Boys cross country: Irish pull in 5th at state
On paper, this looked to be a year of transition for the Rosemount boys cross country team.
Six runners who went on to compete collegiately this fall graduate from last year's fourth-place team and several of the top teams in the section returned quality runners.
Those obstacles didn't faze the Irish, who defended their South Suburban Conference and Section 3AA titles in convincing fashion before culminating the season with a fifth-place finish at Saturday's Class 2A state meet in Northfield. The lineup at St. Olaf College featured just two runners from last year's state team and several who were competing for spots in the JV lineup a year ago.
"The season was a very satisfying one from a coaching standpoint... This squad has a lot to be proud of," said veteran Irish coach Chris Harder, whose teams have placed in the top five in five of the last seven years. "There was tremendous depth during the season as the boys pushed themselves to be better and compete for varsity positions. The voting for Most Improved should be interesting as a number of guys are very deserving of that distinction."
Senior Trevor Capra closed out his career by becoming the sixth Rosemount runner in the last nine years to earn All-State honors. Capra placed 18th out of 176 runners on the hilly 5,000-meter course in a time of 15 minutes, 57 seconds.
"Trevor went beyond what was asked of him this season. Our program was in a little transition after two years of heavy graduation losses. Trevor is the one guy who experienced previous success at the state level," Harder said. "This year he really led by example with his work ethic and consistency. He is a model for performing workouts in an efficient manner. Trevor will be a great recruit for a college as he should be better at the longer collegiate distances."
Sophomore Sam Ivanecky once again served as the team's No. 2 runner. He came in 55th in a time of 16:27. Another sophomore, Alex Berhe, moved up in the lineup to place 76th in 16:39.
Tommy Linder was close behind Berhe. The senior continued his string of solid late-season performances with a 78th-place time of 16:39.
Michael Sampers rounded out the Rosemount top five with a 118th-place time of 17:03. Ryan Brumm (121st, 17:04) and Ryan Condon (145th, 17:23) also competed for the Irish.
The Irish finished with 152 points, well ahead of sixth-place Bemidji's 206 and 27 behind fourth-place Owatonna's 125. Stillwater placed five runners in the top 34 to win the Class 2A team title 46-80 over runner-up Edina and Wayzata was third with 90 points.