Notebook: Prepare for muddy SSC cross country races

Lakeville North's Courtney Loth will be one of the runners competing in the girls varsity race at the South Suburban Conference cross country championships Friday afternoon.

Rosemount’s boys and Farmington’s girls will defend their team championships in the South Suburban Conference cross country meet Friday afternoon at Eagan High School.

Competitors will race on what figures to be a muddy course. Recent heavy rain has dictated changes to the course and race schedule, which were announced Wednesday. The start now will be at the far east end of the Eagan High property, beyond the right-field fence of the baseball field. The finish will be just east of the softball fields at Northview Park.

Racing begins at 3:30 p.m. with the boys varsity runners, followed by the girls varsity race at 4. The boys junior varsity race is 4:30 and the girls JV race is at 5. All races are 5,000 meters. The awards ceremony will be 5:50 p.m. in the Eagan High gymnasium.

Also seeking to defend conference championships are Rosemount senior Luke Labatte and Farmington sophomore Anna Fenske. Labatte is the favorite in the boys varsity race. The girls individual favorite might be Fenske’s teammate, Farmington senior Lauren Peterson, who has finished first in every race she has run this season except the Griak Invitational Gold Division meet, where the Furman University commit took third.

Rosemount’s boys are coming off a victory at the Ev Berg Invitational last week in Owatonna, where Labatte was medalist. Eastview is the only South Suburban Conference team in the top 12 of the boys Class AA state rankings at No. 10.

Farmington is sixth and Rosemount 12th in the girls Class AA state rankings. Peterson and Brianne Brewster of Lakeville South are ranked second and third individually, with Fenske 10th.

Big volleyball weekend

Friday and Saturday are busy days for local high school volleyball teams, with three of them holding major tournaments.

Lakeville North will have its annual Todd Bachman Invitational, where the Panthers and crosstown rival Lakeville South are favored to oppose each other in the 2:30 p.m. championship match at Lakeville North High School. East Ridge and Class 2A state power Stewartville also are part of the field.

Eastview is reviving its Lightning Invitational with a field that includes defending Class 2A state champion Maple Lake and 2017 Class 1A runner-up Minneota. South Suburban Conference teams Rosemount and Shakopee also are in the tournament, which starts at 5 p.m. Friday and has final-round matches at 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

The annual Apple Valley October Classic features the host Eagles, Burnsville and Kasson-Mantorville, the second-ranked team in Class 2A. Matches start at 5 p.m. Friday, with the final scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Soccer playoff openers

Yes, it rained Tuesday and yes, they still played soccer. Opening-round games in the Section 1AA and Section 3AA playoffs took place as scheduled. Just not necessarily where they had been scheduled.

Eastview’s boys and girls teams earned home field for the first round, but heeding the forecast for heavy rain, they moved the games from their natural-grass field to the turf at Bob Pates Stadium in Burnsville, creating a playoff tripleheader there.

Burnsville’s girls were up first in the tripleheader, defeating Apple Valley 5-0 and earning a shot at No. 1 seed and defending state champion Eagan in the semifinals. Eagan defeated Park of Cottage Grove 3-0 in its quarterfinal game Tuesday after moving it from Eagan High School to the turf field at Shakopee West Junior High. The Eagan-Burnsville semifinal will be 7 p.m. Thursday, also in Shakopee.

Eastview’s girls beat Henry Sibley 2-0 on Tuesday in Burnsville. The third-seeded Lightning plays No. 2 seed Rosemount in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Farmington High School. Rosemount beat Hastings 5-0 at Park of Cottage Grove in another game moved from grass to turf.

Eastview’s boys, seeded second in Class 3A, beat Cretin-Derham Hall 3-0 on Tuesday in Burnsville and will play third-seeded Eagan in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at Shakopee West Middle School. Eagan beat Henry Sibley 2-0 in the first round.

Defending Section 3AA boys champion Apple Valley goes to No. 1-seeded St. Paul Central for the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday after defeating Rosemount 2-1 in a shootout at Twin Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake. Babacar Dia scored for Apple Valley in regulation time and Jonah Dean, Connor Elumba, and Juan Arellano scored in the shootout. Apple Valley goalkeeper Anddy Segura shut out Rosemount during the shootout.

Section 3AA championship games are 5 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 (boys) on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Burnsville High School.

Not as many games needed to be relocated in the Section 1AA playoffs. South Suburban Conference boys champion and section No. 1 seed Farmington defeated Rochester John Marshall 3-0 in its quarterfinal game Tuesday and plays fourth-seeded Lakeville North, a 3-0 winner over Rochester Century, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday at Farmington.

In Section 1AA girls quarterfinal games, Lakeville North defeated Rochester Mayo 8-0, Lakeville South beat Rochester John Marshall 8-0 and Farmington edged Rochester Century 1-0 in overtime. Farmington plays at No. 1-seeded Lakeville North in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday, while No. 2-seeded Lakeville South plays host to Owatonna at 7 p.m.

Championship games in Section 1AA are Tuesday, Oct. 16, with the higher-seeded teams playing at home.

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