Eli Hoeft of the Hopkins High boys cross country team made a good showing against some of Minnesota’s top runners in the annual Bauman/Rovn Invitational Sept. 6 at Gale Woods Farm.
Hoeft finished fifth in the 15-school boys varsity race with a 5K time of 15:53. That time solidifies his place as a state hopeful.
His coach Mike Harris feels Hoeft has a great upside, not only for the rest of the high school season, but also for college.
“Early in his career, Eli was exposed to the work ethic of the Hopkins runners on our championship team,” said Harris. “He has put in the time and the sweat and found the magic formula. He has improved day by day, week by week. I think Eli has a chance to be top six in the conference and the section. When the gun goes off, Eli is at his best.”
While Hoeft is the unquestionable leader of the Hopkins boys team, his teammates are also making progress.
Penn Sagedahl finished sixth in the Bauman/Rovn with his 5K time of 16:41.
Sophomore Ben Haberman had the biggest improvement that day, according to Harris, with his time of 17:08.
Aleksander Wormuth was also solid, turning in a time of 17:21.
Edina won the boys team title at the Bauman/Rovn with 60 points and Lake Conference rival Eden Prairie was second with 70. Others in the top six were Buffalo 106, Eastview 110, Hopkins 142 and Armstrong 162.
In the girls race, Edina was also the champion, scoring 56 points. Eden Prairie was second with 63 and Hopkins placed seventh with 188 points.
Sophomore Grace Burgess was the top runner for the Hopkins girls, placing 31st with her 5K time of 20:19. Right behind her in 32nd place was another sophomore, Laci Provenzano, with a time of 20:23. Next was Lily Provenzano in 20:55. Cassidy Allen ran 21:12.
Coach Harris is waiting for one of his top girls, Lucy Avenson, to get healthy. Once she joins the lineup, Hopkins will have a better chance to shine in the big meets.
Harris mentioned that senior Lauren Krake has gained confidence and will be a factor for the girls team this fall.
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