Hill-Murray cross country teams have experience

The cross country teams from Hill-Murray didn’t place all that high in the section meet at the end of the season but head coach Tim Ryan called it a fun season. Ryan said the main reason for that was because more than half the competitors were first-year cross country runners.

Fast forward a year and the Pioneers are a much more experienced group.

“We have numerous athletes returning from last season’s very young teams,” said Ryan, who has coached cross country at Hill-Murray for 38 years.

Of the 31 runners out for the two teams, only seven are new to the sport. 

All seven of the runners from the girls’ team are back this fall. Among them are senior captain Alaina Nicosia and junior captain Mary Mueller, who holds the school record in 5,000-meter races. Also back are sophomores Margot Keeler, Vanessa Wren and Anna Fox and eighth grader Gillian Muniz. Others who could challenge for spots on the varsity roster include junior Maggie McMahon and eighth grader Sadie Ball.

On the boys’ side, three of the top four runners return. Junior Matt Heimerman led the Pioneers at the 2015 section meet and senior Andy Seifert was fourth. Heimerman and Seifert, along with Jonah Reub, are this season’s captains. 

Freshman Austin Ranweiler, third at sections, is also back, as is junior Henry Audette. Newcomers who have shown potential include freshmen Kainoa Victor and John Heinz and junior Ethan Henseler. Senior Jack Freesmeier and junior Will Fabian have also looked good at practice.

“Expectations for this season are very simple,” Ryan said. “We expect each of our athletes to train and compete to be the best cross country runners they can be.”

Ryan would like to see a few more athletes come out for each team and hopes that might happen once school starts. 

“Staying healthy will be a priority for our teams,” Ryan said.

As far as the Metro East Conference in concerned, Ryan tabbed Henry Sibley and Hastings as the favorites for the boys and Sibley and Mahtomedi for the girls.

Both Hill-Murray teams open the season on Aug. 27 at the Holy Angels Invitational at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016 Hill-Murray cross country schedule

Aug. 27 Invitational at Powderhorn Park, 10 a.m.

Sept. 10 Ron Kretch Invite at Bassett Creek Park, 9:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 Metro East meet at St. Croix Regional Park, 4 p.m.

Sept. 29 Invitational at Southern Hills Golf Course, TBA

Oct. 6 Blaine Invitational at Majestic Oaks GC, 3:15 p.m.

Oct. 18 Metro East championships at St. Croix Reg. Park, 3 p.m.

Oct. 26 Section 4AA championships at Les Bolstad GC, 3 p.m.

 

 

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