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Alexandria welcomes in multiple state-ranked teams to Saturday's Lions Meet of Champions

The third-ranked Alexandria varsity girls team will run Saturday against other top programs as part of a full slate of races across different age levels that will take place at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center from 10:10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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Alexandria's Aleah Miller runs during a cross country meet at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center during the 2020 season. Now a senior, Miller is the ninth-ranked individual runner at the Class AA level and leads this third-ranked Cardinals team into the Lions Meet of Champions at Arrowwood against many other top programs in the state on Saturday. Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The Alexandria cross country programs were not able to host their traditional Lions Meet of Champions during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a 1-year layoff, the Lions meet is back this Saturday with many top programs again in attendance.

This meet almost always draws some of the best runners in the state, and it’s no different this weekend. Cardinals’ head coach Travis Hochhalter said that as of the late September statewide polls through MileSplit that 15 of the 28 boys teams scheduled to be in attendance on Saturday were ranked in the top 20 of the Class A, AA or AAA polls, and 13 girls teams were too.

That includes Alexandria, with the Cardinals up to No. 3 in the latest Class AA poll behind ninth-ranked individual runner, senior Aleah Miller. Alexandria’s Section 8AA has three of the top teams in the state with Willmar ranked second and Rocori fourth in the Class AA poll.

Both Willmar and Rocori are scheduled to be at the Lions Meet this Saturday.

Other top teams from Minnesota in Alexandria this weekend include third-ranked Edina (boys and girls AAA), fifth-ranked Farmington (girls, AAA), first-ranked St. Paul Highland Park (boys and girls, AA), Marshall (AA, girls fifth ranked, boys fourth ranked), ninth-ranked Mounds View (boys and girls, AAA), sixth-ranked Pequot Lakes (girls, AA), seventh-ranked Roseville (boys, AAA), 11th-ranked St. Thomas Academy (boys, AA), Staples-Motley (A, girls fifth-ranked, boys 10th ranked), Stillwater (AAA, girls seventh ranked, boys 10th ranked) and 11th-ranked White Bear Lake (AAA, boys).

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The meet at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center features a full slate of races, starting with a boys and girls 6th-grade race at 10:10 a.m. Varsity races wrap up the day with the girls starting at 12:30 p.m. and the boys running at 1:05. An awards ceremony will follow at 1:35.

ALEXANDRIA LIONS MEET OF CHAMPIONS AT ARROWWOOD RESORT

Saturday, Oct. 9

RACE SCHEDULE - 10:10 a.m. - 6th grade boys and girls

10:30 - junior high girls

10:50 - junior high boys

11:15 - junior varsity girls

11:55 - junior varsity boys

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12:30 p.m. - varsity girls

1:05 - varsity boys

1:35 - awards program

TEAMS SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: Alexandria, Albany, Becker, Buffalo, Chanhassen, Chaska, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks, Edina, Farmington, Fergus Falls, Highland Park, Little Falls, Marshall, Mounds View, New London-Spicer, Pequot Lakes, Rocori, Roseville, Sartell, Sioux Falls Washington, St. Thomas Academy (boys only), Staples-Motley, Stillwater, Thief River Falls, White Bear Lake (boys only), Willmar, Windom

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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