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Cross country: Boys, girls finish second at Ev Berg Invite

Strong finishes up front powered the Rosemount boys and girls cross country teams to a pair of second-place team finishes at last Thursday's Ev Berg Invitational at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.

Senior Trevor Capra and sophomore Sam Ivanecky placed 3-4 to lead the eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish to a team total of 68 points, 15 off the pace of seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Owatonna's 53 points. In the girls race, sophomore Liz Evenocheck and junior Hannah Grim came in 5-6 as the Irish were edged 75-80 by meet champion Albert Lea.

Despite windy conditions, the boys team turned in many of its fastest times of the season. Capra covered the 5,000-meter course in 15:53, the fourth-fastest clocking for a Rosemount senior at Owatonna, and Ivanecky closed the gap on his teammate with the school's fastest-ever sophomore time on the course, and his fastest clocking of the season, a 16:20.

"We ran really well up front with Trevor and Sam. Trevor battled two highly regarded runners and finished a close third. He continues to improve with his racing. We have run this course every year since 1979 and this year it was very windy. A very impressive performance for those front three guys," Rosemount coach Chris Harder said. "Sam had a huge breakthrough. He beat the guys he could in this field with a solid fourth place finish, but more importantly he closed the gap on Trevor to about 30 seconds, which is half of what it was at Griak. In bigger meets, that spread will help tighten our scoring. We wanted him to get closer without Trevor going backwards and it worked that way at Owatonna."

Ryan Brumm served as the team's No. 3 runner with a 14th-place time of 16:51 and Tommy Linder followed with his first race under 17 minutes, a 21st-place 16:57. Luke Anderson provided the team's fifth counting score with a 26th-place 17:11.

Austin Rudoll (28th, 17:13) and Alexander Berhe (35th, 17:23) rounded out the varsity lineup. The Irish also had a 1-4 finish in the JV race, led by Ryan Condon's first-place finish.

Owatonna placed four runners in the top 12 in winning the varsity race.

The Rosemount girls received votes in the state rankings for the first time after their narrow defeat against Albert Lea.

Evenocheck set the pace with a time of 15:34 and Grim was just four seconds back.

A pair of seniors followed, with Taylor Rambo coming in 11th in 15:52 and Taybri Irving 26th in 16:20.

Sophomore Rachel Schow passed nearly 20 runners over the final half-mile to place 32nd in 16:21 and Sydney Regalado was 51st out of 83 runners in 16:51.

"We ran a much more aggressive race than last week. The girls kept moving up to get in position by the mile mark and then really competed well. We showed a lot of determination, which was good to see a week before conference," Harder said. "Three girls battled near the front, with Taybri Irving and Rachel Schow both having strong finishes to nearly win the meet."

The Irish compete again tomorrow afternoon at the South Suburban Conference Championships at Eagan High School.