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Cross country: Boys take SSC championship

The Rosemount Boys Cross Country team displays its fourth straight South Suburban Conference championship plaque.

Four years in and still no team besides Rosemount has won a South Suburban Conference boys cross country championship.

Despite missing No. 1 runner Alex Berhe for the second straight week, the 11th-ranked (Class 2A) Irish placed five runners in the top 20 and edged second-place Burnsville, 61-74, Friday afternoon at Eagan High School.

“We ran a really solid team race. The guys worked together very well. It was a thing of beauty the way the race unfolded,” Rosemount coach Chris Harder said. “They knew it would be a greater challenge without Alex, but they rallied together to get the job done. They represented the program well.”

Sam Ivanecky led five Rosemount all-conference honorees with a fifth-place time of 16 minutes, 58 seconds, on the 5,000-meter course. Cody Sedbrook also cracked the top 10 with a ninth-place 17:08 and teammate Ryan Condon was three seconds back in 12th place.

Also earning all-conference honors were Ryan Brumm (16th, 17:23) and Clayton Smith (19th, 17:25). Sam Karlson added a 29th-place time of 17:52 that would have been good enough to score for eight other teams in the 10-team field.

“On paper, I thought we had about an eight point advantage and we won by 13. The guys did what they needed to do,” Harder said. “We need to replicate that type of performance at sections to get us back to the state meet."

The Irish boys also won the conference JV title for the fourth straight year, with Aaron Elizondo winning the race in 18:01.

A couple of strong performances up front led the Irish girls to a sixth-place team finish.

Senior Hannah Grim joined Krista Giliuson as the only Rosemount runners to earn all-conference honors five times and eighth-grader Sydney Hansen was close behind, scoring all-conference plaudits for the first time.

Grim was seventh with a time of 15:30 for 4,000 meters, while Hansen was ninth in 15:34.

“Hannah Grim and Sydney Hansen ran as expected. We felt we would have two in the top 10 and they accomplished that,” Harder said. “Sydney ran almost the exact same time that Hannah did as an eighth grader. Hannah is providing a great model for Sydney to follow.”

The Irish scored 119 points, just off the pace of No. 11 Burnsville (107) and Lakeville North (112). No. 5 South topped No. 4 Eagan 63-83 in the battle for first.

The Rest of the Irish scoring runners crossed the finish line in a 14-second span. Sydney Regalado was 29th in 16:20, Naomi Alvarez was 35th in 16:28 and Briana Cleveland came in 39th in 16:34.

Liz Evenocheck (46th, 17:04) and Rachel Schow (50th, 17:15) also competed.

“Our pack ran real well together. Sydney Regalado had a big race and she pushed the pace for Naomi Alvarez and Briana Cleveland,” Harder said. “The good news is we traditionally race better at the section meet than the conference meet, so our performance is a step in the right direction.…We are in position to challenge for a state meet spot next week.”

The Section 3AA championships are next Thursday at Valleywood Golf Course.