(Alexandria, MN) -- The Lions Meet of Champions returned to the Alexandria Lakes area on Saturday, featuring approximately 1,500 cross country runners from Minnesota and South Dakota.
The meet, hosted by the Alexandria Evening Lions organization, returned to the prep cross country running schedule after being cancelled due to COVID-19 mitigation in 2020. Roughly one-third of the field of teams to make up the Boys' Varsity field on Saturday are presently state-ranked in their class in Minnesota, while nearly half of the Girls' Varsity teams have earned state recognition in 2021.
Edina's Girls' Cross Country squad -- presently ranked in the top five of the Class AAA poll -- earned top team honors. The Hornets scored 74 points, outpacing Highland Park High School of Saint Paul, which finished with a score of 102. The host Alexandria Cardinals placed third with 132 points.
Individually, Molly Moening of Highland Park crossed the line first in the Girls' Varsity event, finishing the five kilometers with a time of 18:23. Central Minnesota runner Olivia Goebel from Albany finished in second. Two of Alexandria's seniors placed in the top 10 individually: Aleah Miller ran to a fourth place performance, while teammate Emma Ecker placed eighth.
In the Boys' Varsity race, Mounds View's Elliot McArthur became a champion in the Lions' Meet, and should be in line to defend his title next fall. The junior crossed the line at a tick under 16 minutes -- the only runner to do so. His winning time for the five kilometers was 15:59. Alexandria was paced by senior Joel Brault, who ran to a 33rd place finish. His Cardinals placed 18th in the team standings.
Mounds View ran to first place in the Boys' Varsity race with a team score of 91. Due in part to having three finishers in the top eight, Roseville captured second place with 125 points. Edina was seven points back in third place.
A few sprinkles dropped on the runners during the first three races Saturday morning. But the sun broke out just before noon, and the Varsity runners competed with some humid conditions. Temperatures were hovering around the 70-degree mark, with dewpoint numbers in the low-60's.
Alexandria Cardinal Cross Country Running Coach Travis Hochhalter will provide more details on his team's performances from Saturday's Lions Meet during an upcoming Cardinal Sports Report. The radio program devoted to promoting Alexandria Cardinal sports airs on KXRA (1490 AM, 100.3 FM, and 105.7 FM) weekdays at approximately 8:15 in the morning, then again afternoons at 12:35 and 5:35.
The link below will guide you to the Gopher State Events web site, with detailed timing for each of the seven races that were staged on Saturday.
Once you click on the above link, you will need to do some extra navigation. On the top of the page, look for the word "Results", which should lead to a drop down of two options. After locating the "School Events" option, float over the arrow to take you to "Cross-Country". Click that, and a new page will appear. Next to the word "Meet", another drop down box of options will be available to view. Access those options, and choose "Lions Invitational (10/9/21)" to view expanded results.