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Track and Field: Irish teams dominate at state meet

The Rosemount boys’ and girls’ track and field teams dominated this past weekend at the Class AA state meet held at Hamline University. The girls’ team found the podium with a third-place finish and the boys’ were fifth. Individually, junior Max Otterdahl won the state championship in the shot put, fellow junior Alexys Berger tied a school record in the pole vault and was runner-up, and several other Irish athletes compiled excellent finishes.

Day One

Day one featured half of the finals for field events and the longer runs, as well as the preliminaries for the rest of the events. Otterdahl won the shot put state championship with a throw of 58 feet, 7.25 inches. Fellow junior Luke Labatte finished eighth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9 minutes, 19.98 seconds. Meanwhile, the girls’ team had two pairs of girls place in their events. Senior Shae Buchman and junior Arianna Passeri both placed in the long jump. Buchman was seventh with a finals jump of 17-8 and Passeri finished fifth with a 17-9.50. In the girls’ high jump, sophomore Lauren Preiner took seventh and senior Alex Wolf tied for fourth, both with their highest jumps being 5-4.

In the preliminary running events, everyone qualified for the finals except for junior Rose Sieve in the 300 hurdles and even then, she was less than half a second away from the finals with a time of 46.07.

Finals day

The second day of the state meet saw the finals for the other half of the field events/distance runs, as well as all the other events. Passeri competed in the girls’ triple jump a day after taking fifth in the long jump, and while she did not make the finals this time, her longest jump was 35 feet, 8.75 inches.

Berger tied a Rosemount school record in the pole vault with a vault of 12 feet and was the runner-up in the event. Otterdahl attempted to follow up his shot put state championship with one in the discus but had to contend with pouring rain for many of his throws. He finished seventh with his best throw being 151-6. After the event, he said the rain definitely was a factor as the throwing platform was very slick no matter how much they tried to keep it clean and dry.

The Irish girls’ 4x800 relay team of seniors Sydney Hansen, Natalie Fendrich and Dani Follett-Dion and freshman Makayla Bishop did not make the podium but finished with a time of 9:41.73.

Senior Shae Buchman was all over the place during the two days of the state meet. On day two, she attempted to defend her 100 hurdles title and ended up taking third in 14.85. She said she ended up taking more steps than she wanted out of the starting block, which slowed her down.

Buchman said that overall she was happy with how her events over the two days went despite a few mishaps.

“Yeah, the long jump yesterday did not go as planned, it just wasn’t a good day for me but I’m happy with where I finished,” she said. “The hurdles today, I screwed up on the start, I usually take eight steps to the first hurdle and I ended up having to take 10, so I was stuttering and it was just a mess. But I’m happy with where I’ve come and for our 4x100 we’re really excited about that.”

Girls’ head coach Sara Hatleli had nothing but praise for the senior.

“Shae came out for the team as a seventh-grader and was an immediate contributor to the varsity squad,” she said. “She’s continued to be a great leader, really from the get go. Shae really took on that role of being a great role model for the younger athletes. She’s been an amazing leader.”

Buchman was also part of the Irish girls’ 4x100 relay team, along with Passeri, senior Alex Wolf and junior Sofia Paniccia that took third and broke their own school record with a time of 48.92.

Sophomore Jonathan Mann improved on his finish from last year in the 110 hurdles by taking third with a time of 14.84. Last year, he finished ninth in 15.35. Labatte followed up the 3,200 on Friday with the 1,600 on Saturday. He placed fifth with a time of 4:17.51.

Eighth-grader Ava Cinnamo has a bright future ahead of her on the track as she found the podium in the 300 hurdles. She took seventh with a time of 45.20 and was less than half a second away from a top five finish. Senior Preston Strop also took seventh in the boys’ 300 hurdles. He finished with a time of 39.67.

The boys’ 4x400 relay was the last event of the day and the Irish found the podium once again. The team of freshman Brian Boakye-Ansah, junior Owen Benson, sophomore Mason McDonald and Strop took sixth with a time of 3:24.83.

The Irish boys’ as a team finished fifth with 37 team points behind Hopkins, St. Michael-Albertville, Mounds View and champion Wayzata (75 points). The girls’ had a fantastic finish, taking third with 45.5 points, just 1.5 points behind runner-up Wayzata. Minnetonka took first with 63 points.

Hatleli had nothing but pride in her voice as she talked about this year’s team.

“Going into it, we knew that we had a lot of talent and that if everyone stayed healthy and everyone pulled it all together, we knew that we could have a successful season,” she said. “So I can’t say that I’m surprised with how well they did, but there’s a lot of factors that can happen and derail a team and they didn’t. We stayed healthy, they worked so hard, we had kids learn new events and we pulled it together as a team.”

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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