Cross country preview: Esko Eskomos

The Eskomos have a lot of athletic talent, but will need to work through the challenges of running during a pandemic.

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Esko's Zach Erkkila celebrates as he crosses the finish line during Section 7A cross-country championships at Cloquet Country Club Thursday, Oct. 24. (Tyler Schank /

Head coaches: Jerimy Hallsten, Gary Beaudot

Returning runners:

  • Boys: Dylan Edlund, Jonah Randa, Nate Rengo, Michael Cornell, Zach Erkkila

  • Girls: Halley Mullen, Lexi Tester, Grace Hrabik, Grace Shingledecker, Audrey Menor

New faces to watch:

  • Boys: Chad Hart, Jordan Chopskie, Ben Meysembourg, Alec Halvorson

  • Girls: Coach Jerimy Hallsten said all the girls in grades 7-9 are new to the team but many are soccer players that switched to cross country in 2020 and show a lot of potential.

Team strengths: "Overall, this year's team is probably the most naturally athletic group of runners Esko has had in many years," Hallsten said. "Their commitment to get better individually and to help each other improve is evident."

Biggest challenge: " The unknown,” Hallsten said. “As with everything involving the pandemic, how we do things — conduct practice, host meets, etc. — is ever changing. It will be important to provide as much consistency as possible with this team and to keep them motivated and focused throughout this season.”


Coach's assessment: "This will be a unique and interesting year with all the necessary changes as to how we approach the season," Hallsten said. "This group is well balanced and committed to the sport and each other. We look forward to improving on our progress from last year, are excited to see how we stack up to some very talented teams this year and plan to have fun while doing so!"

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