The Star Tribune called him ‘Shoeless Ali.’
Richfield senior Obsa Ali won the state Class 2A boys’ cross country race at St. Olaf College in Northfield in a time of 15 minutes, 15.2 seconds, but he crossed the finish line of the 5,000-meter course without his right shoe.
The Pioneer Press reported that Minnesota's top-ranked cross country runner ditched his duct-taped shoe with 400 meters remaining. Ali reportedly felt his shoe come loose after getting stepped on so he ran about a mile with his foot smashing down the heel of his shoe. After the course surface changed from gravel to grass, Ali ditched the shoe so he wouldn't have to contend with it on his finishing kick.
“I taped them so they wouldn’t come off this time,” said Ali. “That didn’t help I guess.”
Ali was presented with the duct-taped shoe in the finishing chute. He is Richfield's first cross country champion since 1982.
Meanwhile, Wayzata won the big-school team title. Edina was second, and two-time defending champion Stillwater was third. Wayzata was a repeat team champion in the girls race, defeating runner-up East Ridge. Lakeville South was third.
Alexandria twins Bethany and Megan Hasz finished first and second, respectively, in the individual race. Bethany's winning time was 20 seconds ahead of Megan.
"We are always happy for each other,''said Bethany, who is 29 minutes younger than her sister.