Ana Weaver col.jpg

Ava Weaver

ST. PAUL — Picking up right where she left off last fall, senior Ana Weaver posted a comfortable victory while leading the sixth-ranked Stillwater girls cross country team to a 33-24 win over Mounds View in their season opener on Friday, Sept. 4 at Como Park.

Weaver, the reigning Class A individual state champion, covered the 3,200-meter course in 11:11 to lead a sweep of the top three places for the Ponies.

“Ana had a great race,” Stillwater coach Dawn Podolske said.

Weaver, the only senior in Stillwater’s lineup, finished 46 seconds ahead of sophomore teammate and runner-up Brooke Elfert (11:57) while sophomore Avery Braunshausen followed in third with a time of 12:20.

Magnolia Taylor was the top finisher for Mounds View, finishing fourth in a time of 12:26. The top five finishers for the Mustangs were separated by just over 32 seconds, compared to a spread of more than 2:24 for Stillwater.

“We were lucky enough to beat Mounds View,” Podolske said. “They were a good team and ran well together as a pack. I was just excited to see the kids running.”

Morgan Peterman, a sophomore, placed sixth in 12:33 while sophomore Anabel Lantz completed the scoring in 12th place with a time of 13:35. Also running for the Ponies, sophomore Lily Ward (13:39) and freshman Abigail Rupnow (13:44) placed 13th and 14th.

In addition to being shorter than a typical 5,000-meter race, meets are limited to just three teams or fewer this fall due to COVID-19. Cretin-Derham Hall participated, but did not have enough runners to field a team.

“It’s just a different atmosphere,” Podolske said. “It’s what normal is right now for us. The kids were excited to just be running.

“We don’t really know what is happening with whether there will be a section or state meet and the dynamics of everything looks different, but I think all the kids were pleased.”

The Ponies are set to race at Woodbury on Friday, Sept. 11.

Team standings

1. Stillwater 24; 2. Mounds View 33; Cretin-Derham Hall, inc.

Top 5, Stillwater finishers

1. Ana Weaver (St) 11:11; 2. Brooke Elfert (St) 11:57; 3. Avery Braunshausen (St) 12:20; 4. Magnolia Taylor (MV) 12:26; 5. Laurin Isabel (MV) 12:26; 6. Morgan Peterman (St) 12:33; 12. Anabel Lantz (St) 13:35; 13. Lily Ward (St) 13:39; 14. Abigail Rupnow (St) 13:44.

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