Boys track: True Team trophy returns to Rosemount
Since finishing in second place to Eden Prairie in last year's Class 3A True Team state track meet, the Rosemount boys track and field team made it known its goal was returning to the True Team state meet.
The Irish finished second last year, missing out on keeping the title they had won in 2009.
The goal became returning the championship back to Rosemount.
"Looking back, second place out of all the teams is pretty good," Irish coach Jay Hatleli said. "Just the way it happened, how we won the year before, and we felt we were on top last year, to get second was like getting kicked in the gut a little bit. I think the guys that have been through all of it, they made comments to make that they were looking forward to getting back on top. It sure is a lot more fun to win than come in second. Second is still a great accomplishment, but it doesn't feel as good as winning."
Rosemount feels the Class 3A True Team championship trophy is back where it belongs after the Irish scored 851 points to win the True Team title last week at Stillwater High School. Eden Prairie was second with 827 points.
There's a sense of pride for the Irish in bringing the trophy home.
The True Team meets are the most important meets of the season for Rosemount.
"We haven't made it a secret," Hatleli said. "We have built our program around this meet. This is what we do. One thing as a program, the state True Team meet every year is our only goal. Because by default if you win the state True Team meet, it means you have good depth, a quality program and lots of guys interested. It leads to having the opportunity to compete for conference and section championships.
"We've been good at what we do. This meet is where we put our emphasis."
The emphasis and focus shows in the results.
Rosemount opened the meet by winning the 4x800-meter relay. Sam Temple, Chris Mergens, Chandler Dye and John Evenocheck combined to take the winning mark, crossing the line in 7 minutes 54.40 seconds, the top time in the state this season.
The quartet later won the 4x400 relay.
"We got some good early momentum and kind of stayed consistent throughout the night," Hatleli said.
In the 100 dash, Andrew Hausmann placed seventh with Myles Phillips taking 10th.
Then came the distance events, a season-long strength for the Irish.
Shane McCallum crossed the line in third place in the 1,600, followed by teammates Tyler Henkemeyer in sixth and Nathan Rock in ninth.
Hausmann finished third in the 400. Goaner Deng added a sixth-place finish and Mergens was 10th.
Chandler Dye was the runner-up in the 800 with Temple right behind in third and Henkemeyer placing eighth.
Hausmann won the 200, with Phillips taking ninth and Deng placing 10th.
Again the distance crew brought big points for Rosemount in the 3,200 with McCallum finishing fourth, followed by Rock in fifth and Calvin Lehn in sixth.
"All of our mid-distance and distance guys did their thing," Hatleli said. "They're so consistent and they rose to the level of competition and blew the meet open for us after they put us in the competition to win. That was kind of our ace in the hole with the 3,200. We knew we would be competitive in those events."
The Irish also drew some inspiration from Mitchell Leko in the high jump. As the high jump was progressing in the middle of the infield, word of Leko's eight-place finish started circling around to his teammates. Deng was sixth and Leko cleared a personal-best 6 feet to place eighth.
"It was kind of that time in the meet when we need some good things to happen and he started some things," Hatleli said. "We knew he was a guy that could go 5-8, 5-10 would be great. Then he goes 6 feet and guys are telling other guys who might not be paying attention and you start to get some momentum."
Hausmann added a third-place finish in the triple jump, with Phong Dovu taking eighth. Dovu was also eighth in the long jump.
Joe Bjorklund and Brandt Berghuis maintained their season-long dominance in the throwing events.
Bjorklund won the shot put with Berghuis taking fourth. Berghuis was the runner-up in the discus with Bjorklund placing fourth.