NORTHFIELD – Bloodied shins and bruised knees were alarming sights for Patrick Roos a month before the start of his senior cross-country season at Edina.
He got the worst of a collision with a steel trailer while playing ultimate Frisbee but didn't require stitches or surgery. A few months later he ran to ultimate glory.
Roos took first in the Class 2A state meet on Saturday at St. Olaf College. He covered the course in 15 minutes, 36.4 seconds and became the first Edina male to win state at the 5,000-meter distance. Tom Page won in 1966 on a 2-mile course at the University of Minnesota.
"I was shocked that he won," Hornets coach Jamie Kirkpatrick said. "Last time I saw him, he was six seconds back in fourth place."
A patient approach served Roos well much of the race. Fear took over on the home stretch. Wayzata junior Khalid Hussein beat Roos out for second at the Section 6 meet last week and Roos dreaded a similar ending on the biggest stage.
"I didn't think I could win it until I crossed the finish line," said Roos, fifth at state last season. "I thought Khalid was right behind me and he's beaten me a couple times this year so I just hauled as fast as I could. No looking back."
Hussein placed second (15:41.8) followed by St. Paul Como Park senior Innocent Murwanashyaka (15:47.8).
Roos joined the cross-country team as a sophomore and had won just one race before Saturday. Track and field peers encouraged him to try cross country. "Honestly, I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have those teammates," Roos said.
Hussein led Wayzata's charge to the ninth team title in program history. The Trojans posted 38 points, well clear of second-place Edina (91).
Tigers duo goes 1-2
Anna Fenske and Lauren Peterson made the 25-mile ride from Farmington together on Saturday morning, mixing a little race strategy with small talk.
Staying together was their goal and, in the end, the only thing separating the Tigers teammates was time between their 1-2 finishes in the Class 2A race.
Fenske, an eighth-grader, won the meet in 17:41.5. Peterson, a sophomore, came next in 18:17.1.
"It's cool that we get this moment to share together," said Peterson, named Farmington's captain this season.
Fenske paid her training partner and friendly competitor tribute.
"I don't think I could do anything without her," Fenske said.
Despite her young age, Fenske ran without reservation. She struggled to maintain her pace about the two-mile mark but regrouped and finished strong.
"I just said in my head, 'State title, state title, I want to win that state title,' " Fenske said.
On the team side, Edina defended its state title by beating Willmar 45-58. Amanda Mosborg, Emily Kompelien and Morgan Richter — all ranked in the top seven of the coaches' poll — placed in the top 10 to pace the Hornets' repeat.
Dahlberg by a nose
For sheer drama, the Class 1A boys' race stands alone. Just four-tenths of a second separated the top three runners.
Mounds Park Academy's Declan Dahlberg won in a time of 15:56.9, outkicking fellow junior Matt Steiger of La Crescent and senior Carl Kozlowski of Lake City.
"[Steiger] put down a really fast last 800, and it was really hard to match," Dahlberg said. "He's a great runner."
Ranked No. 1 in the coaches' poll almost the entire season, Dahlberg led a pack of seven runners with about 400 meters remaining.
"I put it all on the line the last 100 meters," Steiger said. "He just had a little bit more."
Mora edged Perham 93-99 to win its third consecutive team title.
One for Grace
Eighth-grader Tierney Wolfgram of Math and Science Academy in Woodbury won the Class 1A girls' race in 18:23.6, smashing the field by 45 seconds. The performance recalled Grace Ping of Winona Cotter winning by 50.7 seconds as a seventh-grader last fall. In June, Ping ran the fastest 5,000 meters recorded by a 12-year-old and later moved to Utah. Wolfgram still calls her a friend and inspiration.
"I thought she would like me winning right after her," Wolfgram said. "She showed me that a seventh-grader could get world records and run that fast."
Next up for Wolfgram is the Nike Heartland Regional meet Nov. 13 in Sioux Falls. She hopes to place top five and qualify for nationals.
Fairmont won its first team title since 1988 with 84 points, two better than Perham.