While the odds are against Hopkins High’s boys cross country team making it to state this year are long, head coach Mike Harris went into this week’s Section 6AA Meet with hopes for an upset.
The section race Oct. 24 features top-ranked Wayzata and third-ranked Edina as almost sure bets for the two state berths.
“There is great talent in our section,” said Harris. “We not only have the Lake Conference teams, but Minneapolis Washburn comes in. We are going for a top-two finish. Wayzata and Edina are among the best in the nation, so we have a lot of work to do.”
Eden Prairie is also favored to finish ahead of the Royals, based on previous results, including last week’s Lake Conference Meet at Gale Woods Farm.
Hopkins had two All-Lake Conference (top-13) runners that day. Senior Eli Hoeft won his all-conference berth by finishing third with a 5K time of 15:43. The only two ahead of him were Max Manley from Edina (15:26) and Andrew Brandt from Wayzata (15:30). Senior Aleksander Wormuth (10th in 16:19) emerged as Hopkins’ second all-conference runner.
“Eli, Manley and Brandt were all together with about half a mile left in the race,” said Harris. “I think Eli is as good as anybody in the state. There is no backing off on training, but he is mentally tapering for state. Aleksander had one of his best performances of the season in the conference meet.”
Senior Penn Sagedahl, another Hopkins runner in the midst of a good season, finished 22nd in the conference in 16:47.
“Our super sophs turned it on,” said Harris. Ben Haberman ran 16:48 for 24th place and Leo Goodman ran 16:57 for 26th place.
Junior Niko Schmanski took 30th place in 17:06. Another junior, Colby Branch, rounded out Minnetonka’s top seven, taking 38th place in 17:21.
Wayzata 42, Edina 50, Eden Prairie 62, Hopkins 85, Minnetonka 106.
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