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Alex girls' track: Cards dominate 8AA field

Senior Karly Betterman runs the first leg of the 4x100 relay during the Section 8AA meet in Thief River Falls on Saturday. She was joined by Tayler Kaufman, Mady Urman and Wensia Johnson in setting a new 8AA record time of 48.74 seconds in the 4x100.

The Alexandria girls’ track and field team made an emphatic statement as to which program is at the top of the Section 8AA field right now after winning the section meet by 34 points on Saturday.

The Cardinals qualified eight different athletes, counting Tahlia Bowden as an alternate for the 4x100 relay team, for the state meet this week and piled up 114 team points in the process. Sartell-St. Stephen was second with 80 points and fellow Central Lakes Conference program Rocori rounded out the top three with 67. Alexandria had a total of 17 personal bests and two more season bests.

“As each event on the track unfolded on Saturday at Thief River Falls, my smile kept getting wider and wider,” head coach Meghan Orgeman-Crumb said. “The girls showed their dominance on the track with every event they approached. The girls’ hard work at practice and through meets every day this season has led to a phenomenal postseason performance.”

In one case, it led to a section record. The 4x100 relay team of Karly Betterman, Tayler Kaufman, Mady Urman and Wensia Johnson finished in a time of 48.74 seconds to set the new standard in that event. Their time bested the time of 49.27 set by a group from St. Cloud Tech in 2007. That time is the third fastest seed time in Class AA entering the state tournament, behind only Hopkins (48.70) and Woodbury (48.67).

The Cardinals made a statement in the sprint events throughout the section meet. Johnson has the second fastest seed time in the 100-meter dash after winning the 8AA title in 12.14 seconds. She also won the 200-meter title in 25.21 seconds and will compete in four events at state after taking second in the long jump (18-01).

Urman was right behind her in second place in both of the sprint races. The senior ran the 100 in 12.47 seconds and the 200 in 25.62 to join Johnson at the state meet in both events.

The Hasz sisters will join them at Hamline in both the 3,200 and the 1,600-meter runs after taking the top two spots in both races at sections. That was highlighted by a photo finish in the 1,600 that Bethany won in a time of 4:56.10 and Megan was right behind her in 4:56.17. Both of those were personal-best times.

Bethany finished right in front of her sister last Wednesday in the 3,200 in a time of 10:33.26. Megan came across in 10:35.77. Both their 1,600 and 3,200-meter times are the top two seed times entering the state meet this weekend.

Alexandria will also send two jumpers to the state meet in freshmen JeAnna Miller and Betterman. Miller had a leap of 5-02 to take second in the high jump at the section meet. Betterman won the 8AA triple jump with her furthest jump setting a new personal best at 36-02.75.

“Karly had an outstanding day in the triple,” Orgeman-Crumb said. “All of her jumps were further than her personal best mark and her furthest jump led to a first-place finish.”

With some of the state’s top athletes competing in multiple events, Alexandria figures to be able to rack up quite a few points at the state meet this weekend. The Hasz sisters will kick things off on Friday with the 3,200-meter run starting the meet at 9 a.m. The final day of the meet gets going at the same time on Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.


TEAM RESULTS – Alexandria – 114; Sartell – 80; Rocori – 67; Detroit Lakes – 56; Moorhead – 54.5; Bemidji – 51; St. Cloud Tech – 48; Monticello – 44; Thief River Falls – 36; Willmar – 35; Brainerd – 32.5; Little Falls – 30; Fergus Falls – 20; Becker – 18; St. Cloud Apollo – 12; Sauk Rapids-Rice – 3

ALEXANDRIA STATE QUALIFIERS – Megan Hasz – 1,600, 3,200; Bethany Hasz – 1,600, 3,200; Miller – high jump; Urman – 100, 200, 4x100; Betterman – 4x100, triple jump; Johnson – 100, 200, 4x100, long jump; Kaufman – 4x100; Tahlia Bowden – 4x100 alternate

ALEXANDRIA TOP-EIGHT FINISHES – 100-METER DASH – Johnson – first place, 12.14; Urman – second place, 12.47; Kaufman – eighth place, 13.30; 200-METER DASH – Johnson – first place, 25.21; Urman – second place, 25.62; Kaufman – eighth place, 27.80; 4X200 RELAY – Syri Williams, Leah Huss, Miller, Kelby Olson-Rodel, seventh place, 1:52.22; 1,600-METER RUN – B. Hasz – first place, 4:56.10; M. Hasz – second place, 4:56.17; 3,200-METER RUN – B. Hasz – first place, 10:33.26; M. Hasz – second place, 10:35.77; 100-METER HURDLES – Betterman – seventh place, 16.59; 4X100 RELAY – Betterman, Kaufman, Urman, Johnson – first place, 48.74; HIGH JUMP – Miller – second place, 5-02; LONG JUMP – Johnson – second place, 18-01; TRIPLE JUMP – Betterman – first place, 36-02.75

* Alexandria head coach Meghan Orgeman-Crumb was named the 8AA Coach of the Year after leading the Cardinals to a section win over the weekend. 

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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