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A top 10: The past five years of RHS sports

No. 1: 2008 state championship boys track team

Town Pages sports editor Matthew Steichen is celebrating his fifth anniversary covering Rosemount sports by counting down the best Rosemount High School teams of the past half decade.

Number 10

Boys track, 2011

Expectations have to be pretty high for nine top-10 finishes at the state meet to feel like a bit of a disappointment.

That's how high the Rosemount boys track team raised the bar in the spring of 2011.

After winning the True Team state championship, the South Suburban Conference championship and the Section 1AA meet by a whopping 95 points, the Irish scored an underwhelming 13th-place total of 25 points at the state meet.

The team's depth was once again on display during a third-place showing in the 4x800 and a fourth-place effort in the 4x400, but the Irish's individual standouts finished just on the cusp of scoring big points.

Joe Bjorklund and Brandt Berghuis finished 7-8 in the shot put on Day 1 and that set the tone as Irish individuals placed eighth twice, ninth twice and 10th, respectively.

Number 9

Baseball, 2008

The 2008 Rosemount baseball team caught fire at just the right time.

Sitting at 9-10 heading into the Section 3AAA tournament, the Irish defeated Lakeville South, No. 1-ranked Lakeville North, Apple Valley (twice) and Eastview (twice)in the span of seven days at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville to qualify for their first state tournament berth since the 2004 season.

At state, Rosemount defeated Rochester John Marshall and lost to Bloomington Jefferson and Chaska to finish with a record of 16-12.

Senior Troy Hoeppner was named to the all-tournament team.

The 2008 team also included Blake Schwarz, who went on to get drafted by the Washington Nationals, as well as standouts Mark Radmacher, Blair Hansen, Ben Lemke, Dylan Porter, Brett Thaden and Justin Wallace.

Number 8

Girls track, 2008

The Rosemount girls track team either matched or exceeded its best performances throughout the spring of 2010.

The Irish tied their best True Team section finish by placing third, turned in their highest conference finish in 20 years with a runner-up showing and advanced eight individuals to the state meet while placing fourth at the section meet.

The team continued to make noise at state, placing five events in the top five as it placed eighth with 33 points at Hamline University.

Katie Murgic captured a state title in the pole vault with a vault of 12 feet and Shade Pratt placed in three events, the 400 (fourth), 4x400 (fifth) and 4x800 (fifth). The 4x800 relay broke a 25-year-old school record.

Alyssa Temte added a fifth-place leap in the triple jump.

Number 7

Boys swimming, 2012

The 2012 Rosemount swim team was rarely challenged during the regular season.

The Irish went 9-0 to win the South Suburban Conference for the fourth straight year, and then qualified 15 individuals and relays for state in 10 events while winning their fifth straight section title in convincing fashion.

At state, the team matched the ranking it held for much of the season by placing fourth.

Jacob Stern was part of two state championships for the Irish. He won the 100 breaststroke and joined Braden McCormack, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning for a class state-record time in winning the 200 medley relay.

The Irish had numerous other all-conference, all-section and All-State performances during a record-setting season.

Number 6

Football, 2008

A defense that notched three shutouts and held five other opponents to a touchdown or less helped the Rosemount football team capture a share of its first Lake Conference title.

Both Rosemount and Eden Praire finished with league records of 7-0.

The Irish went on to defeat Burnsville, Eagan, Eastview and Mounds View before falling to Wayzata 34-10 in the Class 5A state semifinals at the Metrodome.

Max Busher led the defense with 109 tackles and Garrett Glaus added 88. Jake Pauly snagged a team-high seven interceptions.

Quarterback Chase Vogler, who went on to win a national title at UMD, accounted for over 2,200 total yards of offense and 31 touchdowns. He hooked up with Zach Vraa for 51 completions, 945 yards and 13 scores.

The Irish finished with a record of 11-2.

Number 5

Girls hockey, 2011

The 2011 Rosemount girls hockey team responded to a loss in the previous season's section final by going 22-7-1 and qualifying for the state tournament for the first time in program history.

The ninth-ranked Irish followed up a 14-3-1 showing in conference play by knocking off Hastings, Woodbury and Eastview in the section tournament.

The Irish eventually fell to Edina and Lakeville South at state.

The front line of Rachael Kelly (28 goals, 33 assists) and Taylor Sampson (16 goals, 25 assists) led the way while being named team co-MVPs.

Allison Micheletti and Kendra Goodrich were also named all-conference.

Goaltender Caitlin Dantzscher was an honorable mention choice after stopping over 90 percent of the shots that came her way.

Number 4

Girls tennis, 2011

A thrilling run through the section tournament netted the 2011 Rosemount girls tennis team its second state meet berth in three years.

After a 15-3 conference season, the Irish defeated Park of Cottage Grove, Apple Valley and Eagan in section play before knocking off top-rated Prior Lake 4-3 in the section finals. The momentum carried over to the state tournament where the Irish defeated Brainerd 4-3 in the first round en route to a fourth-place finish, the program's best-ever showing, at Baseline Tennis Center.

Virginia Norder, also an individual state qualifier for the third time, finished with a record of 28-5. Teammate Ally Baker posted a 24-3 mark.

Mariah McGivern, Kirsten Hoffman, Layna Mestad, Abby Kohagen, Megan Harrington, Emily Harrington, Rachel Hoffman and Rachel Olsen rounded out the lineup.

Number 3

Boys cross country, 2007

By 2007, it had been 17 years since Rosemount had won conference section or titles in cross country.

The 2007 team did both, and went on to place second at the state meet in the program's fourth state trip.

The Irish dominated during most of its meet victories. Four runners placed in the top 10 at the Lake Conference meet and two weeks later all five counting runners finished in the top 11 at the Section 3AA meet at Apple Valley.

Senior Jordan Carlson capped off a banner season with back-to-back second-place finishes behind Burnsville's Rob Finnerty. Carlson's runner-up run at St. Olaf College in Northfield made him Rosemount's first-ever three-time All-Stater.

Number 2

Football, 2010

Rosemount was far and away the second best football team in the state in the fall of 2010.

Before falling to Wayzata 31-14 in the Class 5A state championship game at the Metrodome, the Irish had won all 12 of their games, all by 10 or more points. They rolled to a conference championship by winning their eight league games by an average of 17 points.

The 2010 Irish were known for their three-headed ground attack that featured seniors Andrew Hausmann (1,000 yards, 17 TDs), Kevin Larson (1,000 yards, 12 TD) and Nick Liska (800 yards, 13 TD). An offensive line that included All-Stater Joe Bjorklund paved the way.

The team also stood out defensively, holding 10 of its 12 opponents to 14 or fewer points. All-conference Seniors Brandt Berghuis, David Morgan and Tony Prostrollo led the defense.

Number 1

Boys track and field, 2008

Many Rosemount teams have made it to their respective state meets or tournaments over the last five years, but only the 2008 boys track team came away with a state title.

The Irish showcased an impressive combination of top-tier talent and depth as they placed seven events in the top four at Hamline University, including a state-winning effort by Obai Hussein in the 400-meter dash. Hussein was also fourth in a talent-filled 800 final and ran a leg of the 4x400 that placed third.

Fellow senior Jordan Carlson contributed a leg to the 4x400 and also scored two runner-up finishes in the 3,200 and 1,600 where he ran memorable races against Burnsville standout Rob Finnerty.

The Irish also had speed to burn in the sprints, where future state hurdle champion Zach Vraa, Christian Willman, Andrew Anderson and Austin Eliason teamed up to place second in the 4x200. Eliason also made the 200 finals and placed seventh.

Elijah Buecksler added six key points in the discus,where he placed fourth. The Irish ended up defeating runner-up Irondale, 65-60.