Though beset with injuries this fall, the Mora Mustangs boys and girls cross-country teams made a strong showing in Sections and will be represented at the State Tournament this week.
On Thursday, Oct. 24 Mora hosted the Section A tournament at Spring Brook Golf Course. The boys team finished in third place, and the girls took 10th. Senior Cooper Lennox will advance to State as an individual runner, where last year he took second place overall.
Head coach Chris Goebel said coaches were very pleased with everyone’s efforts at Sections.
“Of the seven girls who ran at Sections, four or five of them set personal- or season-best times,” he said. “And five out of our six top boys did the same.
“You could just see it in their faces that they were working really hard, putting everything they could into their races.”
Mustangs runners from both teams advanced to State last fall; the boys won the Section 5A title for the sixth year in a row, and the girls finished fourth. The boys took third place at State, and junior Peyton Oslin and sophomore Eva Holmgren represented the girls as individual runners.
Goebel said that several Mustang seniors had memorable performances at Sections. “Cooper will advance to State, and Hunter Honstrom broke the 18-minute mark for the first time. Johanna Schwinghamer set her best-ever time, and Lily Peterson got her second-best,” he said.
“The coaches’ task now is to figure out this year’s injuries. We have some plans in place: focusing more on running on grass, and talking more about injury prevention, especially shin splints.”
Goebel believes that the Mustangs are stronger for this fall’s adversity. “These kids had to overcome a lot this fall, seeing their teammates battle back from injury. I think everyone is more positive from watching how we overcame those things. And we have a big group of juniors, looking to step up and take over for our graduating seniors next year.”
The State Tournament takes place on Saturday, Nov. 2, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.