Ely junior Olson an all-stater again; Devine 29th in girls Class A event

ELY EIGHTH GRADER Zoe Devine (962) competed in the state cross country meet and placed 29th in Class A.

by Tom Coombe -

Luke Olson saved his best for last, while Zoe Devine made a splash in her first time on the big stage.
Ely’s two participants in the state cross country meet, held last Saturday at Northfield, couldn’t have had a better day - with Olson coming home with a state medal and all-state acclaim for a second straight year.
Olson had a career-best time of 16:13.8 on the sprawling five-kilometer course on the campus of St. Olaf, and placed seventh in a field of more than 170 runners in the boys Class A meet.
Devine made her state debut a memorable one, placing 29th in 19:44.6.
It was a surprising and gratifying Ely double play on a damp, cold afternoon.
Olson, who was making his fourth straight state meet appearance, climbed to the top-10 of the state ranks and was part of a pack of runners that followed his section rival and State Class A champion, Geno Uhrbom of Greenway /Nashwauk-Keewatin.
Not long after Uhrbom crossed the finish line, Olson was part of another group who raced toward the finish line.
Olson crossed just ahead of two other foes and wound up seventh, a whopping 14 places higher than he was a year ago.
The Ely junior claimed his state medal later in the afternoon and capped a banner year that included several first and second-place finishes during the regular season, and a third-place showing in Section 7A.
Olson also finished ahead of Virginia’s Cameron Stocke, who was second in 7A but settled for 13th at state.
Olson has steadily moved up each year, taking 134th in the 2015 race, jumping to 55th in 2016 and making another move up last fall to gain all-state recognition.
While Olson settled in at state and was in familiar territory, Devine surprised in her debut.
After taking seventh in 7A, Devine made several positive strides at state and was in the top 20 percent of the field.
She finished in 19:44.6, good for 29th overall.
Grace Fing of Winona Cotter won the event in 17:19.