By Bob San
It was a moment of mixed emotions for the Maple Grove boys’ cross country team at the conclusion of last week’s Section 5 meet at Anoka.
The Crimson celebrated the fact that three runners — Sean Heaton, Mitchell Dickerson and Ryan Graham — all earned spots in this week’s state meet. However, they were disappointed that they missed qualifying as a team for state by just seven points. Centennial won the meet with 45 points and Mounds View edged Maple Grove for the second and final state spot 90 to 97.
Heaton led Maple Grove by taking sixth place, Dickerson followed in state seventh and Graham eighth. However, the Crimson lost out on their bids for second place by an agonizingly close score.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team after their performance today,” Crimson coach Nate Uselding said. “Our goal coming in was to finish in the top two as a team so it’s a little bittersweet to qualify three individuals and not the whole team. At the end of the day, we ran extremely well and hats off to Mounds View and Centennial, who ran better than us today. The three boys are excited for next week and looking to run well at the state meet.”
The three Crimson runners who compete at the state meet Saturday, Nov. 3, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Crimson finishers in the section meet are: 6- Sean Heaton, 16:25.3; 7- Mitchell Dickerson, 16:26.5; 8- Ryan Graham, 16:30.9; 36- Greg Brasier, 17:26.8; 40- Alex Miley, 17:29.5; 73- Austin Weigel, 18:163; 77- Christopher McLain, 18:20.8.