The close battles between the top two boys' teams in the state -- Class AA champions Eden Prairie and Class AA runners-up Wayzata, the state champs in 2007 and 2008, have been a major storyline of the 2009 Minnesota high school cross country season this year.
Prior to this weekend, the two nationally ranked teams had run against one-another three times in the "post-season," with Eden Prairie winning all three tight contests.
In October, EP topped the Trojans 25-41 at the Section 6AA meet. At State in early November, the Eagles won their first-ever Class AA cross country title with a 47-57 win in Northfield over Wayzata. At the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional a week later, EP won again, 61-74, as both teams qualified for the NXN finals.
Saturday, in far away Portland, the two teams met for a fourth and final time in the late fall. Once again, Eden Prairie prevailed in a close-fought battle against Wayzata at the NXN finals. Eden Prairie scored 297 points to finish 14th at NXN. Wayzata tallied 312 for 16th. Eden Prairie's Aaron Bartnik, the Class AA individual titlist, led his team -- and all Minnesotans -- with a 31st-place finish in 15:47.
Complete NXN boys results can be found HERE.
In girls' competition, Class AA state champions Elk River, the lone Minnesota team in NXN's girls' race, finished 20th with 418 points. Class AA individual champ Maria Hauger of Shakopee led the state's girls at the race with a 48th-place finish in 18:43.
Des Moines Dowling Catholic's Katie Flood, the reigning Griak Invitational champion, won the NXN individual title in 17:48.
Find complete NXN girls' results HERE.
Find NXN photos, video, and other interesting stuff HERE.