by Brenda Erdahl Sports Editor
The Irish girls track and field team won its ninth Central Minnesota Conference Title in 15 years last week while the Irish boys posted some top individual finishes.
The girls set the tone by winning the first event of the day the 4×800 relay to repeat as CMC champs for the second year in a row and earn all-conference honors. Ava Mergen, Ella Kiebel, Kylie Edmonson and Grace Heying were part of that winning team.
Gracie Elsenpeter had a winning day with top finishes in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault. To top it off, she was third in the 200-meter dash.
Maggie Larson competed in her first 100 and finished fourth. She also won the long and triple jumps, setting a school record in the triple.
Sophie Pribyl dominated the middistance races by winning the 1,600 and 800 over a field that included a tough HL-W-W runner, head coach Ben Youngs said.
Gus Demarais claimed third in the 1,600 and then won the 3,200. Mary Miller placed in both the 1,600 and 3,200, and Ava Mergen was second in the 800, showing that the Irish could really rack up points in the distance races.
Catie Fobbe was runner-up in both throws, setting a new school record in shot put by breaking her own best throw. Overall Irish throwers had a good showing. Anna Becker and Bri Deringer scored in the shot and Kaleigh Beehler and Deringer scored in the discus.
Other notable field event placers were Bionca Peteson in the long jump and Brynn Paumen in the high jump.
Top three individuals in all events earned all-conference honors along with the top relay team.
Mike Miller easily won the 3,200 for all-conference honors on the boys’ side, and Daryn Strub ran an aggressive 300-meter hurdle race to beat his personal best by a second.
As a team, the boys had a hard time accumulating points with key athletes out due to injuries. They finished seventh with 72 points. Holdingford won with 198.5.
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