Boys' cross country: Cards head to stateThe boys’ team was the Section 8AA runner-up with Drew Paradis earning individual honors
The Cardinal boys’ cross country team put together its best effort of the year to finish second at the Section 8AA meet at Arrowwood Thursday, earning the squad a berth in the State Class AA meet at St. Olaf College November 1.
Led by Drew Paradis’ first place finish, the Cards put all seven runners in the top 25, and the first five in the top 18, giving Alexandria a team score of 56, just 11 points off the championship mark of 45 earned by Moorhead.
“Our average of the top five runners was 16:40, by far the fastest of the season,” said head coach Mark Nelsen. “A great team effort by the Cardinal boys, as they had phenomenal races and outstanding finishes. We were able to close the gap on a very good Moorhead team.”
Paradis, a senior, surged to the forefront of the field with a 15:28.05, more than 17 seconds ahead of the second place finisher from Moorhead.
“Drew dropped 24 seconds off his best time and defeated two Moorhead runners that have finished in front of him at the Alex Invite and Willmar Invite previously,” said Nelsen. “It was great to see Drew healthy and running with confidence.
“Austin McCoy, Mitch Evink and Will Sieling ran within two to three seconds of each other much of the race,” he said, “with only five seconds separating them at the finish and all of them breaking the 17 minute barrier.
“Josh Hobbs and Zach Hodgson ran a 17:09 and 17:10 respectively, which were their season best times. Sam Vinje rounded out our top seven, improving 13 seconds from his time the week before. Our gap from one to seven was 1:50. This is amazing!”
The Cardinal boys will run at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 1 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
SECTION 8AA BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
TEAM SCORES – 1. Moorhead 45, 2. Alexandria 56, 3. Bemidji 123, 4. Sartell 132, 5. Brainerd 152, 6. St. Michael-Albertville 167, 7. Detroit Lakes 179 8. Big Lake 228, 9. Little Falls 239, 10. St. Cloud Tech 257, 11. Monticello 311, 12. Fergus Falls 320, 13. St. Cloud Apollo 356, 14. Sauk Rapids-Rice 380, 15. Rocori 412, 16. Becker 504.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION – Drew Paradis, Alexandria, 15:28.05.
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS – 1. Paradis, 2. 11. Austin McCoy 16:51.9, 12. Mitch Evink 16:55.1, 14. Will Sieling 16:57.7, 18. Josh Hobbs 17:05.8, 21. Zach Hodgson 17:10.0, 25. Sam Vinje 17:18.1.