Notebook: Applejack Invite draws another top field

Rosemount’s boys and Eagan’s girls will return to defend their team championships at the Applejack Invite cross country meet Friday, Sept. 13, at Aronson Park in Lakeville.

The meet, started by former Lakeville High School cross country coach Jack Strommer, remains one of the top regular-season events on the high school cross country schedule. Lakeville North and Lakeville South will compete in the meet, which begins at 3:30 p.m. with the boys C race. The boys varsity race is scheduled for 5:05 p.m., followed by the girls varsity meet. The varsity boys race is 5,000 meters and the varsity girls will run 4,000.

Four of the top eight teams in this week’s Class AA girls rankings – East Ridge (second), Eagan (third), Edina (sixth) and Lakeville South (eighth) – will take the starting line Friday. Contending teams in the boys meet include fourth-ranked Edina, seventh-ranked Rosemount and No. 10 Lakeville North.

Defending boys individual champion Obsa Ali of Richfield also is scheduled to compete. Last year’s girls champion, Maria Hauger of Shakopee, is now running for the University of Virginia. She set the girls course record at last year’s Applejack Invite.

Eagan won the 2012 Applejack Invite girls team championship by 45 points. Rosemount edged White Bear Lake by 12 points in the boys race.

Macura to Xavier

Lakeville North senior J.P. Macura announced Tuesday on his Twitter account he has accepted a men’s basketball scholarship at Xavier University. He has scholarship offers from more than a dozen Division I colleges, including Minnesota, which offered him in July.

During the spring and summer Macura played for the D1 Minnesota 17-and-under AAU team, which played in tournaments in Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana and Nevada.

The 6-foot-5 guard also had a big year with Lakeville North in 2012-13, averaging 25.4 points a game for a Panthers team that reached the state Class 4A tournament. He twice scored 39 points in a game, including Feb. 19, 2013, at eventual Class 4A champion Apple Valley.

New No. 1 in volleyball

Chaska replaced Lakeville North at No. 1 in the state Class 3A volleyball rankings after defeating the Panthers in a best-of-three match Saturday at the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall.

Lakeville North, which was 5-1 following the Marshall tournament, might not have to wait long for a rematch. North and Chaska will play in the Eagle Invitational on Sept. 20-21 at Apple Valley High School. So will Eagan, Blaine and Hopkins, which make up the rest of the top five in the state coaches association Class 3A poll.