Twenty-two of 26 Park runners set personal bests as the Wolfpack competed in the Suburban East Conference cross country championship meet at Tanners Brook Golf Club in Forest Lake on Tuesday, Oct. …
Twenty-two of 26 Park runners set personal bests as the Wolfpack competed in the Suburban East Conference cross country championship meet at Tanners Brook Golf Club in Forest Lake on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Park junior Gavin Stauffer finished 24th (16:34.5) and sophomore Eli Firchau 26th (16:38.1) to lead the Park varsity boys. Both earned all-conference honorable mention. Stauffer’s time was the 11th fastest 5K time in school history and Firchau’s time was the 14th fastest.
“It was very tough,” said Stauffer. “Everyone took the first mile out very fast, I had to run a 5:06 first mile. Second mile was all right then I slowed down in the third mile. The last half mile I started kicking in again. I got back on track.”
Stauffer hadn’t PR’d in two years he said. “I’m very happy, very satisfied.”
“This is a very tough conference,” said Park co-head coach Brad Narveson. “If you look at other conferences around the state there's no doubt they would've been all conference in almost all of them. They both ran really well. Gavin ran the 11th fastest time in school history and Eli is now 14th all time. And it gets even better...they both will be back next year.”
Firchau’s start was kind of the opposite of Stauffer’s, but his finish was strong as he knocked 30 seconds off his previous best time.
“It was a little bit of a slow start for 800, I kind of got pushed to the back,” Firchau said. “But you just slowly pushed up and then after we came through a mile really fast. It was like 5:08. It was really fast and I just had to hold on, but I did. It was really fast for sure. But it was an exciting race.”
Park’s Jack Weir was 55th (17:50.8), Jayden Rentz 58th (17:55.7), Cooper Williams 65th (18:05.7), Will Mann 72nd (18:39.3) and Brandon Cooper 75th (18:53.4) in the boys varsity race.
Park was seventh in the boys team race with 201 points. That was Park’s best finish since 2005.
Mounds View edged Stillwater 50-54 to win the boys team title. White Bear Lake was third with 72, Roseville fourth with 98, East Ridge fifth with 105, Woodbury sixth with 161, Park seventh with 201, Forest Lake eighth with 201 and Irondale ninth with 264.
Park sophomore Kalin Randrup led the Park girls with the 10thfastest 5K time in Wolfpack history. Hollen Thompson had the 14th fastest 5K time in school history.
Randrup led the Park girls with a 55th place individual finish in 21:56.8. Thompson was 60th in 22:46.4, Aria Waletzko 64th in 23:04.8, Susan Mbu 68th in 23:30.5, Allie Devine 69th in 23:36.2 and Hailey Kieffer 77th in 24:57.3.
“It was a good race,” said Randrup. “It was pretty flat and it didn’t have many hills but it was hard to keep my pace up. I started really fast I feel like. I finished my first mile in like 6:14. But then I slowed down after that.”
The Park girls were eighth in the team race with a score of 255. All nine Park girls set personal records.
“It was pretty good,” Thompson said her race. “I definitely went faster than I thought I could go. And it was a really nice course because it was like pretty flat most of the time. It was nice because it wasn’t too sunny and there was some wind so that helped a lot.”
“Kalin Randrup continues to get better and better,” said Narveson. “She's the 10th fastest 5K runner in Park history (girls started racing 5K in 2015). And Hollen Thompson cracked our all-time list too and now sits at number 14. It was a great day at the conference meet.”
Mounds View won the girls team competition with just 41 points. Forest Lake was second (61), Woodbury third (63), White Bear Lake fourth (98), Roseville fifth (103), East Ridge sixth (165), Stillwater seventh (177), Park eighth (255) and Irondale ninth (260).
Park’s runners now compete in the Section 3AAA championships, set for Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley on Thursday, Oct. 26. The boys race starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by the girls race at 12:15 p.m.