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Boys cross country: Irish club team fifth at regional meet

While the high school cross country season ended two weeks ago, the Rosemount boys cross country team wasn't finished competing as a team.

The boys wanted at least one final run together.

Rosemount entered the Nike Heartland Regional meet in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week.

Competing as the Rosemount XC club, the group kept its late-season success going. Rosemount finished fifth at the regional meet with 169 points. With 24 elite teams from around the Midwest region, fellow Minnesota teams proved to be the biggest challenge to Rosemount.

Wayzata, which won the high school championship, won the team title with 113 points to qualify for the national meet. Edina was second, followed by Kansas state champion, Shawnee Mission NW, and Eden Prairie. Rosemount bested several state champions and runners-up from other states in the region.

Rosemount high school cross country coach Chris Harder was unable to attend, but was impressed again by the maturity and results of his runners.

"They were on their own last week for practice and prepared themselves well," Harder said. "The guys capped off a consistent summer and fall of training with a great effort and performance. Five personal bests says a lot."

Shane McCallum placed fifth overall, earning an individual qualifier spot for the Nike Nationals Dec. 4 in Portland. The top five individuals separate from the winning team, earn bids. By qualifying, McCallum earns an all-expenses paid trip to nationals.

"Individually, I couldn't be more proud of Shane McCallum qualifying for Nike nationals," Harder said. "Being in the top five, at a meet with multiple state champions and medal winners, with an all-expenses paid trip to Portland for the nationals on the line is really something."

McCallum was in 12th with about 1,200 meters remaining. He closed to seventh with 300 meters left and passed Shakopee's Trent Lusignan and Burnsville's Cole O'Brien for the final qualifying spot.

With a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 34 seconds, he was the second Minnesota runner to qualify, behind state champion Aaron Zutz of St. Francis.

"Shane competed in track since his freshman year, but this is only his second year in cross country," Harder said. "He has steadily improved through a consistent work ethic and a desire to excel. He follows the prescription to a 'T' and is not one to take short-cuts. In addition, he is a positive leader for our team and program."

Nathan Rock, Chandler Dye, John Evenocheck and Tyler Henkemeyer also earned personal best times.

Rock finished 33rd overall in 16:07.22. He had the 10th best time among non-seniors.

Dye was 46th in 16:19.17.

Evenocheck crossed the line in 77th with a time of 16:40.15, and Henkemeyer was 114th in 17:01.71.

Trevor Capra (17:02.48, 115th place) and Calvin Lehn (17:14.78, 140th) also ran for Rosemount.