Cross-country on pace for strong conference performance

Noah Betz-Richman, Minor Staffer

Boys’ team builds on summer training to improve on last season

For the first time since 2009, the boys’ cross-country team is expected to place second at the North Suburban Conference Championships taking place Oct. 16.

Park will face eight other teams at the conference meet. Based of the team’s performance so far this season, Park is predicted to compete for second place with Chisago Lakes. Totino-Grace is predicted to take first place, as they have for the past three seasons.

Junior captain Andrew Jewell said he is faithful in the team’s ability to do well at the conference meet.

“Unless some of our top runners get injured, we can pretty confidently say that we’ll be (in the) top three,” Jewell said.
Coach Rachel Hoffman said the team has performed well so far. According to Hoffman, the team has placed in the upper half of most meets in which they have participated.
Junior captain Elliot Slade said that for the team to continue to perform as well as it has so far this season, runners need to stay in their best physical condition.
“To do well at conference we need to keep training hard,” Slade said. “We need to keep up the intensity that we’ve had all season.”
The team will not have any more meets until the conference meet. Jewell said he believes this rest period will help them prepare for the upcoming competition.
“This year we have a long time off (before conference), so we’ll be more ready to run at the last meet. We’ll be more enthusiastic than usual,” Jewell said.
Hoffman said that during the off-week, the team needs to prepare not only physically, but also mentally.
“We need to get the mental piece in place. We need the runners to think they can win this,” Hoffman said.
After the team competes at conference, they will compete at sections Oct. 24. Slade said the team’s goals for sections are more modest than their goals for conference.
“My goal for sections is just to do better than we did last year,” Slade said. “Our section is one of the strongest sections in the state.”
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