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RAHS girls cross country looks to challenge again
For the past five seasons, the Roseville Area High School girls cross country team has qualified for the state meet. The Raiders are seeking state trip No. 6 this fall and return a decent nucleus from last year's team.
Four members of last year's state team are back for another run in 2014.
Junior Lindsey Lee and sophomore Naomi Boehm are back following all-conference seasons in 2013. Lee and Boehm took turns finishing second and third on the team in a handful of meets last year.
At the Suburban East Conference meet, Boehm was the second Raider across the finish line while Lee was third. At the Section 4AA state qualifier, they swapped places with Lee in second and Boehm in third. Lee was also second on the team at the state meet with Boehm in third.
Two other members of last year's post-season lineup are back this season. Freshman Isabel Bibeau and eighth-grader Adriana Barnes competed in the conference, section and state meets in 2013.
Also expected to compete for spots in the varsity lineup are freshman Samantha Kurkowski and senior Robyn Holmes. Head coach Mary Schifsky said Kurkowski did plenty of work over the summer and looks great heading into season while Holmes, a captain last season, is ready to close out her career with a great season.
Roseville finished seventh at the state meet last year and has wound up in the top half of the state standings in four of its five most recent trips to state. The Raiders were eighth (out of 16 teams) in 2012, fifth in 2011 and sixth in 2009. The one second-division finish came in 2010, when they ended up in 12th place.
Since 2002, Roseville has failed to qualify for state as a team only twice (2003, 2008) and has finished as high as second in the state meet twice (2004, 2005).
Other results of note from last year include the Raiders' third-place finish in the conference meet and their second-place performance in the section meet. East Ridge won both of those meets and Forest Lake was second in the conference meet.
Schifsky expects both the conference and section to be strong again this fall.
"We are in a very competitive conference and section so we will see soon enough what our competition has," Schifsky said.
Roseville gets its first taste of competition in the 2014 season on Friday at the St. Paul Central Open, which is held at the University of St. Catherine in St. Paul. In 2013, the Raiders finished third.
The teams scheduled to compete on Friday along with Roseville and Central are Centennial, White Bear Lake, Chaska, Chanhassen, Great River Academy and St. Paul City Conference members Washington, Como Park, Highland Park, Humboldt and Johnson.
Roseville and Chaska are the lone teams in the St. Paul Central Open that appeared in the preseason coaches poll released earlier this month. Roseville was ranked 10th in Class AA and Chaska was 12th.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.