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Bethany (left) and Megan Hasz, freshmen on the Cardinal girls' cross country team, competed for the second straight year at the State Class AA meet on Saturday. Bethany finished third and Megan sixth as the two were in the top 10 for the second year in a row. (Contributed)

State Class AA cross country: Among the state's best

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Cardinal freshman Bethany Hasz set a new personal best time of 14:05.5 as she raced to a third place finish at the State Class AA cross country meet Saturday, just 23.5 seconds behind champion Maria Hauger of Shakopee, who set a new all-time course and Class AA record.

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Hasz and her sister, Megan, competed for the second year at the state meet. Megan came in sixth overall in a field that featured all of the top-12 ranked runners in the Class AA division, running a 14:14.5.

"Bethany and Megan concluded the 2012 cross country season with exceptional races that put them on the podium and earned them All-State honors," said Alexandria head coach Mark Nelsen. "Maria Hauger, the three-time defending state champion, bolted off the starting line with a pack of five in pursuit.

"Megan led this pack, with Bethany following close behind. It was the fastest that Bethany and Megan have come through the 800 and 1,600-meters all season.

"Hauger separated herself from the field, winning her fourth state individual championship in cross country with a time of 13:42.

"Bethany and Megan battled with Jenna Truedson from Bemidji, Danielle Anderson from Eagan and Anna French from Wayzata throughout the race," Nelsen said. "Bethany went on to finish third with a personal best time behind Hauger and French. Megan finished sixth behind Truedson from Bemidji.

"Bethany and Megan Hasz are great competitors and have had an amazing season."

Hauger's time bettered the record of 13:54.7 that was set by Brita Wetch of Holy Family Catholic in the 2005 Class A race over the course that measures 4,000 meters.

She also broke the Class AA record of 13:59.3, held by Elizabeth Yetzer of Lakeville North.

STATE CLASS AA GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (top 10) - 1. Maria Hauger, Shakopee, 13:42.0, 2. Anna French, Wayzata, 13:57.6, 3. Bethany Hasz, Alexandria, 14:05.5, 4. Danielle Anderson, Eagan, 14:06.5, 5. Jenna Truedson, Bemidji, 14:09.3, 6. Megan Hasz, Alexandria, 14:14.5, 7. Taylor Perkins, Lakeville North, 14:21.3, 8. Bethany Kosak, White Bear Lake, 14:21.8, 9. Mariah Betzler, Monticello, 14:24.0, 10. Anna Maurer, Hill-Murray, 14:24.4.

TEAM RESULTS - 1. Wayzata 50, 2. Eagan 93, 3. Edina 129, 4. Forest lake 161, 5. (tie) East Ridge and Lakeville South 163, 7. Moorhead 192, 8. Roseville 200, 9. Chanhassen 214, 10. Willmar 237, 11. Prior Lake 311, 12. Totino-Grace 315, 13. Chaska 319, 14. Mounds View 323, 15. Lakeville North 336, 16. Elk River 338.

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