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Cross country: Runners compete at prestigious Griak meet

The Roy Griak Invitational isn't the meet where cross country coaches like to experiment.

When the Rosemount cross country teams approached last week's meet, they weren't experimenting. Competing for the 12th time in the event, the inexperienced squads were just a sign of the times. The Irish are experiencing many things for the first time this season.

The girls team placed first in the Maroon race with 161 points.

The boys team came through in the tougher Gold division, and placed 32nd out of 48 teams with 803 points. The boys had four straight top-10 finishes until this year.

But the Irish only had two boys that had run in the Roy Griak meet before. It was also the first time they had two freshman compete in the same year.

The girls were led by Tori Grund. Grund placed 23rd with a time of 20 minutes, 33 seconds.

Ellen Fischer (30th, 20:53) and Ashley Comstock (31st, 20:54) also broke the 21:00 mark.

"Our girls really had a strong effort in the challenging 5K course," coach Chris Harder said. "Individually, each runner had a fine performance which produced a low team total.

"Tori Grund got out hard and was a marker for the other girls to key off of."

Erica Jackson (35th, 21:06) and Emily Davis (42nd, 21:13) rounded out the scoring for the girls.

Bridget Burkard (21:33) and Thana Hussein (23:58) also ran, while Kelsey Magnuson was unable to compete.

The boys squad was also missing a runner, and it likely had a direct effect on the scoring.

Ben Carlson, the second runner this season, missed the meet.

Competing among 450 runner, Chris Massey placed 22nd for the Irish, crossing the line in 16:36.

"Chris Massey showed his toughness with a top-25 finish in the 48-team field, including many elite teams from the Midwest," Harder said. "As a team, we would've liked to finish higher, but we gained valuable experience for the more important upcoming conference and section meets."

Adam Sommers took the spot as the second runner, finishing in 173rd place, with a time of 17:58. Abasher Abasher ran an 18:01 (187th) to place in the top-200.

Andrew Comstock (201, 18:06) and Phil Levine (220, 18:13) also scored for the Rosemount boys.

Freshmen Nathan Rock (18:22) and Chandler Dye (18:39), and Chris Mergens (18:40) also ran for the Irish.