Minnetonka runner edges Fenske, Peterson in Irish Invite

Rosemount’s Labatte takes 2nd in boys race

Rosemount’s Luke Labatte pursues Acer Iverson of Roseville in the Irish Invitational boys varsity race. Iverson finished first and Labatte took second. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

One year ago, Sophie Whicher of Minnetonka won the girls varsity race at the Irish Invitational, out-dueling Anna Fenske and Lauren Peterson, two Farmington runners who went on to finish first and second at the state cross country meet.

As if trying to prove her victory at the 2016 Irish Invitational wasn’t a fluke, Whicher did it again last Friday, finishing 6.6 seconds ahead of Fenske in the 2-mile race at Rosemount High School. The victory was Whicher’s third in a row at the Irish Invitational and Minnetonka also won the team championship for the third consecutive year.

Eden Prairie won the boys team championship in a meet that had 24 boys varsity teams and 22 girls squads. Rosemount junior Luke Labatte was runner-up to Acer Iverson of Roseville in the boys varsity race.

Minnetonka came in 37 points ahead of Eden Prairie in the girls standings, with Farmington and Rosemount taking third and fourth. Fenske’s time was 11 minutes, 13.3 seconds, while Peterson took fourth in 11:39.9. Ninth-grader Laura McGregor (36th) and eighth-grader Maleah Scott (50th) also were in the top 50 individually for Farmington.

The Rosemount girls’ top runner was senior Tess Grunklee, who finished 23rd in 12:24.7. Sydney Hansen was 32nd, Dani Follett-Dion was 37th, Lucy Jagoe finished 39th and Kate Beckwith came in 42nd.

Lakeville North’s girls finished eighth, with Kaori Zeller (12:20.4) and Danielle Bellino (12:41.0) finishing 20th and 40th.

A 10th place individual finish by Apple Valley senior Molly Moynihan (12:01.7) moved the Eagles up to 11th in the team standings. Hailey Phoulavan, a junior, was 45th.

Eagan finished 14th and was led by senior Abby Barger, who was 28th individually in 12:27.6.

Rosemount’s Labatte ran 9:58.6 in the boys 2-mile. Eagan senior Trenton Allen was one of four varsity runners cracking 10 minutes, placing fourth in 9:58.6.

Eden Prairie had no individual runner in the top 10 but had five in the top 35. That was good enough for a four-point victory over Mounds View in the team competition. Minnetonka was third and Rosemount took fourth, three points behind Minnetonka.

Spencer Schultz (16th), Danny Cox (19th) and Mark Biechler (29th) were other Rosemount runners placing in the top 50.

Farmington placed ninth led by sophomore Noah Revels, who was 21st individually in 10:21.1. Tenth-place Apple Valley had Nicholas Pederson in 23rd (10:22.0) and George Knier in 42nd (10:38.6). Eagan was 12th in the team competition, with Allen the only Wildcats runner among the top 50 individuals.

Tyler Osen placed 38th to lead Lakeville North, which was 15th in the boys team competition.

St. Olaf Showcase

Lakeville South, Eastview and Burnsville sent teams to the St. Olaf High School Showcase in Northfield, where 33 boys teams and 31 girls teams ran on the course that will be the site of the state meet in early November.

Wayzata ran away with the girls championship, scoring 37 points and finishing 131 ahead of second-place Forest Lake. Lakeville South was seventh and Eastview finished 21st.

Boys team champion White Bear Lake finished 47 points ahead of second-place Red Wing, while Lakeville South, Eastview and Burnsville placed 13th, 19th and 21st.

Lakeville South sophomore Brianne Brewster was sixth in the 5-kilometer girls race in 18:40. Patty Jo English was 37th and Cassie Jenny 39th for the Cougars. Ashley Wagner finished 86th to lead Eastview.

Eastview senior Bryant Ruff was 12th in the boys race in 17:02, with Burnsville senior Matsola Bein 15th in 17:05. Lakeville South runners Jack Otterson (37th) and Sam Moerbitz (46th) placed in the top 50.