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Anderson Leads Eagan Girls to Cross Country Crown and to State

Senior Danielle Anderson blazed past the field to win the Section 3AA cross country individual championship Thursday; Eagan girls win team title and qualify for state.

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Senior Danielle Anderson raced to an easy individual title and led the Eagan High School girls to a convincing team win in the Section 3AA cross country championships Thursday at Apple Valley’s Valleywood Golf Course.

Anderson won in a time of 14:22.6, some 37 seconds faster than second-place finisher Vivian Hett of Burnsville (14:59.8).

“It went really well for me,” said Anderson. “It was really muddy, though, and pretty hilly, so I didn’t know what to expect.

One of the best runners in the state, Anderson said she’s got her goals set for the state meet. “I do want to break 14 at state, though. In this meet I was a little off my time, but it’s cold, and it’s wet, so I wasn’t expecting a personal best today.”

Eagan won the girls team title with just 21 points and qualified for the state cross country meet. Prior Lake was second in the 14-team sectional with 105 and Burnsville third with 106.

The Wildcats placed five runners in the top seven to run away with the team title.

Junior Raissa Hansen of Eagan was third overall in 15:03.0. Kelli Praska was fourth in 15:04.8, Anna Van Wyk sixth in 15:19.5 and Karina Johnson seventh in 15:20.4. Also running for the Wildcats were: Olivia Mitchell, 21st in 16:00.2 and Elizabeth Frick, 22nd in 16:02.8.

“We did very well team-wise,” said Eagan coach Lisa Langenhahn. “I think all five finished in the top eight, so we had a very good day today.

“We were just hoping to solidify a win and call it a day,” said Langenhahn. “They all ran really well, so they’re all at the point where we said we wanted to be at.”

Eagan’s girls will compete in the state cross country meet Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

The Eagan boys placed 10th in the 15-team boys team race with 224 points.

Rosemount won the boys team title with 59 points. Eastview was second and Burnsville third with 89.

Junior Josh Podpeskar finished 16th in the boys race in 16:40.5, and just missing qualifying for state. The top 15 individuals advance.

Nate Johnson of Eagan was 46th in 17:26.8, Gabe Yismaw 48th in 17:29.5, Cato Valandra 55th in 17:46, Nicholas Acton 60th in 17:50.2, Dan Podpeskar 64th in 17:54 and Matt Vanrisseghem 65th in 17:54.8.

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