After a long week of training, of which the Eden Prairie High School boys and girls cross-country teams ran some 40 miles, the Eagles opened their competitive season with a 2-mile race at the Rosemount Irish Invitational.
The Eden Prairie boys team finished second. Eden Prairie's girls team finished third.
“Overall, we were decent,” said Eden Prairie coach Jeff Lindlief. “It wasn't a meltdown and it wasn't great.
“We're tired,” he said. “If we're fresh, I've screwed up.”
The Eden Prairie boys team, running without its No. 1 runner in Jake Derouin and its No. 4-5 runner in Alex Guitierrez, counted 107 team points. White Bear Lake finished first with 77 points. St. Paul Highland Park finished third with 109 points.
“Had we run Jake and Alex, we're pretty confident we would have either won or finished way down there,” said Lindlief. “It's a first meet, and we're doing the right thing.”
Mohamed Mohamud paced the Eagles with an eighth-place finish (10:02.6). Isaac Hartman finished ninth (10:02.9), Zach Spears 11th (10:08.2), Nile Timmerman 39th (10:40.1) and Jack Gschwendtner 40th (10:42.7).
Ben Van Sloan finished 43rd, Dylan Yang 65th.
Stillwater won the girls race, counting a team-low 53 points. Minnetonka finished second with 56 points, Eden Prairie third with 114 points.
“They smacked us pretty good,” said Lindlief. “With our training, we were going to struggle on a short course, but that's OK.
“We'll get a 5K at Gale Woods this Thursday,” he added. “If we're doing it (training) right, we'll be fresh at the end of the year.”
Liesl Paulsen paced Eden Prairie with a 16th-place finish (12:12.6).
“Had it been later in the season,” said Lindlief, “she probably finishes in the top-3.”
Haley Parker finished 18th (12:13.6), Ella Bakken 21st (12:19.1), Abby Jirele 22nd (12:19.6) and Lizzy Jester 37th (12:36.1).
Miriam Sandeen and Emily Dahl finished 40 and 70.
Thursday (today), Eden Prairie runs in the Bauman-Rovn Invitational (Hopkins Invite). The race, Eden Prairie's first 5K race of the season, will be run at Gale Woods Farm, site of the end-of-the-season section race. Section 6AA's usual suspects (Edina, Hopkins and Minnetonka) are expected to compete.
“It's still early,” said Lindlief, “but it will be a good test. It's a 5K race and it's on a tough course.”
The boys varsity race is scheduled to begin at 5:10 p.m., the girls race at 5:35 p.m.