The cross country season for Carter Briggs, Cody Peterson and Anni Skillicorn ended where it began: at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
The stakes — and the conditions — were quite different than they were in August for the St. Olaf Showcase. This was the MSHSL Class AA state meet, and although the snow on the course had melted by the time the starter's pistol was fired, temperatures hovered just above freezing, 40 degrees colder than that 75-degree summer day on which the season began.
That didn't seem to affect these three Winhawks.
Briggs, the Big 9 and Section 1AA champion competing at the state meet for the fourth time, realized a goal he set shortly after last year's state meet by crossing the finish line in 15 minutes, 40 seconds to place fifth overall.
"Carter put himself perfectly in the lead pack throughout the majority of the race and competed like the poised athlete that he is," coach Jed Reisetter said.
Peterson crossed line the line shortly thereafter to finish 25th in 16:06, reaching his goal for the weekend in an impressive performance.
Both runners set lifetime personal bests and earned all-state honors for their performances.
In the girls race, Anni Skillicorn capped off her senior campaign with a solid race that took her to a 103rd place finish in 19:42. This was Skillicorn's sixth state meet — four in Nordic skiing and two in cross country.
"She has been a great influence and energy for the program in the time she has shared her talents with us," Reisetter said.
Several Winona boys and girls runners will be in action again in a post season meet on Nov. 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the Nike Cross Regional Meet with runners from seven states competing.