Mounds View cross country teams state-bound

A pair of second-place finishes was good enough to get both cross country teams from Mounds View High School to Saturday's state meet. The top two teams in each section qualify for the state competition.

The Mustangs' boys team finished runner-up to Centennial while the girls squad took second behind Totino-Grace in the Section 5AA meet on Oct. 25 at Anoka High School.

In addition to the teams earning state berths, the other big Mounds View news from the section meet was junior Carly Bandt's individual section championship in the girls' race. Bandt completed the 4,000-meter course in 14:31.7 to outpace runner-up Rachel King of St. Michael-Albertville by 24 seconds.

Bandt's section performance landed her at No. 8 in the final Class AA coaches poll.

The rest of Mounds View's top five included sophomore Christine Hessini (11th overall), seniors Nicole Balzer (12th) and Katie McDaniels (28th) and seventh-grader Elle Conlin (42nd). Eighth-grader Erin Samerow and freshman Mara Balzer also competed in the section meet.

On the boys' side, Mounds View placed its top five runners in the top 25. Junior Noah Pilgrim led the Mustangs with a 12th-place finish and was followed by fellow 11th-graders Michael Hoff (16th) and Andrew Hessini (18th) and seniors Joey Kaiser (21st) and Thomas Wentworth (23rd). Juniors Ryan Plasencia and Matt Anderson also raced in the section competition.

Saturday will be Mounds View's second consecutive boys state appearance while the girls team is back at state after a one-year hiatus and for the third time in four years.

The Class AA state cross country meet starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the boys' race. The girls competition begins at 2 p.m.

Irondale

The Knights also competed in the Section 5AA meet and finished ninth in the boys' competition and 12th in the girls' race.

Individually, sophomore Mary Heinks led Irondale with a 40th-place performance for the girls and senior Tyler Gilbert finished 41st for the boys.

St. Anthony Village

St. Anthony's cross country teams ran in the Section 4AA meet on Oct. 24 but were unable to advance anyone to the state meet. The Huskies' girls team finished eighth out of 15 competing teams while the boys squad ended up 12th.

Individually, sophomore Nick Lawson was the first St. Anthony runner across the finish line in the boys race, finishing 28th. In the girls' competition, eighth-grader Riley McGinnity finished in 23rd place to lead the Huskies

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.