Innocent Murwanashyaka, a senior from St. Paul Como Park, earned medalist honors at the Twin Cities Cross Country Championship on Sept. 13.
He covered the 5,000-meter course at Battle Creek Park Reserve in St. Paul in 16 minutes, 2 seconds and won by 38 seconds.
Murwanashyaka, ranked fourth in the Class 2A coaches poll, placed eighth at the state meet last season.
He joined cross-country as a sophomore after missing the deadline to sign up for soccer and used a courageous, tenacious running style to overcame inexperience. Two years before arriving in St. Paul, Murwanashyaka spent six months in a hospital in Rwanda because of fractured fibula and tibia bones.
Class 2A, Section 4 boasts four girls’ soccer teams in the top 10 of the QRF ratings index. Stillwater is No. 2, followed by No. 4 East Ridge (which defeated the Ponies earlier this season), No. 8 Woodbury and No. 9 Mounds View. All four teams are in the Suburban East Conference.
The Andover girls’ soccer team scored 25 goals during a five-match winning streak. Juniors Erin Becker (forward) and Alli Jenkins (midfield) combined for 12 of the goals.
Force on the court
A six-match winning streak at the No. 1 singles position moved Elk River junior Meagan Brown to No. 2 in the coaches rankings. Last season, Brown reached the semifinals of the Class 2A state tournament and ultimately was awarded third place when her opponent withdrew due to injury.