McGee falls just short of state berth

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JayEven McGee came within eight seconds of qualifying to the State Meet.

The Benson-KMS boys and girls cross-country teams competed at the Section 6A Cross-Country Meet at NLS, Thursday night.  As expected, Staples-Motley and West Central Area dominated the meets, while Benson-KMS placed 10th in the boys competition and 18th in the girls.

Just missing out on a state berth was Benson senior JayEven McGee, who ran a time of 17:05 over 5,000 meters (about 3.1 miles), which placed him 15th overall, just one place and eight seconds away from qualifying to state. McGee, who had the top time in six of nine meets for Benson-KMS this season, had a season-best 17:36 earlier this year before bettering that by 31 seconds at the section meet.

“JayEven did everything right, and it was hard to see him work that hard and not advance,” coach Samantha VanHeuveln said.  “He ran a huge personal best, his mile splits were consistent, and he was extremely strong at the finish.  He ran about the same time as Jonathan Tostenson’s best time from last year (which he ran at the state meet).  Jon ran about 20 seconds slower than that at the section meet and easily advanced last year.

“It is just crazy that a boy would have had to be in the 16’s in order to qualify for state in our section.  We have such a tough section, it was very fun to watch our team all run so fast, but it was heartbreaking that our boys ran their hearts out and only came out in 10th.”

The top two teams and top eight individuals from the other teams qualify to the State Cross-Country Meet, set for Saturday, Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College....

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Pictured: JayEven McGee came within eight seconds of qualifying to the State Meet.

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