Cougars still rule SSC girls track

South wins 6th consecutive league title

Lakeville South didn’t win an event at the South Suburban Conference girls track and field meet, but the Cougars found another path to a sixth consecutive championship.

In coach Andrew Hilliard’s words, the Cougars “hammered away with middle-of-the-pack points.” They might not have won an event, but they scored in every event, often with more than one athlete.

That was good for a team total of 129 points, giving the Cougars a bit of separation from the pursuers, including Lakeville North, Rosemount, Prior Lake and Farmington, the second- through fifth-place teams at the conference meet May 23-24 at Lakeville South High School. South’s victory is also the sixth in the seven times the South Suburban Conference girls championships have been held.

Prior Lake won the boys team championship, dethroning Lakeville South. The Lakers scored 182 points with Lakeville South second at 144. Rosemount (121) and Lakeville North (104) finished third and fourth.

“It was another great team effort by our girls, showing that depth can overcome talent even in a meet scored like the conference meet,” Hilliard said.

Lakeville South assumed the girls team lead the second day of the conference meet when Sydney Ferrie, Grace Mueller, Julia Teich and Mackenzie Hicks placed in the top nine in the shot put. In the 800, Cassie Jenny, Taylor Sorenson and Patty Jo English finished fourth through sixth, lengthening South’s lead in the team standings.

South’s top finishes included third places by ninth-grader Brianne Brewster in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, a second place by Jenny Mosser in the high jump and a third by Mosser in the 100 hurdles. Lakeville South teams finished in the top four in all four relays.

Other standouts of the girls conference meet included Farmington distance runners Lauren Peterson and Anna Fenske, Farmington sprinter Emma Record and Rosemount’s Alexys Berger and Shae Buchman. Burnsville eighth-grader Sophie Nilsson was a double winner in the long jump and triple jump.

Record, a senior, won the 100 dash in 12.33 seconds and the 200 in 25.81. Lakeville North ninth-grader Ella Larson ran 58.44 in the 400 final to earn a conference championship.

Peterson and Fenske became the first runners to break 5 minutes in the 1,600 at the SSC girls meet. Peterson took first in 4 minutes, 56.29 seconds, edging Fenske, who finished second in 4:56.75. The previous conference record of 5:03.13 was set by Lakeville South’s Kaytlyn Larson in 2013.

Fenske won the 3,200 in 10:26.19, breaking a 5-year-old conference record.

Rosemount’s Buchman swept the hurdles races, winning the 100 in a conference-record 14.44 and the 300 in 45.77.

Berger won the high jump with 5 feet, 6.25 inches, breaking the previous conference record of 5-6 she shared with Morgan Pieri of Lakeville South. Berger added a victory in the pole vault, clearing 10-6.

Nilsson’s winning distances were 17-3 in the long jump and 36-4.75 in the triple jump.

Lakeville North senior Madeline Moorhouse won the shot put with a throw of 43-5.25. Eastview senior Tatiana Donlan was the discus champion with 127-10.

Conference girls relay champions include the Eagan 4×100 team of Nyeaee Robins, Carly Czaplewski, Ashley Lentsch and Jailyn Robinson, who finished in 49.47. Lakeville North won the 4×200 (Mikelle Naatjes, Bailey Naatjes, Sarah Babcock, Grace Butler, 1:46.97) and 4×800 (Danielle Bellino, Sofia Earle, Emma Drangstveit, Larson, 9:31.70).

Eagan finished sixth at the conference finals while Eastview, Burnsville and Apple Valley were eighth through 10th.

Top finisher for Apple Valley at the girls conference meet was ninth-grader Madison Reed, who was runner-up in the discus.

Lakeville South sprinters Ethan Buckles and Jeremiah Jacobson were South Suburban Conference boys champions. Buckles won the 100 in 11.15 and Jacobson the 200 in 22.09.

Three runners bettered the previous conference record in the 800, led by Eagan senior Ryan Steger, who took first in 1:55.24. Lakeville South’s Cooper Jackson (1:56.12) and Eastview’s Timothy Morgenstern (1:56.22) were second and third with times that also beat a conference record set last year.

Lakeville North senior Evan El-Halawani, the defending Class AA state champion in the 300 hurdles, won both hurdles races at the conference meet. His first-place times were 14.86 in the 100 (.01 from the conference record). He ran 38.83 in the 300, beating a conference record El-Halawani set last year.

Burnsville sophomore Joe Fee cleared 6-5 in the high jump, winning the event by 1 inch.

Lakeville South senior Noah Shafer was one of two pole vaulters to clear 13-6, with Shafer declared the champion because of fewer missed attempts.

Burnsville senior Stephan Olson Jr. won the long jump with 21-11.5. Lakeville North’s Alexander Hunter, third in the long jump, won the conference title in the triple jump with 44-1.5.

Eric Rousemiller of Lakeville South won the shot put with a throw of 57-6.25. Rosemount’s Trevor Otterdahl threw the discus 171-2 to add a conference title to the second-place medal he won in the shot put.

The Burnsville team of Marcus Shepley, Oluwaseyi Aguda, Grant Romig and Olson won the 4×100 relay in 43.14, breaking the previous conference record by .01. Eastview’s Davis Deboom, Tyler Dodge, Timothy Morgenstern and Alvin Green were first in the 4×400 in 3:26.72.

Top Apple Valley finisher at the boys conference meet was senior Joshua Hylland, who was fourth in the high jump.

Farmington’s Regan Sevenich, Michael Cardinal, Caden Speikers and Aaron Kruse were second in the 4×800, their team’s highest finish in the conference finals.

Burnsville scored 72 points to finish in the upper half of the conference boys standings in fifth place. Eagan, Eastview, Apple Valley and Farmington were sixth through ninth.