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Ely runners make a solid showing at state meet

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 11/9/22

NORTHFIELD – Ely cross-country runners found plenty of competition at last Saturday’s state cross-country meet but managed a respectable showing among a field of hundreds of racers.The …

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Ely runners make a solid showing at state meet

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NORTHFIELD – Ely cross-country runners found plenty of competition at last Saturday’s state cross-country meet but managed a respectable showing among a field of hundreds of racers.
The Ely girls, who qualified for state as a team at last week’s sectional competition, were led by eighth-grader Molly Brophy, who finished 54th with a time of 20:23. Senior Zoe Devine was right behind, finishing 64th with a time of 20:35.
For Devine, whose high school cross-country career came to an end last weekend, the state meet experience was a familiar one. She first qualified for state as an eighth grader, and later as a sophomore and as a junior, although her sophomore appearance at state was cut short by the COVID pandemic.
Other Ely girls finishers in the race include junior Claire Blauch, 106th with a time of 21:39, freshman Elsa Ellerbroek, 126th with a time of 22:23, sophomore Anna Dunn, 131st with a time of 22:27, junior Kirstin Eaton, 140th in 22:45 and senior Phoebe Helms, who sprained her ankle, at 144th with a time of 23:10.
In the boys’ competition, Ely’s sole participant, sophomore Caid Chittum finished in 100th place, with a time of 17:49.
As Devine and Helms both looked back on their high school running careers, they both gave high marks to longtime Ely cross country coach Jayne Dusich. “Jayne is such an amazing coach, and I have been so lucky to have her for all of my years of cross country,” said Devine. “She is a tough-loving coach who has helped me grow not only physically as an athlete but has helped me with my resilience, leadership, and confidence as well.”
Helms agreed. “She motivated us to get to State this year, and we couldn’t have done it without her training and guidance.”
Both seniors say they plan to continue to run even beyond high school. “Even if it is not competitively or on a college team, I know I will continue to run and train and set goals for myself as that is what running has shaped my life to be,” said Devine.
Helms, whose father has run competitively for years, including in marathons, said she expects to take up that mantle herself. “There’s no better feeling than the post-race or good run feel. I have always loved long-distance running, thanks to my Dad,” she said.

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