State meet next for runners

Ely girls in as team; Chittum advances to boys meet today at St. Olaf

by Tom Coombe
Molly Brophy and Zoe Devine have already been on Minnesota high school cross country’s biggest stage, or perhaps more fittingly, its grandest trail.
But this weekend they’ll have familiar company.
Brophy and Devine will be joined by the rest of their Ely teammates, who will compete in Saturday’s State Class A Meet at Northfield.
The Timberwolves punched their ticket to state by taking second in the Oct. 28 Section 7A meet at Duluth.
In addition to the Ely girls team, sophomore Caid Chittum of the Ely boys qualified for state individually and he’ll also compete on Saturday, as the meet is held on the campus of St. Olaf.
Starting time is 12 noon.
Only an eighth-grader, Brophy has already made quite an impact as a varsity runner.
She moved into the Ely lineup late in her seventh-grade season and advanced to state, finishing 91st overall in her first time on the state course.
This year, Brophy moves on to state after finishing second in 7A and coming within three seconds of a section individual title.
Devine will close out her prep cross country career looking to jump up after placing 75th in the state as a junior.
At sections, she took eighth and Devine brings plenty of experience to the meet, particularly in high-level competition.
Devine has also participated in state competition in both Nordic skiing and track.
The Wolves’ state lineup will also feature junior Claire Blauch, who took 13th in the section, along with senior Phoebe Helms, ninth-grader Elsa Ellerbroek, sophomore Anna Dunn and junior Kiarstin Eaton.
An all-section player in baseball and a key reserve on the Wolves’ boys basketball team, Chittum took a big step forward in cross country this fall.
He took fifth in Section 7A in 17:25.3, earning his first state meet appearance in cross country and helping the Wolves to a third-place team showing.
Ely is led to state by longtime head coach Jayne Dusich, who has been in charge of the program since its inception in the mid-1990s and was named Section 7A Coach of the Year.
The Ely runners were set to be recognized Friday during a send-off ceremony and pep rally at the high school.