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Girls track preview: Ready for the payoff

The Rosemount girls track and field team expects to be better this year.

At times last season, Rosemount girls track and field coach Sara Hatleli spoke about the talent of many of the Irish's younger athletes and the experience they gained while competing on the varsity squad.

It was looked upon as a season of growth for several participants.

Rosemount is hoping to be rewarded for last year's growth. Full of optimism, Hatleli is ready for the improvement.

"We're looking really good," she said. "We have a lot of returning athletes and a lot of newcomers to the team who are definitely going to contribute to the varsity squad.

"Last year we were seventh in the conference and we felt we could have been a little better than that. This year I truly feel we are a top four team."

Three state qualifiers from last season return.

Shade Pratt was ninth at the state meet in the 400-meter dash, Katie Murgic was 11th in the pole vault and Alyssa Temte was 14th in the triple jump.

The distance crew of Tori Grund, Ashley Comstock, Laura Dennis, Bridget Burkard, Emily Davis and Ellen Fischer were part of the cross country team that advanced to state this past fall.

Hatleli feels the Irish have the team depth to contend this season.

"All the way across the board we've seen a lot of improvement," Hatleli said. "There's talent in some of the newcomers that we haven't seen in previous years. It's nice to know we have some depth in all of the events across the board. We don't feel we are weak anywhere. That hasn't always been the case."