Favorable conditions and fast competition paved the way for two record-setting performances Friday at the Irish Invitational cross-country meet in Rosemount.
Minnetonka’s Sophie Whicher and Roseville’s Acer Iverson each set records on the two-mile course outside Rosemount High School.
Whicher clocked in at 11 minutes, 6 seconds in winning the meet for the third consecutive year and leading second-ranked Minnetonka to the girls’ team title 53-90 over runner-up Eden Prairie. The Skippers placed three runners in the top 10 and all five counters in the top 25.
Whicher, a sixth-place finisher in the Class 2A state meet last fall, pulled away from a talented field that included the top two ranked runners in the state in Farmington’s Anna Fenske, the defending champion, and Lauren Peterson. Fenske finished second in 11:13.
“I wanted to just feel out the pack and around the mile mark I wanted to accelerate and just keep going,” Whicher said.
Iverson, ranked third in Class 2A, accelerated across the finish line just in time to break the course record by three-tenths of a second and defeat runner-up Luke Labatte of Rosemount by four-tenths of a second with a time of 9:42.4.
The junior set the pace for the lead pack of five runners at the mile marker, but was briefly overtaken by Labatte with 200 to go before taking the lead back with one final surge.
“I told myself with 200 to go it was just like the state track meet and I just had to push it to the end,” Iverson said. He was also the medalist in the opening meet of the season, the St. Paul Central Invitational.
Unranked Eden Prairie used a balanced attack to win the boys’ team title with 106 points, Third-ranked Mounds View was second with 110 points. The Eagles placed five runners between 12th and 35th. No. 7 Minnetonka placed third in the team race, just ahead of No. 9 Rosemount.