Cross country: Runners have share of successes at section meet
The success of the Rosemount cross country teams in recent years has set the bar high when it comes to the section meet.
Even with heightened expectations, the Rosemount boys and girls had relative success at last week's Class 2A, Section 3 meet, held at the Valleywood Golf Course.
Following in the recent success of the boys squad, the girls team this year had its top section finish since 2002, when Rosemount was in Section 1.
"The girls had a fantastic race," Irish coach Chris Harder said. "This was a good way to end a very enjoyable season. All seven girls ran their best race of the season. We almost broke up the ranked teams, but came up one point short to then No. 11 Visitation."
The girls placed fifth in the section meet, with 127 points. Along with being one point shy of Visitation, the Irish were seven points away from third-place Burnsville.
The boys squad made another good run at a state appearance, finishing third with 111 points. Burnsville and St. Thomas Academy advanced as a team to the state meet.
"The boys team gave it all they had, but we came up a little bit short," Harder said. "We had a senior-laden team that emerged as the season progressed. We started the year with only Chris Massey being a varsity runner. This group exceeded expectations for the season. I am proud of their efforts, but disappointed for them that they won't be able to experience the state meet."
However, Rosemount senior Chris Massey advanced individually to this Saturday's Class 2A state meet at St. Olaf by placing second in the 5K race with a time of 16 minutes, 3.4 seconds.
"Chris has been our leader all year. He is a front-runner that the team has counted on all year."
Abasher Abasher placed 20th overall, crossing the line in 16:52.2. Phil Levine was 28th in 17:06.9.
"Abasher has really developed since track his freshman year," Harder said. "He is showing signs of maturity and is on the verge of really breaking through as a distance runner.
"Phil Levine had his best race of his career at the right time. He is a big meet performer."
Nathan Rock placed 30th in 17:08.3 and Andrew Comstock was right behind in 31st with a time of 17:08.4.
Adam Sommers (44th, 17:21.7) and Kyle Mills (71st, 17:52.7) also ran for the Irish.
Ninth-grader Tori Grund led the way for the girls, placing 16th in 15:36.8.
"Tori led our team, as she has all season, with a competitive and spirited effort," Harder said. "She improved tremendously this season and will be a key person to lead us as we take a shot at a state meet berth next season."
Ashley Comstock finished in 20th in 15:49.6. Ellen Fischer ran a 16:01.2 to place 28th. Emily Davis (31st, 16:03.6), Kelsey Magnuson (32nd, 16:04), Bridget Burkard (44th, 16:21.5), and Erica Jackson (45th, 16:21.7) helped the scoring for the girls.