‘Two schools, one city, one great sport’

Sports Editor

The Richfield cross-country team very rarely concerns itself with its placement in certain meets, or its runners’ placements in big meets against big schools.

(SUN Current STAFF PHOTO BY Chris Chesky)
Richfield’s Nick Knutson turns the final corner and dashes toward the finish line during the Richfield-Holy Angels Run Sept. 29.

With Richfield having a program built around its strong core of young runners, the Spartans are more concerned with improving their times as the season progresses and building a positive running atmosphere in the city of Richfield.

No event throughout the cross-country season does more to enhance the team’s willingness to build a running community than the annual Richfield-Holy Angels (RAHA) Run.

“Like I’ve always said, it’s two schools, one city, one great sport,” Richfield head cross-country coach Marty Huberty said. “We have a lot of younger kids, but Holy Angels has a lot of new kids, a lot of freshmen and sophomores out as well.

“Both schools have low numbers and both coaches would like to see the numbers get higher.”

The meet takes up a majority of the event, but, after the race is finished, the Spartans and Stars take time to bond over a meal grilled by parent volunteers, as well as to enjoy time together before taking to separate sidelines for the Richfield-Holy Angels football game.

“This is what running is,” Huberty said. “You have the two schools running, we have people grilling, the two athletic directors, the superintendent of Richfield and Holy Angels, the principals, it’s awesome.

“This is a way to get everybody involved.”

With this being the third year of the RAHA Run, Huberty is pleased to see the event continue to grow.

“I’ve always stressed that, even when I came here seven years ago, it’s all about family, not only for the kids but for the parents and the grandparents,” Huberty said. “We’re one big running community for Richfield and when we have events like this you see a lot of alumnus and more former cross-country runners.”

The Holy Angels boys’ team won the meet, while the Spartan girls captured the RAHA Run title.

Luke Miller (first-place, 17:45), Liam Sheeley (second-place, 17:53), Jack Schutz (third-place, 18:12), Brennan Bauer (fifth-place, 18:58), Matthew Keller (eighth-place, 19:03), and Connor Niznick (11th place, 20:26) led the Stars to victory.

Nick Knutson (fourth-place, 18:17), John Hughes (sixth-place, 19:00), Juan Jose DiGrazia (seventh-place, 19:01), Matthew Hughes (ninth-place, 19:58), Alan Nguyen (10th place, 20:01) and Andy Soto Moreno (12th place, 20:28) led the Spartans’ effort.

The Holy Angels girls team was led by Lexie Bennett (fourth-place, 23:16), Erin Bauer (fifth-place, 23:21), Francesca Near (11th place, 28:48) and Ellie DeCrans 912th place, 28:51).

Ava Durand (first-place, 21:06), Ava Hanks (second-place, 21:55), Amelia Kidd (third-place, 23:15), Cynda Rhea Gorshe (sixth-place, 23:26), Nicole Mattson (seventh-place, 23:36), Ava Noack (eighth-place, 23:52), Aria DeVries (ninth-place, 24:11) and Eliana Riley (10th place, 24:17) led the Spartans’ effort.

Follow Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris, or on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.