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Girls track: Irish just miss True Team State Meet

The Rosemount girls track team used a combination of its hurdle depth and individual strength in the sprints and jumps to earn its highest finish in several years at the Section 3AAA True Team meet last Wednesday in Apple Valley.

The Irish won two events -- the 100 hurdles and high jump -- and placed 22 individual performances in the top 10 as they placed second behind Prior Lake at the nine-team meet with 801 points. The team finished two spots away from earning the lone wild card entry to the upcoming True Team State Meet as it placed third behind Lakeville North and Hopkins.

"The girls knew that they needed to compete at a high level to give us a chance at the wildcard," Rosemount coach Sara Hatleli said. "The coaching staff is extremely proud of the team and couldn't have asked for more.... I'm hoping that the momentum continues into the upcoming conference and section meets. The girls are finally gaining the confidence they need and know that they can compete with the top athletes in our conference."

The hurdlers have plenty of reason to be confident after their performances at the True Team section meet. Five hurdlers placed in the top 10 in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, led by Madeline Phillips' first-place finish in the 300 hurdles. Teammates Ellie Vraa and Natalie Busher were close behind in fourth and seventh, respectively. In the 100 hurdles, Vraa placed fifth and was followed by Renae Otto in sixth and Piper Murray in eighth.

Busher also made big contributions in the jumping events. She placed third in the triple jump and high jump, an event won by teammate Laura Dennis with a jump of 5 feet. Murray and Rachel Schow added a 9-10 finish in the pole vault.

Schow made her mark on the track, where she led the Irish in three sprint events. She placed third in the 100, third in the 200 and fifth in the 500. Teammate Thana Hussein also scored in all three events, placing fifth, ninth and 11th.

The Irish took fifth in the 4x400, sixth in the 4x100, seventh in the 4x400 and third in the 4x800.

Tori Grund led the middle-distance runners with an eighth-place run in the 800. Emily Davis was 11th in the 1,600 and Iana Franchevich and Taylor Rambo came in 9-10 in the 3,200.

Katie Duff paced the Irish in the field events with a second-place spin in the discus. Haley VonBank and Katie Tombs were seventh and ninth, respectively, in the shot put.

The Irish are back in action Tuesday when the South Suburban Conference Championships get under way at Burnsville.