Cross country: Irish boys fourth at state meet
The Rosemount boys cross country team once again rose to the occasion at the state cross country meet.
The Irish, fifth at state last season and ranked 10th in the final Class 2A poll, moved up to fourth place on Saturday with a team score of 159 points at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Season-long No. 1 Wayzata defeated second-ranked Edina 53-66 for the team title, while Stillwater matched its No. 3 ranking with 99 points. The Irish finished well ahead of the rest of the pack, including ranked teams Hutchinson (5th, 198 points), Mounds View (6th) and Centennial (8th).
The boys team has placed in the top five at the state meet six times in the last eight years. Junior Alex Berhe, the No. 3 runner for last year’s state team, cut 37 seconds off his time to lead the Irish with a 16th-place clocking of 16 minutes, 2 seconds on the fast 5,000-meter course. The finish earned him all-state honors.
“I was very surprised. Coach said that I could get into the top 25 and that was the goal,” Berhe said. “I was really happy with what place I got.”
Berhe ran the first mile in 4:55, a pace that left him three seconds behind Burnsville standout Faysal Mahmoud. The pair ran close together through the first two miles before Mahmoud surged ahead to a ninth-place finish.
“I worked my way up and only gave up one place during the race. I tried to keep up with Mahmoud and keep him in range. In that process I caught a lot of guys on the back hill,” Berhe said.
Senior Cody Sedbrook served as the Irish’s No. 2 runner in his final race, placing 63rd in a career-best 16:40. Fellow senior Ryan Condon was four seconds behind in 69th and junior Clayton Smith continued his late-season improvement with a 77th-place 16:47 clocking.
Ryan Brumm rounded out the team’s top five with a 105th-place 17:06. Sam Ivanecky (17:10) and Sam Karlson (17:40) also ran for the Irish.
In the girls race, the Irish were once again represented by Hannah Grim. The senior capped off her career with a 48th-place finish in her fifth state meet.
“I was really happy with how I did,” Grim said. “I think I ended it on a good note.”
Grim ran the first mile in 5:53, then lost a little ground on Mile 2 before passing several runners in the final stretch. She reached the finish line in a time of 15:10.