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Cross country: Irish roll at Applejack

A Rosemount runner competes during the Applejack Invitational.

A spread of 29 seconds between its No. 1 and 5 runners - the best in the 14-team field - was key in helping the Rosemount boys win its first Applejack Invitational title since 2007 Friday afternoon at Aronson Park in Lakeville.

The Irish, ranked third in Class 2A, placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 15 out of 100 runners at the competitive meet. That strong presence at the front of the pack gave them a 43-55 edge over sixth-ranked Andover.

"The varsity had a nice race. We got out well and kept a strong pace throughout the competition," Rosemount coach Chris Harder. "Andover provided formidable competition and we answered the challenge."

Senior Nathan Rock once again set the pace for the team champions, finishing fourth in a time of 16 minutes, 4 seconds, on the flat 5,000-meter course. Two of his fellow seniors were close behind as Chandler Dye used a strong second half of the race to come in sixth in 16:09.3 and Calvin Lehn held on for seventh at 16:09.7. Jan Ketterson of Bloomington Jefferson won the race in 15:36.

Rosemount junior Trevor Capra placed 11th in 16:16 and senior Nick Couillard provided the final counting score with a 15th-place 16:33 clocking.

Seniors Joe Carlson (26th, 16:59) and Tim Sampers (36th, 17:19) also finished in the upper half of the race.

The Irish will be back in action Saturday at the Roy Griak Invitational where they will square off against some of the top teams from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"We are looking forward to the challenge to see where we stand in the Midwest."

Irish girls place 10th

Sophomore Hannah Grim led the Rosemount girls to a 10th-place finish out of 17 teams at Friday's Applejack Invitational.

"We had a rough day at the Applejack meet," Harder said. "We trained through the meet, but we should still finish better. Teams we beat at the Irish Invitational beat us here."

Grim covered the 4,000-meter course in 15:29, good enough for 27th out of 113 runners. Teammates Taylor Rambo and Liz Evenocheck also broke into the top half of the field, with Rambo coming in 30th in 15:30 and Evenocheck 47th in 15:51.

"Taylor Rambo had the best time for an Irish junior at the meet. That was quite an accomplishment," Harder said. "Taylor's improvement is directly related to her hard work over the summer and her consistent effort in practice."

Taybri Irving also improved her time from the Irish Invitational in placing 62nd in 16:09 and Emily Davis provided the team's fifth score with a 73rd-place time of 16:24.

Laura Dennis (85th, 16:44) and Thana Hussein (97th, 17:07) also competed for the Irish.