Kingsland’s Richard Swanson comes in with a trio at the finish for ninth through 11th place. Swanson took 11th in the state.
Kingsland’s Richard Swanson comes in with a trio at the finish for ninth through 11th place. Swanson took 11th in the state.
It was the 67th running of the state cross-country meet, and the 21st at St. Olaf College. But it was the first for sophomore Richard Swanson, and he created memories for himself, his coaches and his fans that will last a lifetime.

Swanson, running cross-country for the first time this year, finished 11th, 16:15.9, at the state meet, which qualified him for All-State honors. All-State honors go to the top 25 finishers at the state meet, and Richard Swanson did it in his first try.

Co-head coach Amber Uhlenhake said it best..."Richard placed an impressive 11th in 16:15.9. He ran a very smart race at the biggest meet of the season. He knew to go out strong so as to not get boxed in, which he did.

"For a kid who's never been out before, he raced like he's had years of experience. Any coach would be lucky to have someone so humble, yet so hard-working each and every day. He will push until there's nothing left to give, which will only help him continue to build strength and experience in the years to come. We hope to have him on that medal stage in the coming years. He was surrounded by a great group of teammates, and he really put up an impressive race, when others fall down to nerves and the pressure of the meet. He held his own, ran well in the unexpected snow, and gained valuable experience. This is a huge boost to the program, and we hope others will follow his example and give cross-country a 'shot.' Richard's a true testament 'in there's no telling how far one may go' with this sport...even all the way to All-State honors."

State meet notes...

The Class A boys meet was won by Perham, with an impressive 37 points. Top five guys finished, in scoring, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, with sixth and seventh coming in at 22 and 38. Six all-staters! Winona Cotter came in fifth (200 points) and Plainview-Elgin-Millville was ninth (218).

Top individual boy for Section One was Ian Torchia (Lourdes), sixth, Swanson, 11th, and then Pat Reinschmidt (Plainview-Elgin-Millville), 13th.

Esko (115) won the girls meet, with Annandale (150) and Minnehaha Academy (151) at second and third. Clare Flanagan, the Blake School, won her second straight state meet. Emi Trost of Cannon Falls was second. The Dover-Eyota girls were fifth (184) and Rochester Lourdes was ninth (206).

Kayla Woltz, Chatfield, finished in 10th, giving her a top 10 finish for the last five years.

• Top three teams in AA boys were Stillwater (46), Edina (80) and Wayzata (90). Individual winner was Wayde Hall, Stillwater (15:21.0)

• Top three teams in AA girls; Wayzata (50), Eagan (93) and Edina (129). Maria Hauger, Shakopee, won her fourth consecutive, and falling one short of the five consecutive wins by Carrie Tollefson (Dawson-Boyd).