Irish boys, East Ridge girls win team championships
Aronson Park isn’t the Rosemount boys cross country team’s home course. The Irish just make it look that way.
Rosemount won its third consecutive boys team championship at the Applejack Invite in Lakeville last Friday. The Irish placed four runners among the top 16 individuals and weren’t really threatened in the team standings, where they finished 37 points ahead of second-place Centennial.
Lakeville North, the host team, placed third. Farmington and Lakeville South were ninth and 10th.
East Ridge, ranked second in Class AA, won the girls team champion with third-ranked Eagan taking second. Seventh-ranked Lakeville South took third place. Rosemount finished eighth, Lakeville North was 10th and Farmington placed 13th.
Rosemount was competing for the first time since the Irish Invitational on Aug. 30. The team typically takes a two-week break from competition after its invitational, and the Irish showed few signs of rust.
“Seventy-nine points is still a large total for this group, but it was nearly a 20-team meet and a win is a win,” Rosemount coach Chris Harder said.
The sixth-ranked Irish had junior Alex Berhe finish fourth in the 5,000-meter race in 16 minutes, 9.0 seconds. Sam Ivanecky (13th, 16:41.9), Cody Sedbrook (15th, 16:47.1) and Ryan Brumm (16th, 16:47.9) also finished in the top 20.
“The guys ran a solid race,” Harder said. “We wanted to have the lead by 2 miles, which we did. The last mile, the guys really put the hammer down. We dropped another 32 points in the last mile and still had gas in the tank.”
Ryan Condon (31st), Sam Karlson (67th) and Aaron Elizondo (102nd) also ran for the Irish varsity in the Applejack Invite. The next race for the Rosemount boys is the Roy Griak Invitational at the Bolstad University Golf Course on Sept. 28.
Third-place Lakeville North was led by junior Justin Hanson (16:53.6), sophomore Luke Anderson (16:55.2) and junior Kyle Binder (16:55.2), who finished 21st through 23rd. Jason Windhorn was 30th and Noah Omdal placed 33rd out of 161 runners.
Lakeville North scored 129 points, 13 out of second place.
Richfield senior Obsa Ali, the top-ranked individual in Class AA, won the boys race in 14:57.5. Lakeville South senior Wali Ibrahim was second in 15:58.7 and Farmington junior Justin Hyytinen took third in 16:04.38.
Junior Noah Hanson (12th place) also was a top-20 finisher for Lakeville South.
With last year’s Applejack Invite girls winner Maria Hauger now in college, it was time for a new champion to step on the podium. That was Eagan junior Anna Van Wyk, whose 4,000-meter time of 14:26.7 was almost eight seconds better than the runner-up.
Van Wyk also placed first at the Dakota Classic in Eagan on Aug. 30. That was the first varsity individual victory of her career.
“She had a great summer of training, as did a lot of our girls, and she really came into our season full-force,” Eagan coach Lisa Langenhahn said.
The Wildcats have been in three meets this season. After winning the Dakota Classic, they finished second to East Ridge at a meet in Hastings and again at the Applejack Invite. They were 20 points behind East Ridge on Friday, but Langenhahn said she saw positive signs in her runners’ performance.
“We talked about going out hard the first 300 to 400 meters and getting a good placement right away,” Langenhahn said. “We talked about finding out who’s going to fill in some of the gaps. It was a good meet for us.”
Senior Raissa Hansen (14:38.0) and junior Kelli Praska (14:39.8) finished fifth and sixth for Eagan. Olivia Mitchell (32nd), Kirsten Barrett (48th), Karina Johnson (49th) and Danielle Marshall (61st) also ran for the Wildcats.
Eagan will compete in a meet in Wausau, Wis., on Saturday before going to the Roy Griak Invitational the following weekend.
Lakeville South junior Kaytlyn Larson finished 10th individually in 14:51.8 with junior Annie Brekken 18th in 15:08.3. Senior Erin Kilbride and sophomore Julia Durham were 21st and 22nd. Senior Jenny Machaj (43rd), eighth-grader Bailey Brewster (47th) and senior Megan Lubow (72nd) also ran for the Cougars, who scored 114 points, 42 behind East Ridge.
The girls meet attracted five of the top 11 teams in Class AA. Rosemount won a tiebreaker for eighth place, and Harder said the seven teams that finished ahead of the Irish either are ranked or were ranked earlier in the season.
Senior Hannah Grim led the Irish by placing 15th in 15:03.9, the third fastest time ever by a Rosemount High School girl. Sydney Hansen and Liz Evenocheck were 40th and 45th.
Eighth-grader Danielle Bellino came in 27th for the Lakeville North girls, who were 10th in the team standings. Farmington was 13th and was led by seventh-grader Lauren Peterson, who was 20th individually.