Notebook: New site for Applejack Invitational cross country

Seventh-grader Claire Vukovics is among the Lakeville North runners expected to compete in the Applejack Invitational on Friday at Steve Michaud Park in Lakeville.

There’s a new wrinkle to one of the oldest events in Minnesota high school sports.

The Applejack Invitational cross country meet is observing its 54th year in Lakeville but will be run at Steve Michaud Park – on Ipava Avenue just south of Crystal Lake Golf Course – for the first time. The event starts at 3:25 p.m. Friday with the boys junior varsity race. Varsity races are 4:30 p.m. for the boys and 5 for the girls.

Almost 20 schools will send boys and/or girls teams to the meet. Local schools participating include meet host Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Farmington and Eagan (boys only).

Edina returns to defend its girls varsity team championship. A new champion in the boys varsity division is assured because 2018 winner Minnetonka is not competing this year. Varsity winners also likely will be the course record holders at Steve Michaud Park. In recent years the meet has been held at Lakeville’s Aronson Park.

The individual varsity champions from last year – Lloyd Young of Bloomington Kennedy and Lauren Peterson of Farmington – have graduated, although 2017 girls champion Anna Fenske of Farmington is expected to be in the field.

On-site parking is limited. Nearby residential will allow parking on one site. Parking and a free shuttle also will be available at Hosanna Lutheran Church at 160th Street and Ipava Avenue, about one mile from the park.

Tiger Invite volleyball

Farmington High School’s annual volleyball invitational tournament is Saturday. The 16-team, one-day event starts at 9 a.m.

Farmington and Rosemount are the South Suburban Conference teams in the tournament. The field also includes Mayer Lutheran, currently ranked third in Class 1A.

Osseo is defending champion, defeating Farmington in three sets of a best-of-three championship match.

This year, Farmington is 3-7 in its first 10 matches. Rosemount was 2-3 in its first five matches.

In the NFL

At least three products of South Suburban Conference high schools are now playing on offensive lines in the NFL.

Former Burnsville High School and University of Wyoming player Chase Roullier is the starting center for Washington, which lost to Philadelphia 32-27 in its season opener Sunday. Roullier was drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft and appeared in 13 games, including seven starts.

Last season he started all 16 games for Washington, grading in the middle of the pack among starting centers, according to Pro Football Focus. Pass blocking is considered his strength.

After starting 14 games for the Vikings last season, Rosemount High School graduate Tom Compton moved to the New York Jets as a free agent. He saw playing time in the Jets’ 17-16 loss to Buffalo on Sunday.

The Jets are the fifth team Compton has played for in his eight-year career. He played guard at South Dakota before being selected by Washington in the 2012 draft.

Trey Pipkins of Apple Valley High School is listed as the backup at right and left tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers. He didn’t see any snaps on offense in the Chargers’ 30-24 victory over Indianapolis on Sunday, but the 2019 third-round draft choice was in on five plays on special teams. He was a standout player for Division II University of Sioux Falls.

Pipkins is the third AVHS graduate to play in the NFL, the others being Trevor Laws and Derek Rackley.

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