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State Class AA girls' track and field: Cards reach podium three times

It was a good weekend for the Cardinal girls' track and field participants at the State Class AA meet at Hamline University in St. Paul, competing in six events and returning with 12th place overall.

"The state track and field championships not only bring the best athletes in the state together for two days," said Cardinal head coach Meghan Orgeman-Crumb, "it also highlights who is able to put everything together at the right time to be one of nine athletes in each event to make it up on the podium."

The Redbird girls found the podium three times over the weekend as freshman Wensia Johnson was second in the long jump and the 100-meter dash (see separate story), and the 4x100-meter relay placed sixth to earn a medal.

Freshman Megan Hasz was first up on the track as she competed in the meet's opening event - the 3,200-meter run.

"Megan ran a phenomenal race, finishing with a time of 10:58.40 and placing 11th overall," said Orgeman-Crumb. "To have an athlete as young as Megan break 11 minutes in the 3,200-meter is something to be extremely proud of."

Both senior Briquelle Bowden and Johnson saw action on Friday as well, competing in the high jump and long jump, respectively.

"Briquelle didn't have her best day in the high jump," said her coach. "However, she had some great attempts at earlier heights. Briquelle ended up placing 11th with a jump of 5'2"."

Johnson finished second in her event with a leap of 17'11.25".

The Cardinal 4x100-meter relay team of Johnson, Gabby Koel, Bowden and Mady Urman powered its way into the finals with a 49.57 on Friday night, a season best for the squad, and Urman finished up day one with a 26.18 in the 200-meter dash, a lifetime best, but just short of a spot in the finals.

"Mady is anxious to get back on the track next season to break 26 seconds in this event," said Orgeman-Crumb.

Along with Johnson's 100-meter dash finish, the Cardinal 4x100 finals were on Saturday.

"Briquelle had been battling a strain to her Achilles tendon, so it was uncertain if she or junior Karly Betterman would be racing as the third leg on the relay team," said the coach. "However, after warm-ups, it was clear that Briquelle was ready to join her teammates.

"The 4x100 team ended up running an even faster time of 49.36, a season best, and took home sixth place.

"Seniors Briquelle Bowden and Gabby Koel up on the podium, along with their teammates Mady Urman and Wensia Johnson is a memory I won't forget.

"This was an exciting end to a very memorable first season as head coach," Orgeman-Crumb added. "Once again, I have to thank the leadership that our senior athletes brought to the season."