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Tayler Kaufman, Wensia Johnson, Karly Betterman and Mady Urman pose with their championship medals after winning the 4x100 on Saturday. The girls came into the meet with the third fastest seed time but bested the Class AA field in both the prelims and the finals. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Cardinals run to fourth at state meet

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A championship day for the Alexandria 4x100 relay helped the girls’ track and field team close in on a fourth place finish among Class A schools at the state meet this weekend at Hamline University in St. Paul.

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Early morning thunderstorms delayed the start of competition for a half hour on Saturday, and a steady rain continued to fall throughout most of the morning’s competition. But rain did not alter the performance from the Cardinals 4x100 team of Karly Betterman, Tayler Kaufman, Madelyn Urman and Wensia Johnson as it surged ahead to first place with a time of 48.71.

After jumping ahead of the rest of the field, Urman said she had a feeling they would be celebrating a first place finish as she handed off to Johnson for the final leg of the race.

“I think it kind of makes up around the curve,” Urman said about the running lane she was in. “When I handed it off to Wensia I knew.”

Johnson joked that she almost was not prepared to grab the baton as she witnessed Urman take control in the relay’s third leg.

“I was so busy watching her catch people,” she said.

The wet conditions may have been a problem for some teams, but not for the Cardinals. Unlike some schools, the Alexandria athletes often practiced outside in the rain this spring instead of heading indoors.

“We’ve been training in the rain a lot,” Betterman said. “When it rains, we still go outside, we don’t stay inside. So we’re kind of used to it.”

HASZ SISTERS

Bethany Hasz finished third in the 3,200 run on Friday in 10:31, one spot ahead of her sister Megan who crossed the finish line at 10:33.

But those roles would be reversed a day later.

Megan took second place in the 1,600 with a time of 4:53.36 and Bethany finished in third at 4:53.83.

The sisters embraced after Saturday’s race, and Megan talked about her satisfaction with the second place finish.

“I was really excited about it,” she said. “It was a really good feeling to do that good at state.”

Back-to-back third place finishes at the state meet was no disappointment for Bethany, either. The mark was also a personal record for her in the 1,600.

“It was so great,” she said after the mile run. “It was a PR and I got third again.”

With the Hasz sisters ranking among the top high school distance athletes in the state, they said the 1,600 is not too short of a race for them to feel competitive. But Megan felt she has more familiar with the longer 3,200 heading into the state competition.

“I was more confident about the two mile, so doing better in the mile than I did in the two mile was a big shocker,” she said.

JOHNSON THIRD IN 100

After taking second in the 100 meter dash a year ago, Johnson was forced to settle for third behind Cretin-Derham Hall’s Brieasha Hunter and Megan Linder in the finals on Saturday.

Johnson, who crossed the finish line with a mark of 12.61, said she slipped at the start of the race.

“Oh, yeah, I had to catch up,” Johnson said.

With the steady rain possibly playing a part in her rough start, Johnson said she was still not satisfied with a third place finish.

“I’m not OK with it, but there is nothing I can do about it,” she said.

Hunter took the top spot in the 100 meter dash in 12.28 while Linder finished second with a mark of 12.43.

Urman also represented the Cardinals’ sprinters on the podium Saturday. She took eighth in the 200 dash finals with a time of 26.00.

JeAnna Miller earned a medal in the high jump after tying for eighth place with a jump of 5-02.00.

Johnson grabbed a spot on the podium as she took third in the long jump after she cleared a distance of 18-01.00.

STATE CLASS AA GIRLS’ RESULTS

TEAM TOP 10

1. Minnetonka, 80; 2. Cretin-Derham Hall, 66; 3. Lakeville South, 62; 4. Alexandria, 61.5; 5. Prior Lake, 43.5; 6. Mounds View, 42; 7. Wayzata, 40; 8. East Ridge, 35; 9. 9. Eden Prairie, 30; 10. Centennial, 23

ALEXANDRIA INDIVIDUALS

100 DASH FINALS – 3. Wensia Johnson, 12.61

200 DASH – 8. Mady Urman, 26.00

1600 RUN – 2. Megan Hasz, 4:53.36; 3. Bethany Hasz, 4:53.83.

3200 RUN – 3. Bethany Hasz, 10:31.32; 4. Megan Hasz, 10:32.75

4x100 RELAY – 1. Alexandria (Betterman, Kaufman, Urman, Johnson), 48.71

LONG JUMP – 4. Wensia Johnson, 18-01.00

HIGH JUMP – 8. JeAnna Miller, 5-02.00

TRIPLE JUMP – 16. Betterman, 36-02.75

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is a sports reporter at the Echo Press. Before working in Alexandria, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. He previously worked as the community editor of the Mound Laker for more than a year. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(320) 763-1230
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