11/8/2012 8:35:00 AM Wildcats finish 13th at state tournament
The Chisago Lakes boys cross country team finished 13th at the state tournament. B elow (from right to left) senior Noah Rockenback competed in his last cross country race for CL at the state tournament. Sophomore Zac West get out to a fast start and kept his foot on the gas pedal throughout. North Branch eighth grader Rhianna Rinke tries to keep up with the lead pack at St. Olaf’s. Photos by Ken Orwoll
By JEFF NORTON
The Wildcat boys brought their brand of running down to St. Olaf’s at the state cross country meet last weekend. One week after qualifying for the state tournament as a team, the Wildcats stormed Northfield’s course and did very well. As a team, the guys finished 13th out of 16 teams, outpacing rival Elk River, who had beaten them by two points at sections. At the state tourney, they bested the Elks by four points. The Wildcats best finish came from junior Andy Magnuson. Coincidentally, he was also the only ‘Cat with state tournament experience going into the day. Magnuson finished in 48th place overall with a time of 16:22. His time, however, was good enough for 19th place in the team competition. “Andy ran a very smart race.
He didn’t want to go out too hard but needed to get out so he wasn’t caught in the mob,” Head Coach Ken Orwoll explained. “He was able to get in a position that he could run his own race and he had a personal best.” Sophomore Zac West broke the 17 minute barrier for the first time in his young career, saving his best for the state tournament. West came in 114th overall with his 16:59 time, but counted in 56th place in the team competition. “I was worried about Zac West’s start,” Orwoll said. “He went out faster than normal and really pushed it early. Normally he catches a lot of people and comes from behind. He just showed another side he has as a runner.”
The other three runners that contributed to the varsity 13th place score were Carl Osterberg, Noah Rockenback and Carson Velaski. Osterberg had a personal best at the state meet, finishing in 17:15 in 75th place in the team competition. Rockenback is the only senior on the team this year. He came in 87th place in the team competition with a time of 17:33. Velaski was just behind Rockenback, and he finished in 17:38 in 90th place in the team race. “Carl saved his best race for state and ran a very solid, steady race,” Orwoll said. “And Noah ran a great final race in his last high school cross country meet. He said that he really liked running on this course with a good mixture of hills and flats. It was another solid effort by the senior captain.” The Wildcats have a promising future ahead, as only Rockenback will be gone from next year’s squad. But for now, Orwoll and his runners are just enjoying the time at the top. “I was very proud of this team.
Their dedication, determination and talent was very evident and paid off to be able to compete at the state level,” he said. “The confidence and experience gained at a state meet will be valuable for them next year and in the new conference.” Rinke finished 88th North Branch’s Rhianna Rinke performed well in her first ever state meet. The eighth grader finished in 88th place in the meet with a time of 15:27. She started out with a blistering pace, running a 5:29 split in her first mile, but she was unable to keep that pace up throughout the meet and runners began to pass her as the race wore on. As an eighth grader, though, Rinke will use the race as a learning tool and continue to grow as a runner.