Eagan, AV runners win at Dakota Classic

Eden Prairie sweeps at Irish Invitational

Eagan runners (center) begin the girls race at the Dakota Classic meet Friday. The Wildcats, ranked second in Class AA, won the team championship. Photo by Rick Orndorf
Eagan runners (center) begin the girls race at the Dakota Classic meet Friday. The Wildcats, ranked second in Class AA, won the team championship. Photo by Rick Orndorf

Eagan’s girls and Apple Valley’s boys showed strong early-season form at the Dakota Classic cross country meet Friday at Eagan High School.

Also on Friday, highly ranked teams from Eden Prairie swept the varsity team championships at the Irish Invitational at Rosemount High School.

Dakota Classic

Anna Van Wyk, Kelli Praska and Raissa Hansen swept the top three places as Eagan won the girls team championship. The Wildcats, state Class AA runners-up last year and ranked No. 2 this year, finished 22 points ahead of fifth-ranked Lakeville South.

Van Wyk was medalist in the 3,200-meter race in 11 minutes, 44.3 seconds. Praska (11.53.4) and Hansen (11:54) took the next two places. Olivia Mitchell (11th place) and Kirsten Barrett (19th) also counted toward Eagan’s team total.

Lakeville South was led by junior Kaytlyn Larson, who finished sixth in (12:10.6). Annie Brekken (10th), Erin Kilbride (12th), Jenny Machaj (14th) and Bailey Brewster (16th) were the rest of the Cougars’ top five.

Farmington placed fourth in the eight-team field with 103 points. Seventh-grader Lauren Peterson had a top-10 finish for the Tigers, placing ninth in 12:18.8.

Apple Valley sophomore Olivia Anger finished fourth individually in 11:59.8. The Eagles were sixth in the team standings with 130 points.

On the boys side, three Apple Valley runners placed in the top 10 as the Eagles won by 19 points over Lakeville South and Farmington. The Dakota Classic field included the state’s top-ranked Class AA runner, Richfield’s Obsa Ali, who was first in 10:04.1. Zack Benning of Hastings, ranked fourth in the state, finished in 10:06.9.

Apple Valley was the only team in the boys competition to place five runners among the top 20 individuals. Junior Grant Udelhofen led the Eagles, placing sixth in 10:36.9. Seniors Liam Tyler (10:40.3) and Luke Tansey (10:49.9) were seventh and ninth. Steven Stotts and Nathan Williams placed 18th and 19th.

“We displayed good team depth as our sixth runner beat Lakeville South’s fourth runner and (finished) just behind Farmington’s fourth- and fifth-place runners,” Apple Valley boys coach Rollie Greeno said.

Greeno said the Eagles likely would be tested even more Sept. 6 at the Faribault Invitational, which is expected to have a deeper field.

Apple Valley scored 59 points. Lakeville South and Farmington both had 77, with South winning the tiebreaker for second place because its sixth runner placed 33rd, as opposed to 47th for his Farmington counterpart.

Senior Wali Ibrahim finished fourth in 10:25.7 to lead Lakeville South. Noah Hanson (fifth, 10:32.3) and Mitchell Miller (10th, 10:51.5) also placed in the top 10 for the Cougars.

Farmington senior Justin Hyytinen was third in 10:25.3 to lead the Tigers. Sophomores Alex Hart and Devon Webb were 12th and 13th.

Dan Podpeskar and Tommy Jaakola were 15th and 17th for Eagan, which finished fifth of nine teams with 113 points. Jaakola cut 31 seconds off his time from last year’s Dakota Classic, Eagan boys coach Rob Graham said.

Irish Invitational

The Irish Invitational had a loaded field for an early season meet. Sixth-ranked Rosemount, the host school, finished fourth in Friday’s meet behind Eden Prairie, Edina and Mounds View. Those three teams now occupy the third, fourth and fifth spots in the Class AA poll.

Rosemount junior Alex Berhe finished fourth overall in the 2-mile race in 10:10.5. Senior Cody Sedbrook (11th, 10:29.9) also was a top-10 finisher for the Irish. Ryan Brumm (26th), Sam Ivanecky (30th) and Ryan Condon (35th) completed Rosemount’s top five.

The Irish scored 106 points, 56 behind Eden Prairie but only seven behind second-place Edina.

Lakeville North placed sixth in the 20-team boys race, with sophomore Luke Anderson finishing 29th individually.

Eden Prairie also was a convincing winner in the girls race, while Rosemount and Lakeville North placed sixth and seventh.

Eighth-grader Sydney Hansen led the Irish girls, placing 13th in 12:07.5. Danielle Bellino of Lakeville North, also an eighth-grader, was 20th in 12:21.6.

St. Olaf Showcase

Burnsville and Eastview sent teams to the St. Olaf Showcase boys meet Friday at St. Olaf College.

Dillon Wong and Mitch Brown were 30th and 31st individually for Burnsville, which was 14th in the team standings. The Blaze’s top two returnees from last season, Ali Ahmed and Faysal Mahmoud, did not compete in the meet.

Eastview’s Joey Beran placed 23rd in the 5,000-meter race in 17:44. The Lightning was 19th in the team competition.