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Boys track: Irish send four events to state meet

Payton Otterdahl won section titles in the shot put and discus last week at St. Thomas. He will compete at state this weekend in St. Paul.

The Rosemount boys track team had to take the good with the bad at last Thursday's Section 3AA Championships.

The good news was the Irish qualified four events for this weekend's Class 2A state meet in St. Paul. The bad news was a couple of events finished just outside of the qualifying state standards and the 4x100 and 4x200 relays were both done in by bad exchanges that left them out of the state meet.

The Irish wound up third in the final team standings at St. Thomas with 80 points. Eastview edged Apple Valley 94-93 for the team title.

"We had some great performances and overall a good day, but it would be an understatement to say we are disappointed with our two sprint relays," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said. "We were solid all year in those events, but had misfortune hit at the absolute worst time."

Junior Payton Otterdahl was unfazed by the pressure of the section meet. He captured a pair of first-place finishes, advancing to the state meet with a spin of 163 feet, 9 inches, in the discus and a toss of 54 feet, 8 inches, in the shot put. Otterdahl, a member of the Irish football team last fall and the wrestling team over the winter, has now qualified for state in three sports this year.

"He continues to impress and that was clearly evident by the number of colleges, including Division I, that were present when he was in the throws circle," Hatleli said. "Payton has an opportunity to place very high and contend at state."

Otterdahl's wrestling teammate, Grant Jackson, will join him this weekend at Hamline University. Jackson ran a time of 22.38 seconds into a headwind to place second at the section meet.

"Grant has really improved over the course of the last year," Hatleli said. "He is another three-sport athlete where the other sports compliment his track ability. Grant should be in the medals at Hamline."

The Irish will also be represented in the 4x800 relay. Luke Anderson, Sam Ivanecky, Kwame Owusu and Aaron Elizondo combined on a time of 8:13.67 to place second at the section meet.

"The time was solid considering the very windy conditions and unstable weather conditions Thursday," Hatleli said. "That foursome can be around eight minutes in the right situation. After they qualified, I thought we would rattle off another great day on the track, but it was a day of near misses."

The 4x400 relay turned out to be one of those near misses. Ivanecky, Elizondo, Jordon Herbranson and Christian Hummelgard combined on a time of 3:26.23, but that left them one-tenth of a second off the pace of second-place Hastings.

In the 100, Tray Ashby-Phan missed the qualifying mark by one-hundredth of a second with an 11.13 clocking.

Senior distance runner Trevor Capra capped off his standout career with a pair of third-place finishes. He ran 4:29.53 in the 1,600 and 9:45.35 in the 3,200. Teammate Alex Berhe was sixth in the 3,200 and Joe Manders was eighth in the 1,600.

Zach Zweber was another double place-winner. He finished sixth in the triple jump and ninth in the long jump.

Other top-10 finishes came from Hummelgard in the 300 hurdles (seventh), Salih Mohamed in the 400 (ninth) and Jaym Ogren and Dan Kleiber in the pole vault (ninth, 10th).