Mustangs, Huskies headed to state cross country meet

Three teams from Section 5AA were ranked in the final Class AA boys cross country coaches poll last week. That meant that one ranked team would be left out of the state meet.

Mounds View was one of the teams that made the cut by finishing in the top two of the team standings at the section meet held Oct. 24 at Anoka High School. The Mustangs' 78 points were enough for second place and that was good enough to secure a berth in Saturday's state meet.

Centennial claimed the section team title with 71 points.

Mounds View and Centennial were ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in the final state poll and joined in the rankings by No. 10 Totino-Grace. The Eagles turned out to be a non-factor as they ended up sixth with 133 points.

Mounds View's boys team is headed to the state meet for the third year in a row and the 27th time in school history. In those 27 trips, the Mustangs' highest finished was second place, which has happened three times. Their most recent upper-half performance came in 2007 when they ended up seventh out of 16 teams.

Leading the way for the Mustangs were seniors Andre Hessini and Michael Hoff, who finished in the top 10 of the individual standings. Hessini placed eighth overall by edging Hoff by four-tenths of a second.

The rest of Mounds View's top five finishers included senior Tony Duchenes, who placed 13th, and the Plasencia brothers, sophomore Alex and senior Ryan, who were 23rd and 25th overall. Also competing in the section meet for Mounds View were junior Matt Anderson and senior George Henson.

Centennial claimed the team championship by placing its top five runners no lower than 21st. Junior Ben Jack finished third overall.

The individual section champion was St. Michael-Albertville junior Chase Cayo, who won by more than 11 seconds. Cayo was the lone ranked individual from the section.

MVHS girls

The Mounds View girls did not qualify for state as a team but will have two individuals competing on Saturday.

Freshman Riley McGinnity and senior Carly Bandt finished high enough to advance to the state meet. The top eight individuals who are not part of the two qualifying teams advance to state.

McGinnity placed fifth overall and was the third individual not from a qualifying team while Bandt was eighth overall and the sixth individual from a non-state team.

Bandt is making her second trip to state. She was the Section 5AA individual champion in 2012 and finished 18th overall at the state meet.

This is McGinnity's first trip to state.

Anoka and Totino-Grace claimed the two team berths from Section 5AA. The Tornadoes won the section team crown with 90 points while the Eagles ended up with 109 points. Neither team was ranked in the final coaches poll.

St. Anthony Village

The Huskies are sending two individuals, one of each gender, to the state meet.

Senior Melissa Marsh is returning to the state tournament for the second time in her career and first since she was an eighth grader back 2009. Marsh finished ninth overall at the Section 5AA meet and was the seventh of the top eight runners not from one of the two qualifying teams.

Joining Marsh at state is fellow Huskie Nick Lawson, who qualified for his first state meet. Lawson, a junior, finished 10th overall and was the seventh of the top eight runners not from one of the two qualifying teams.

Lawson's older brother Chris ran in the state meet as a senior two years ago and this fall is a sophomore on the College of St. Scholastica men's cross country team.

State meet schedule

St. Olaf College, site of the state meet since 1992, is hosting once again this year. The meet is Saturday starting at 10 a.m. with the Class AA girls race. The Class AA boys follow at 11 a.m.

Section 5AA cross country meet
Team scores

1 - Centennial 71
2 - Mounds View 78
3 - Maple Grove    103
4 - St. Michael-Albertville    122
5 - Rogers                132
6 - Totino-Grace            133
7 - Osseo                157
8 - Coon Rapids            199
9 - St. Anthony Village        270
10 - Blaine                272
11 - Irondale            301
12 - Champlin Park        374
13 - Anoka            377
14 - Park Center            417
15 - Fridley            425
16 - Spring Lake Park        457

1 - Anoka                90
2 - Totino-Grace            109
3 - Coon Rapids            125
4 - Mounds View            149
5 - St. Michael-Albertville    149
6 - Maple Grove            158
7 - Irondale            162
8 - Centennial            165
9 - Rogers                204
10 - Osseo                223
11 - St. Anthony Village    292
12 - Park Center            312
13 - Spring Lake Park        324
14 - Blaine                376
15 - Champlin Park        378
16 - Fridley            447

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