Senior Nicholas Pederson claimed a spot on the all-conference podium at Eagan High School on Friday, as Apple Valley’s boys’ cross country team placed eighth in the South Suburban Conference Championships.
Pederson placed 19th on Friday, running his best time at the conference meet and finishing in 17:13.3. The senior, who had twice earned all-conference honorable mention, posted his first top-20 finish to make the all-conference team.
Freshman Abdi Khalif was the Eagles’ No. 2 runner, taking 34th place in 17:30.3. Khalif’s time was the fourth-fastest by a freshman in school history, passing two-time state meet qualifier Grant Udelhofen for the spot. Khalif was also the top freshman finisher in the race.
Junior Maq Collins — who ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 3:21 on Sunday — came back five days later to join Khalif among the 20 runners earning all-conference honorable mention. Collins finished 36th in a personal record of 17:32.3
Senior Justin Stremski (50th) was the Eagles’ fourth runner, finishing in a personal record of 17:58.2. Senior Jonathan Connors (65th, 18:18.9), junior Elliot Ewald (66th, 18:22.9) and sophomore Riley Smith (67th, 18:29.7) rounded out the Eagles’ top seven.
Apple Valley will be in action next at the one-mile Border Battle race with Burnsville on Tuesday. Its JV team will finish the season at Prior Lake on Oct. 22, while its varsity squad will compete at the Section 3AA meet on Oct. 25.