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Boys track review: Boys are still strong at the end with coach's 'best team'

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Rosemount boys track and field coach Jay Hatleli has had many talented teams and individuals the past few seasons.

He's had a state championship team and several state champion individuals.

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With the high expectations and precedent set by previous teams, a sixth-place finish at this year's state meet might seem a letdown.

Hatleli views this season a bit differently.

"We had a good season," Hatleli said. "We had a lot of talent coming back and tried to do the most with it. We had some good times and a lot of success, but there were so many near-misses it's hard to frame the whole thing.

"I still think this is the best team I've ever had. As a team and as individuals I think this was some of the best competitions we've seen. We don't have a state championship to hang our hat on, but I still feel this is my best team."

There were enough accolades to support the claim.

Rosemount sent the most athletes to state in team history. Senior Zach Vraa won a state title in the 110-meter high hurdles.

The 4x400 relay team of Andrew Hausmann, Chris Mergens, Chandler Dye and Vraa took second place to earn all-state honors.

Vraa was all-state in three events. Brandt Berghuis was all-state in the shot put and discus. Hausmann was also all-state in the triple jump.

The Irish won the section True Team title and were runner-up in the True Team state meet. They were second place in the Lake Conference and were section champions.

Vraa, Berghuis, Hausmann, Dye, Shane McCallum, Joe Bjorklund and Goaner Deng were all-conference.

Conor Manning, Tyler Rich, John Sampers and Kyle Mills were all-conference honorable mention.

Just more expectations to live up to next season for the Irish.

"It's fun trying," Hatleli said. "I'd rather be in that situation than the other."

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