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Girls track: Irish send six to state

Rachel Schow runs the 100 hurdles at the Section 3AA meet last week. Schow qualified for this weekend's state meet in the 100 hurdles and the 200-meter dash.

The Rosemount girls track team didn't linger on its disappointing eighth-place finish at the South Suburban Conference Championships.

Instead, the Irish redeemed themselves by placing third out of 15 teams at Saturday's Section 3AA meet at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The team scored 74 points and qualified four athletes in six events for this weekend's Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Prior Lake won the team title 152-79 over runner-up Eagan.

"The girls had a great meet. Conference didn't go very well for us last week and our kids were disappointed, so they rose to the occasion and competed to the best of their ability," coach Sarah Hatleli said. "It was so much fun to watch the girls have so much success and end on a good note. Our team has so much heart and pride, which makes coaching enjoyable and so worth it."

Senior Natalie Busher was the Irish's lone section champion, winning the high jump by clearing the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches. She also qualified for state in the triple jump with a second-place effort of 36-5 3/4.

Rachel Schow joined Busher as a two-event state qualifier, punching her ticket in the 100 hurdles and 200-meter dash. The freshman's 14.29 clocking in the 100 hurdles ranks second state-wide among qualifiers.

Senior Madeline Phillips and junior Katie Duff each qualified for state with second-place performances of their own. Phillips edged teammate Ellie Vraa for second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.32 and Duff edged the state qualifying standard by three inches with a spin of 126 feet, 11 inches.

The Class 2A State Meet gets under way tomorrow morning at Hamline University in St. Paul.

"It's been a long time since we have had this many athletes and events in the state meet," Hatleli said. "We are looking forward to what they can do next Friday and Saturday."

Phillips, Schow and Vraa joined Thana Hussein for a fourth-place finish in the 4x200 and Laura Dennis, Emma Thompson, Natalie Narloch and Tori Grund matched that placing in the 4x800. The 4x400 foursome of Phillips, Dennis, Grund and Liz Evenocheck combined for eighth.

Three other Irish athletes earned seventh-place individual finishes: Dennis in the high jump, Haley VonBank in the shot put and Grund in the 800.

Renae Otto placed eighth in the 100 hurdle finals, Evenocheck came in ninth in the 1,600 and 10th in the 3,200 and Abigail Monn was ninth in the shot put.