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Cross country: Younger runners get their time in the spotlight

With the varsity squads taking a week to prepare for the Class 2A, Section 3 meet this week, the JV and under teams for the Rosemount cross country finished their season by taking the center-stage earlier this week.

The Irish competed in the Lefty Wright grade-level championships at Bassett Park in Crystal.

Rosemount placed seventh in the boys senior/junior race, seventh in the sophomore race and ninth in the freshman race.

The Irish finished 11th in the girls senior/junior race and 15th in the sophomore and under race.

In the boys senior/junior race, junior Jonathon Sampers had the Irish's top personal finish, crossing the line in 17 minutes, 53.5 seconds to place ninth.

"He had a tremendous race," Rosemount coach Chris Harder said. "To finish in the top 10 in a nearly 30-team meet is tough to do. He has a bright future in distance running. Elliot Bell and Aren Bjerke put themselves in position to be varsity guys next year. They had a good season and gain valuable experience."

Juniors Bell and Bjerke finished 35th and 39th, respectively.

Chris Mergens placed 11th in the sophomore race. John Evenocheck placed 25th, Matt Schul finished in465th, and Jared Hoagland was 47th.

Tyler Blumke placed 23rd, Trevor Capra finished 25th and Ryan Gould was 26th in the boys freshman race.

In her final race for the Irish, Gabe Dufour ran a personal-best 17:53.6 for a 51st place finish as the top Rosemount finisher in the girls senior/junior race.

Abbie Bauernfeind was next across the line in 61st.

Rosemount equaled the effort in the girls sophomore and under race. Laura Dennis placed 51st and Thana Hussein finished in 61st.

"It was good to see many of the girls have their best performance in the last meet of the season," Harder said. "You always want to give your best effort in the last meet."