Athletics: Rosemount teams, state champions, bring back talent | Sports

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Three-class debut brings changes to state meet schedule

Sara Hatleli doesn’t have to look long or far to find a Rosemount track and field athlete to help her. The Irish have 130 strikeouts for the women’s team, the most since Hatleli’s tenure as head coach.

The surge in interest should come as no surprise, given the Irish’ sweep of the South Suburban Conference, Class 3A True Team and Minnesota State High School League Class 2A championships in 2021. Who doesn’t like to be associated with a winner?

Hatleli said she likes to think there’s more to it, starting with the program’s willingness to accept Rosemount athletes who play other sports — and work around any commitments they might have to those. sports.

“There are some programs in the metro area that aren’t as willing to work with these kids,” Hatleli said. “Our mentality is that if we can have it for part of the spring, it’s better than not having it at all.”

That approach paid off for the Irish last year, with athletes from other Rosemount sports helping the track team win the state team championship by 21 points over St. Michael-Albertville. Rosemount women’s soccer goaltender Jordan Hecht hadn’t thrown a competitive shot put or discus until last year. She finished the season as the Class AA champion in discus and second in shooting.

Taylor Heimerl, who signed up for the University of Minnesota to play football, won two medals at last year’s track meet, one in the 800 meters and one in the relay.

“We have kids playing (junior Olympic) volleyball in the spring,” Hatleli said. “Six of our athletes are part of the same club soccer team that participates in many high-level tournaments. We try to encourage our girls to be multi-sport athletes, even if it means missing some track practice. Last year, these girls really helped us at the end of the season.

The Irish return to many of their national qualifiers from last year, including double gold medalist Ava Cinnamo, who won the 100 and 300 meters hurdles. The senior looks set to defend both titles.

“We had a competition last week, and Ava’s time in the 100m was faster than what she ran late last year,” Hatleli said. “His 300m was already as fast as his best times last year.”

The core group of returnees also includes Jenna Johnson, state medalist in the 400m. Ava Webster, a senior, ranked third in the shot put at the state last year. Heimerl, Johnson and Mya Cinnamo return from a 4×400 relay team that finished third in the Class AA competition. Ava Cinnamo is also a strong triple jumper, ranking seventh at the state in 2021. Sophomore Katelyn Ketterling is one of Rosemount’s top returning sprinters.

Much of the spring will be spent figuring out which athletes from Rosemount’s extensive roster will best meet the needs of the team. Some of Ireland’s top athletes will be invited to the Hamline Elite Meet on April 29.

“The Elite Meet is a fun opportunity for kids who are invited, but we are planning a True Team, conference and state,” Hatleli said. “We think True Team (held in May) is an important meeting, so it’s the one we’re preparing for.”

Burnsville senior Zoie Dundon is the defending state champion in the 800 meters and is targeting her third state meet or tournament of the 2021-22 school year. Dundon, who will race at the University of Minnesota, qualified for the national cross-country meet last fall and was one of the best players on the state champion consolation hockey team. Burnsville.

Other top returning athletes from Sun Thisweek’s coverage area include state-qualified Eastview senior Elizabeth Hallum in the 400; Eagan senior Rina Aschemann, who advanced in the 800; Mackenzy Lippold of Farmington, a state qualifier in the 3200. Kyra Kusnierek, Ava Ligtenberg and Ella Logan teamed with Aschemann on an Eagan 4×400 stint that placed fourth in the state, while Kusnierek, Ligtenberg, Josie Seehafer and Aschemann won the 4×800 medal. Apple Valley senior Desirae Dates won a state medal in the shot put. Sylvia Stephenson of Lakeville South qualified for the Class AA high jump.

Irish boys looking to flip back to back

In 2021, the Rosemount boys and girls track teams won the MSHSL State Championships in the same year for the first time in school history. Like the girls’ team, the Irish boys are seeing some of their best athletes return as they attempt to come back back to back.

That group includes junior Hayden Bills, who was second in discus and fourth in the shot put at the 2021 State Meet. Weston Ebner, a senior from Rosemount, was fifth in shooting. Bills and Ebner are helping continue a Rosemount tradition of successful pitchers, a group that includes 2021 U.S. Olympian Payton Otterdahl.

Senior Miles Townsend, fourth in the 400m, also returns from the 2021 State Championship team. Townsend, Cedric Wall and Kade Gilbertson are returning from a medal-winning Rosemount 4×200 relay at State.

The South Suburban Conference track finals, scheduled for May 25, could feature a stacked field in the boys’ 800 yards. Lakeville North junior Bryce Stachewicz was second in last spring’s event, while Burnsville senior Thomas Dundon was fifth. Apple Valley senior Abdikafi Khalif also made it to the state in the 800. Farmington senior Ramy Ayoub entered the state competition with the fastest start time in the 800 but had to drop out of the final last year due to a leg injury. Ayoub, however, was the state runner-up in the 400.

Farmington won two stints en route to third place at last year’s state meet. Seniors Ben Buesgens, Abdisa Ayana and Rod Finley return from the state champion 4×200 relay. Ayana and Ayoub raced the Tigers’ first place 4×400 relay.

Other top returnees include Burnsville senior Christian Belt, state medalist in the 100; Lakeville North distance runners Andrew Casey and Matthew Whittaker; North senior Jack Kocher, the 2021 Class AA runner-up in the 300 hurdles; Benjamin Mosser of Lakeville North, medalist in the 100 hurdles and high jump; and Derek Dorsey of Eagan, Blake Koenen and Thomas Kehler, state-qualified in two relay events.

Lakeville North Mega Encounter

One of the first big invitational events of the high school track and field season, the Lakeville North Mega Meet, returns Saturday after a two-year absence related to COVID. It starts at 10 a.m. at Lakeville North High School. Fourteen men’s teams and 14 women’s teams are on the programme.

The reigning Mega Meet team champions – albeit as of 2019 – are the girls of Lakeville North and the boys of Owatonna.

Some of the South Suburban Conference’s top athletes will be invited to the Hamline Elite Meet, taking place the evening of Friday, April 29 at Hamline University. They will meet again on May 3 at Shakopee West Junior High School for the South Suburb Conference Relays.

Most meetings in the True Team section will take place on Tuesday, May 10, with the Class 3A finals scheduled for May 20 at Stillwater High School. The South Suburban Conference championships will be held May 24-25 at Apple Valley High School, with sectional competition taking place the following week.

In June, the state high school track and field meet returns to St. Michael-Albertville High School, where it was held in 2021. There are a few changes, however.

The state meet was traditionally a two-day event, but is expanding to three days starting this year with the addition of a third entry class for the sport. The 10 high schools in the South Suburban Conference remain in the highest enrollment class for athletics, which is now Class 3A.

For Class 3A athletes, this means there will be a rest day between preliminaries and finals. Class 3A preliminaries are Thursday, June 9 at 9 a.m. The Grandes Écoles finals, previously held on a Saturday morning, will begin this year at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11.

The changes also mean that Rosemount will not be defending its Section 1 boys and girls championships as the Irish teams have been moved to Class 3A, Section 3. They join Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan and Eastview, among others. Farmington, Lakeville North and Lakeville South are assigned to Class 3A Section 1.

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