Cross country: Boys team, Grim punch state tickets
Rosemount’s usual suspects will be back at the state cross country meet this weekend.
For the third time in five years, both the Rosemount boys team and girls runner Hannah Grim will represent the Irish in the Class 2A races at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Grim, a senior, flew past four runners in the final half mile to earn her fifth career state meet berth with a sixth-place finish last Thursday at the Section 3AA Championships, while the boys formed a 27-second pack among their top five runners in cruising to their fourth straight 3AA team title at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley.
The Irish boys, ranked 11th in the state, pulled away from runner-up Burnsville, 55-81. The margin of victory would likely have been greater if Sam Ivanecky hadn’t lost a shoe before the first mile marker. The junior still managed to run the final two miles on a course that crossed over several gravel trails.
“We had a great team effort, with guys working together throughout the race. Even when Sam lost his shoe, I thought we were fine because we had six guys in position for the five scoring spots,” Rosemount coach Chris Harder said. “Plus, I knew Sam would give up a little ground due to traction and the gravel he had to cross, but he would grind to the finish and still be top 20. He showed a lot of courage and determination not to give up more ground.”
Ivanecky was just off the pace of No. 1 runner Alex Berhe before losing his shoe. Berhe went on to lead the Irish with a fourth-place time of 16 minutes, 30 seconds on the 5,000-meter course, while Ivanecky was fifth for the team and 15th overall in 16:57.
In between, Ryan Condon, Cody Sedbrook and Clayton Smith slowly worked their way up the pack throughout the race to finish in the top 15. Condon finished 10th in 16:46, Sedbrook was 12th in 16:50 and Smith placed 14th in 16:55.
“Some teams started fast to get in the race, but we went from 29 down at the mile to eight up at the next half-mile,” Harder said. “We felt we had control of the race most of the way.”
On top of having the highest-finishing third, fourth and fifth runners, the Irish also had the best sixth and seventh runners in the meet. Ryan Brumm was sixth for the Irish and 16th overall in 16:57.1 and Sam Karlson came in 33rd out of 105 runners in 17:26.
The Irish boys will close out the season for the sixth time in the last eight years by competing in the Class 2A state meet on Saturday. The team has placed in the top five all five times, including a fifth-place finish last season. No. 1 Wayzata, No. 2 Edina and No. 3 Stillwater figure to be the favorites in this year’s team race.
“At state, we will need to do the same thing we did (at the section meet), with our pack working together,” Harder said. “We should be able to be top five and contend for a top-three spot.… We need to be ready to attack when the opportunity presents itself.”
The Irish girls very nearly earned a state meet berth of their own last Thursday. Fifth-ranked Eagan edged Burnsville 94-105 for the team title and the Irish were right behind in third with 111 points.
“We ran our best race of the season as a team,” Harder said. “We went into the meet thinking we could qualify, but came up a little short. The girls gave it their all and we are proud of their efforts. They competed to the best of their abilities.”
Grim once again rose to the occasion at the section meet, qualifying for state for the fifth time with a sixth-place time of 15:06 for 4,000 meters. She’s a three-time individual qualifier and twice ran on Rosemount’s state meet teams.
“Hannah Grim ran a magnificent race. She moved up well and really unleashed her speed down the stretch, passing three girls in the final straight,” Harder said. Qualifying for state is a great accomplishment. Doing it for a fifth time is remarkable. On a personal level, it was gratifying seeing her close out her senior season in style. Hannah attended basketball camp when she was really young and you could tell she had an inner strength to drive to succeed.”
Teammate Liz Evenocheck also stepped up at the section meet, running her best race of the season in placing 17th in 15:39. A pair of eighth-graders followed, with Sydney Regalado placing 27th in 16:04 and Sydney Hansen 29th in 16:07. Naomi Alvarez rounded out the top five with a 32nd-place time of 16:13.
Senior Briana Cleveland added a 33rd-place 16:14 effort in her final race and Natalie Narloch was 41st in 16:24.