Highland Park punches two tickets to the MN state meet

By: Abby Altman

Photos courtesy of Jen Rusch 

A lot was riding on the Highland Parks Scots’ performance at the 2022 section 3AA meet. In the last 5 years, the boys and girls cross country teams at Highland have made several state appearances each. 2021 was perhaps the most successful state meet in Highland history. The girls team won the state meet, while the boys team came in third. 

2 years ago, Highland Park was moved down a section due to their school size, placing them into competition with teams slower than their previous section. Last year, this helped the team secure their spots at state with much less anxiety and stress. This year, the competition has increased, especially on the boys side. 

This year, Two Rivers, Highland Park, and St. Thomas Academy all finished the section meet within 10 points of each other. Two Rivers took 1st place, taking the first spot at the state meet, with 49 points. Highland was very close behind, taking 2nd place, and the final spot at state, with 51 points. St. Thomas Academy finished in 3rd place, just missing out on state, with 58 points. To put emphasis on how close these point totals are, the 4th place team finished with 130 points. 

In the boys 5K race, Highland had runners place 1st and 2nd, finishing just 4 seconds apart. Gavin Roberts cruised to the finish line in 1st place, with a time of 16:16. His teammate, Davis Isom, kicked hard right behind him, trying to ensure he beat the runner from Two Rivers, who finished 2 seconds behind Isom. 

Highland then had runners finish in places 12, 13, 23, 27, and 30. 

The boys team is ranked 4th overall in class AA. 

“There is only excitement going into state”, said senior Ben Martin. “We don’t have any expectations other than to have our best race of the season”. 

The boys team believes there are around 6 teams with a chance of winning, and they are one of them. “We know the race will be super close, and that just makes it more fun”, said Martin. 

Photo courtesy of Jen Rusch 

On the girls side of the race, the pressure wasn’t quite as high. The girls team has been ranked number 1 in class AA all season, and for good reason. They’re fast. 

The Highland Park girls took 1st place at sections this year, beating 2nd place Two Rivers 26-60. Luna Scorzelli finished 1st, 38 seconds ahead of 2nd place, with a time of 18:11. Delia Johnson, also from Highland, finished 2nd with a time of 18:49. 

Highland finishers took places 4, 9, 10, 16, and 24. 

Looking ahead to the state meet, Luna Scorzelli is ranked #1 in class AA, and Delia Johnson is ranked #8. Highland is the only girls team with more than 1 runner ranked in the top 12.

“There is definitely some pressure to repeat previous results this year. This can be super stressful, but it’s also super exciting”, said senior Delia Johnson. “I’m grateful to be on such a hard working and high performing team and I’m looking forward to showing everyone what we’re capable of”. 

Photo courtesy of Jen Rusch 

The state meet is on Saturday, November 5th, at St. Olaf college.   

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