Cross country teams send individuals to state


Captured by Molly Desutter.

Jada Miller, Sports Writer

The 2019 cross country season for the boys’ and girls’ teams ended with some impressive team and individual performances. After falling short in the team section races, Eagan was represented at the Class AA state championship by a trio of individuals. At sections, the top two teams and first eight individuals not on those teams qualified for the state championship race on Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College.

Boys 3rd at sections

The Eagan boys’ cross country team began the postseason with a third-place finish at the section meet at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley thanks to three personal-best times. Senior Paul Schmitter was the top-performing Wildcat in fourth place overall, posting a personal-record time of 15 minutes, 57.4 seconds on the 5,000-meter course. Junior Andre Huston placed 10th with a PR of 16:09.7 and junior Michael Marshall took 13th place, with a PR of 16:31.1.


At state, Schmitter placed 52nd with a time of 16:28.3 and Huston placed 81st with a time of 16:46.0.


The boys’ team created a race-day tradition of listening to “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor prior to heading out to the race, and they were also known to have recited poems to get mentally prepared for their races, according to coach Shannon Braun. It all helped to make for a successful season, according to Braun.


“My favorite part is just working with the athletes, watching them develop and watching them improve,” said Braun, also an EHS math teacher. “Just getting to know the kids better, it’s not always easy teaching a math class and lecturing, so it’s a fun way to get to know them better.”


“We’re all close with each other, and basically during the season, we’re best friends. It’s really fun to hang out with each other and grow as a team,” Huston said.

Girls take 4th at sections

Eagan’s girls’ cross country team placed fourth at the section meet at Valleywood, boosted by three runners who posted personal-best times. Sophomore Rina Aschemann took 14th place overall, with a PR of 19:29.3. Junior McKenna O’Brien placed 19th with a PR of 19:43.6 and sophomore Catalina Decker was just one-tenth of a second behind, taking 20th place with a PR of 19:43.7.


At the state meet at St. Olaf, Aschemann posted a time of 20:31.5 in 151st place to cap a memorable season.


“I think this season is better, because I’m running better and I’m also much closer with the team,” said Aschemann, who improved on her 20:04.3 time in 2018 at sections.


As the Wildcats look back on the 2019 season, they are ready for the next one according to Coach Lisa Langenhahn. “We have a lot of younger runners so we’re excited to see what we can do in the next couple years,” said Langenhahn.