skip navigation

Team, Individual Titles For Prior Lake Runners At SSC

10/21/2021, 8:45pm CDT
By Tom Schardin

The Prior Lake cross country teams garnered two victories at the South Suburban Conference Championships in Eagan Oct. 15.

The No. 5-ranked Laker girls won the team crown with four runners in the top 12. They finished with 52 points, two better than No. 6 Farmington and 26 better than No. 7 Eagan.

Lakeville South ended up fourth with 83 points, followed by Eastview (130), Rosemount (177), Shakopee (185), Burnsville (219), Lakeville North (237) and Apple Valley (320).

On the boys side, Hootie Hage led Prior Lake and every other runner in the field. The sophomore finished the 5,000-meter course with a winning time of 16:17.2.

The boys finished 10th in the team standings with 219 points. Third-ranked Rosemount won the title (56), followed by No. 4 Lakeville North (67), Apple Valley (107), Lakeville South (137), Eastview (140), Eagan (159), Farmington (172), Burnsville (179) and Shakopee (197).

The Section 2AAA meet is next for the Lakers. That’s set for Oct. 26 at Gale Woods in Minnetrista. There are three ranked teams in the girls field, No. 1 Edina, No. 2 Minnetonka and Prior Lake.

On the boys side, there are two ranked squads, No. 2 Minnetonka and No. 10 Edina.

The top two finishing teams make state, along with the top-eight individuals not on the advancing squads. This year’s Class 3A competition is set for Nov. 6 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Last year, the Laker boys were the unofficial state champions. The Minnesota State High School League did not have any state competitions for all fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So instead, the Twin Cities Running Club put on a Cross Country Showcase (an unofficial state meet) at Island Pine Golf Club in Atwater, where the Prior Lake boys won the title. The Laker girls finished eighth.

Both Laker teams were Section 3AA champions last fall.

However, the MSHSL reclassified sections for all sports last April. Cross country went to three classes and both Prior Lake teams were placed in Section 2AAA with the likes of Edina and Minnetonka, along with Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee and Waconia.

Hage is the No. 3-ranked runner in the state in Class 3A, while Minnetonka’s Nick Gilles is No. 2 and Sam Scott of Minneapolis Southwest, who will compete in Section 6AAA, is No. 1.

At the SSC Championships, Hage bested the second-place runner, Andrew Casey of Lakeville North, by nearly 20 seconds (16:37.0).

Senior Zach Johnson was the Lakers’ next-best finisher in 26th place (17:50.3), followed by senior Tyler Schwen in 63rd (19:25.1), ninth-grader Josh Cole in 64th (19;28.4) and eighth-grader Joe Gannon in 71st (20:31.1).

On the girls side, eighth-grader Sara Gastony led the way for Prior Lake with third overall (19:61.1). She is ranked No. 10 in the state individual rankings.

Eighth-grader Keeley Mohling was fifth (19:29.6) for the Lakers, followed by eighth-grader Isabelle Reinders in ninth (19:36.9), ninth-grader Layla Vennink in 12th (19:41.7), ninth-grader Sophia Basile in 23rd (20:27.7), eighth-grader Talia Bushman in 26th (20:35.6), junior Aubree Taylor in 27th (20:44.5), ninth-grader Maggie Hoen in 34th (20:58.1) and ninth-grader Annabel McCann in 58th (22:28.3).

If the Laker girls can get back to state this fall, it will be the program’s 15th appearance dating back to 1989. The team’s best finish was 2009 when it took second.

Prior Lake was fourth in both 2005 and 2007 and fifth in 2006. Other finishes include seventh in 1989; ninth in 2010; 10th in 1993, 2001, 2004 and 2008; 13th in 2011; 15th in 2003 and 16th in 2018.

Tag(s): HOME  Boys Cross Country  Girls Cross Country