Familiar territory for Irish, Wildcat runners

Burnsville sends both teams to state cross country

Rosemount’s boys and Eagan’s girls repeated as team champions at the Section 3AA cross country meet, and Burnsville saw to it that it will have strong representation at this week’s state meet.

Rosemount won its fourth consecutive section boys championship Oct. 24 at Valleywood Golf Course, finishing 26 points ahead of Burnsville and more than 50 ahead of any other team. Eagan is the girls winner for the second consecutive year, and junior Anna Van Wyk won her first section individual championship.

Eagan scored 94 points in the girls race and finished 11 in front of Burnsville. Rosemount just missed sending its girls team to state, finishing six points behind Burnsville at the section meet.

Richfield senior Obsa Ali repeated as Section 3AA boys champion in 16 minutes, 19 seconds. The next two runners across the finish line were from Burnsville – senior Ali Ahmed (16:24.3) and junior Faysal Mahmoud (16:24.6).

Section boys team champion Rosemount was led by junior Alex Berhe, who finished fourth in 16:30.3. Seniors Ryan Condon (10th) and Cody Sedbrook (12th) finished in the top 15, as did juniors Clayton Smith (14th) and Sam Ivanecky (15th). Ryan Brumm, also a junior, came in 16th, although the Irish didn’t have to count his finish. Another Rosemount junior, Sam Carlson, finished 33rd.

After Ahmed and Mahmoud, Burnsville’s next finisher was senior Mitch Brown, who came in 19th. Sophomore Dillon Wong (26th) and ninth-grader Nathan Blichfeldt (31st) completed the Blaze’s top five. Seniors Tyler Schonewill and Sam Porter finished 35th and 47th.

Individual state meet qualifiers included Apple Valley junior Grant Udelhofen, who was sixth at the Section 3AA meet in 16:33.7.

Van Wyk won the 4,000-meter girls race in 14:27.0, less than three seconds ahead of Burnsville senior Vivian Hett.

Eagan’s Raissa Hansen was seventh in 15:07.6. Kelli Praska (14th), Olivia Mitchell (35th) and Danielle Marshall (37th) also scored for the Wildcats. Katie Koprowski (40th) and Karina Johnson (52nd) completed the Wildcats’ top seven.

Hett, the 2013 state Nordic skiing runner-up, will return to the state cross country meet hoping to improve on her 16th-place finish from last season.

Burnsville eighth-grader Kelly Koch was eighth in the section meet in 15:10.0. Ninth-grader Krista Holmstrom (19th), eighth-grader Mari Belina (31st) and sophomore Johanna Weber (45th) also scored for the Blaze. Jane Koch, a junior, placed 76th.

Rosemount’s Hannah Grim returns to the state meet after taking sixth place in Section 3AA in 15:06.9. She was 59th at the 2012 Class AA meet.

Two runners from Eastview and two from Apple Valley also qualified individually. Lightning sophomore Laura Bestul was fifth in the section meet in 15:03.9. Bestul’s teammate Margie Freed, also a sophomore, advanced by finishing 12th in 15:16.7.

Apple Valley eighth-grader Molly Moynihan and sophomore Olivia Anger finished 10th and 11th at the section meet to advance to state. Moynihan’s time was 15:11.6, while Anger finished in 15:14.1.

The state Class AA meet will be Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The Class AA girls race begins at 10 a.m., followed by the boys race at 11. The Class A races will be Saturday afternoon at St. Olaf.