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Irish Boys Track and Field Preview: Trying to find the right fit

It's a pleasant problem for any coach to have.

Rosemount boys track and field coach Jay Hatleli has strong numbers out for the team this year.

Hatleli has over 130 athletes from which to choose. The coach also knows he is dealing with a bit of talent.

It's a problem any coach would like to have. Now, comes the tough part for Hatleli -- finding the right spots for that talent.

"We'll get them covered, no doubt in my mind," Hatleli said. "We have enough talented guys. And we have some spots to fill. It's a good thing to have competition in the ranks, have guys compete and work hard for it. It will only make us better."

The Irish open the season with an indoor meet on April 3-4 at the University of Minnesota Field House.

Hatleli will take a select crew to the meet, and Rosemount will open its season at full strength April 7 at Apple Valley.

It gives Hatleli time to sift through the lineup.

The 4x200-meter relay team that went to state last season returns, as Austin Eliason, Christian Willman, Andrew Anderson and Zach Vraa will lead the sprinters and hurdlers.

Chris Massey is back to pace the distance crew. Massey was all-state last fall in cross country.

He will be joined in the distance events by Ben Koeppen and Abasher Abasher.

"We have a lot of depth, a lot of talent there too," Hatleli said. "It's just a matter of trying to find who fits in what niche."

Garrett Glaus will run for the Irish after being injured each of the past two years.

Jeremy Stewart and Jordan Maech will participate in the field events.