14 points away from tying Eagan, which finished in first for the meet on the boys side.
John Faller was the top finisher for the Raptors with a time of 16 minutes and 30.02 seconds to earn second place overall in the race. Sean McNiesh came in behind him at fifth place with a time of 16:57.81, while Dan Koland finished 12th overall with a time of 17:45.49.
Evan Johnson and Sam Jordan rounded out the top five for East Ridge as they placed 13th and 14th respectively. Johnson ran a time of 17:46.89, while Jordan had a time of 17:57.59.
Aidan Engert and Ian Hohn also raced for the Raptors and finished in 21st and 23rd place.
The Park boys' team also had a strong day as they finished in fifth place with a team score of 166, which beat out Hastings for the fifth spot.
Parker Hahn had the top spot for the Wolfpack as he finished 11th overall with a time of 17:44.57. Dale Kirsch came in behind him in 26th place as he ran an 18:27.29 time.
Peyton Klecatsky and Bronson Stachowiak finished in 34th and 46th place with times of 18:52.08 and 19:24.19 respectively, while Nicholas McDonald rounded out the scoring five with a time of 19:57.89, which put him in 53rd place overall.
Lucas Reckinger and John Ohmann also ran for the Wolfpack with placements of 59th and 66th overall.
The Woodbury boys' team learned a lot from this meet as the Royals took 12th place in the race with a team score of 331.
David Michalowicz took the top spot for the Royals after finishing 49th overall with a time of 19:38.94. John O'Connell ran for a 72nd placement and ended his race with a time of 20:45.99.
Stephen Tolentino and Saif Azmi finished third and fourth for Woodbury, while ending the race in 77th and 79th place with times of 21:09.29 and 21:13.35 respectively. Nicholas Wolsky rounded out the top five for the Royals with a placement of 81st and a time of 21:17.35.
Alex Rome and Luke Lawler also ran for Woodbury and finished in 85th and 89th place overall.
The East Ridge girls' team took the top spot on Thursday with a team score of 24, which was 34 point ahead of second-place team Red Wing.
The top five finishers for the Raptors ended in the top 10 for individual runners, which gave them a strong opportunity to earn the top spot in the end.
Halle Mestery finished in the top spot for the Raptors as well as the top runner overall with a time of 18:48.42. Mary Kenney came in third overall with a time of 20:08.66 and Gwyneth Gerlach was right behind her in fourth place with a time of 20:10.01.
Tatum Geving and Lillian Warmuth rounded out the top five for East Ridge as they finished sixth and 10th overall with times of 20:50.35 and 21:20.70 respectively. Sonja Wangensteen and Ella Anderson each ran for the Raptors and finished in 15th and 23rd place overall.
This gives the Raptors some depth for the future and making sure this team has the chance to reach the state meet as an entire team.
Similar to the boys' team, the Park girls' team finished in fifth place as a team too with a team score of 138.
Briahna Hensel was the top runner for the Wolfpack as she finished 11th overall with a time of 21:32.66. Hope Thompson came in behind her for 30th place overall with a time of 24:07.32.
Laurel Watters and Lydia Best were the three and four runners for Park as they finished 31st and 36th overall with times of 24:11.95 and 24:32.68 respectively. Tate Abrahamson rounded out the top five with a placement of 42nd with a time of 25:15.15.
Madeline Watters and Amanda Michaud also raced for the Wolfpack on Thursday with placements of 44th and 53rd.