Boys cross-country team fights for victory


Megan Aller

Senior John Huntley, one of the top runners for Stillwater, pushes his hardest to finish strong in the Minnesota State Championships.

Jessica Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

They lace up their spikes as they approach the starting line. As they do their final run outs, they strategize on how they want to run their race. The starter walks to the center of the field. Ready! The boys approach the starting line. Set! They bend their knees in anticipation. Go! The herd of boys fly onto the course.

The boys cross-country team competed in the Minnesota State championship meet on Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The team ran their top seven runners. The runners who competed—in order of finishing—were Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (’15), Nick Yokanovich (’16), Allen-Michael Burback (’15), Sam Hanson (’16), Tim Koenning (’16), Jonathon Breckheimer (’16) and John Huntley (’15). The team finished in third place behind Hopkins in second and Wayzata in first.

The boys did not originally place at third. The team tied for second with Hopkins and lost in a tie breaker consisting of placing through times rather than overall placing.

Junior Tim Koenning was not angry with this result but rather given the desire to improve. He said, “We ended up where we were ranked so it wasn’t unexpected. Obviously we thought we could have done better but we didn’t. Especially with a tie, it’s something we look forward to this week to improve on.”

Multiple varsity runners were struck with injuries throughout the course of the season causing them to loose the ability to push themselves to their peak potential.

Junior Eli Krahn was one of these runners. “Sam [Hanson] got injured at the start of the season. and that definitely threw us off for a few meets because we needed Sam to get healthy in order to do well. And then I got injured and that definitely wasn’t good for us. Then [Allen-Michael] Burback went down at the same time and it was just the combination of all three of us re-having some injuries that compounded upon itself. We could have handled one of us going down but all three of us was too much for the moment. But, in the end, we did rebound really well actually,” said Krahn.

Although they did not win state, the team ran in the Nike regionals meet on Nov. 10. And placed third once again.

Before the meet, Koenning said, “Depending on the results, [regionals] will tell if we go to nationals. You have to be in the top two there so that [meet] is where the second or first place would be important.”

Although the team would have preferred to win, the talent that will be present for next year’s season is exciting to them.

“We return five of the top seven runners and that’s enough to score well,” said Krahn. “We really come together as a team and we aren’t just seven guys running on our own every race, we run for each other.”