PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Musa finishes third, qualifies in Class AAHUTCHINSON — Running on a beautiful course on a near-perfect late-fall afternoon, Worthington senior Mubarik Musa qualified for his fourth consecutive state high school cross country trip by finishing a close third at the Section 2AA meet at Lake Marion Park.
HUTCHINSON — Running on a beautiful course on a near-perfect late-fall afternoon, Worthington senior Mubarik Musa qualified for his fourth consecutive state high school cross country trip by finishing a close third at the Section 2AA meet at Lake Marion Park.
Leading most of the way, Musa was caught by Holy Family Catholic senior Jensen Orlow and state-ranked Chaska freshman Joey Duerr in the race’s final 200 meters.
Orlow pulled away a bit, winning the 5,000-meter race in a sizzling time of 15 minutes and 51 seconds.
Duerr just nipped Musa in a close finish, clocked at 15:55.4, while the WHS ace crossed the line with a time of 15.56.0.
“Mubarik ran as well as he could,” said Trojans’ head coach Ken Henkels. “He took the lead and tried to stretch it, which he did — pulling away from the rest of the pack, but two very good runners caught him and beat him in the final kick.”
As a freshman, Musa ran in the Class AA meet while running for Park Center, a Twin Cities suburban school.
Then, he ran in the Class A meet while competing for the Trojans the past two years, winning the state title in 2009 and finishing third last year.
Mound-Westonka’s Parker Wharram (16:02.1) and Troy Koivisto (16:03.8) of Dassel-Cokato completed the top five in the high-caliber field of runners.
Grant VanKeulen (16:26.9) of Marshall placed ninth, leading the Tigers to a second-place team finish with 87 points.
Chanhassen won the team title with a low score of 83.
Worthington was 13th among 15 teams with 308 points, finishing well ahead of both Dassel-Cokato (370) and Waconia (447).
Completing the scoring for the Trojans were the foursome of eighth-grader Amanuel Fissiha (70th, 18:13.6), freshman Matthew Jirele (72, 18:16.1), junior Nathan Landwehr (75, 18:21.4) and junior Gordy Moore (88, 18:51.6).
“Matthew had one of his best races of the season,” praised Henkels of Jirele’s effort. “Gordy had a real good day, too, stepping up as our fifth runner.”
Junior Ian Stewart (92, 19:04.5) and freshman Oliver Wolyniec (100, 19:29.8) were Worthington’s sixth and seventh runners Thursday.
Moore, Darling, Jaycox lead WHS girls
As they have done nearly the entire season, the duo of eighth-grader Meredith Moore and freshman Alicia Darling led the Worthington girls.
Moore placed 59th with a time of 16:44.7 over a 4,000-meter course, while Darling was right behind in 60th (16:44.9).
Junior Stephanie Jaycox (17:08.9) was 74th, while senior Jennifer Majerus (96, 18:52.0), and freshman Ariana Lopez (98, 19:14.4) completed Worthington’s scoring.
Senior Kinzie Myrom (100, 19:33.5) and sophomore Sade Potter (101, 19:42.4) also ran for the Trojans, as all seven WHS girls ran the course under 20 minutes.
Worthington was 15th in the team standings with 387 points.
Shakopee won the team title with 49 points, while Chanhassen was second with a score of 70.
Marshall finished fifth with 166 points.
“The course was mostly flat and the weather was just ideal,” summed up Henkels. “There were lots of trees and a nice-wooded area. It was a good meet to end our season with.”
Musa, however, will run one more time as the Class AA boys will run the state-meet course at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Nov. 5 at 11 a.m.