by Jared Hines
Contributing Sports Writer
As the fourteen Rogers cross country runners crossed the finish line at the team’s section meet, only two thought about the fact that it would be their last high school race.
The Royals boys and girls cross-country teams ran on Oct. 27 at Anoka High School in the section 5AA meet, finishing tenth and 12th respectively. Of the fourteen runners—seven boys and seven girls—only McKone Corkery and Nathan Cassady will be graduating in the spring.
“It’s going to be hard to leave,” Corkery said. “It hasn’t really hit me.”
On the girls’ side, the team was lead by sophomore Nicole Beutz. Beutz finished her final race of the year in 21:38.7, good for No. 58 overall. Right behind her was teammate Hannah Teasdale (21:41.9) and the Cargill sisters. Ellie Cargill, a junior, finished in 21.59.5 while seventh grade sister Anna finished at 22.00.8. Ava Duke (22:23.7), Whitney Meyer (22:31.3), and Emma Lamberger (22:32.5).
“We have a lot of good young runners coming up in the program,” Hyrum Teasdale said. Teasdale and Corkery were the two members of the Royals team to earn all-conference for the Royals this year.
On the boys side, Teasdale led the Royals by running his race in 16:52.7, an overall place of 23rd. Teasdale missed a chance at the state tournament by just a six places.
Corkery (17:39.3), Alex Heidorn (17:55.4), Chet Jurrens (18:15.1), Lucas Bistodeau (18:22.6), Seamus Corkery (18:38.9) and Nathan Cassady (18:43.6), were the other six runners for the Royals on the blissful Thursday afternoon. After the race, Corkery pointed to the youth in the Royals program, including his two younger brothers Seamus and Flannagan.
“I think the future is really bright,” Corkery said. “When we joined cross country, there were only like four of us in the middle school program.”
Under head coach Chad Kreuser and first-year assistant coach Maria Yunger, the program continues to grow, including the middle school program, which had record numbers this year. Four middle school students—Anna Cargill, Ava Duke, Emma Lamberger, and Alex Heidorn—ran for the Royals in this year’s section meet, getting valuable experience at a young age that they can use moving forward.
“If they train, if they really shoot for it and step up, we could have a really good cross country program in the next three years,” Hyrum Teasdale said after the meet.