REGIONAL— Two Ely runners offered up impressive performances this past Saturday, as they represented the North Country at the state cross-country tournament held at St. Olaf College in Northfield. …
REGIONAL— Two Ely runners offered up impressive performances this past Saturday, as they represented the North Country at the state cross-country tournament held at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
“Incredible,” was the word, according to Ely cross-country coach Jayne Dusich, who said both junior Luke Olson and eighth-grader Zoe Devine more than beat her high expectations. “They are both smart runners,” said Dusich. “They stayed focused and didn’t get caught up in the excitement of the state meet.”
Olson finished in the top ten among Class A boys runners. His seventh-place finish, with a time of 16:13.8, was a huge improvement on his 21st-place finish at the state tournament last year. “I was hoping Luke would get in the top ten, so seventh was a bonus,” said Dusich.
Last month, Olson told the Timberjay that he was hoping to improve on his time and ranking this year, and that’s a goal that he easily achieved. His latest time was 29 seconds faster than his 2017 performance. If he can show similar improvement next year, he could well be in contention for the state individual title.
Meanwhile eighth-grader Zoe Devine, in her first appearance at state, finished 29th among Class A girls runners, with a time of 19:44.6. Devine, who has been a consistent standout for Ely all season, was competing against a field of 175 runners, putting her in the top 17 percent among her competition. Dusich said she was hopeful that Devine would make the top 40, and called her impressive finish “a complete surprise”.
Another Iron Range girls runner, junior Ava Hill, of Mesabi East, finished in fourth place, with a time of 18:24.4.
Dusich gave credit to both Olson and Devine for their outstanding seasons. “They both have worked hard to get to where they are. Now, I’m looking forward to next year.”