The Rosemount boys and girls cross country teams both managed to improve upon last year’s second-place finishes at the Ev Berg Invitational.
The Irish took advantage of calm conditions and a flatter course to post some of their fastest times of the season while sweeping the team titles at last Thursday’s 11-team meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. The girls breezed to first place 44-93 over runner-up Austin, while the sixth-ranked (Class 2A) boys — competing without No. 1 runner Alex Berhe — nipped host Owatonna, 62-65.
The girls were led by the 1-2 scoring combination of Hannah Grim and Sydney Hansen. Grim, a senior, won the first race of her career with a time of 14 minutes, 57 seconds on the 4,000-meter course. Grim ran with Emma Christensen of Rochester John Marshall for most of the way before pulling away in the last 200 meters.
“Hannah won a very tactical race. She got in nice position, then ran with the lead pack until the top broke away in the last mile,” Rosemount coach Chris Harder said. “The final 400 was pretty tight until Hannah made a final move that broke it open.”
Hansen, a seventh-grader, wasn’t far behind with a fourth-place time of 15:20.
“She beat the defending champion in the race down the stretch,” Harder said. “We have had only a handful of girls run a faster time on this course. Sydney provides a really strong 1-2 punch with Hannah up front.”
The rest of Rosemount’s counting runners reached the finish in a 10-second span. Liz Evenocheck was 10th in 15:48, Naomi Alvarez followed in 14th at 15:56 and Sydney Regalado came in 15th in 15:58. Alvzrez and Regalado both broke the 16-minute barrier for the first time.
“We had a solid pack with Liz Evenocheck leading the way,” Harder said. “The girls ran smart early and then let their competitiveness take over. It was a nice race to watch from start to finish.”
Briana Cleveland (20th, 16:04) and Rachel Schow (38th, 16:41) also ran for the Irish.
On the boys side, a 7-9 finish from Cody Sedbrook and Sam Ivanecky ended up being the difference for the Irish. Sedbrook (16:45) and Ivanecky (16:47) outscored Owatonna’s top two runners 16-21, while the Huskies’ final three runners held a 44-46 edge over Rosemount’s 3-through-5 runners.
The Irish finished with a 34.5-second spread among their top five runners, while Owatonna turned in a meet-best 28.8-second spread.
“We were able to pack things together nicely,” Harder said. “Owatonna had a slight lead going into the final mile, but we won crucial battles in the stretch for the win. The guys came together and felt they could still win without Alex and they proved that on Thursday.”
Ryan Brumm was third for the Irish and 12th overall in 16:54. Ryan Condon followed in 15th with a time of 17:03 and Clayton Smith finished 19th in 17:19. Sam Karlson added a 28th-place time of 17:31.
The Irish compete again tomorrow in the South Suburban Conference Championships at Eagan High School.