Busch 4th, Simon 5th at state track meet

New Prague High School’s four representatives at the state track meet last weekend had mixed results. Two of the four athletes placed in the top five, while two others failed to make the finals in their events.

Kristin Busch, a senior, took fourth in the triple jump, with a leap of 35 feet, 11 inches. Last year she placed fifth in the event. Prior Lake’s Megan Brandeland repeated as state champion with a distance of 36-10.

Busch ends her career with the New Prague High School record in that event, with a leap of 37-1 1/2. She was one of only three girls in the state to top 37 feet in that event this season.

Her teammate, Katie Theisen, was one of the other two to top that mark. However, the state meet was not kind to the senior, as she faulted on all three of her jumps and failed to qualify for the finals.

Dustin Simon won his heat in the 300 intermediate hurdles on Friday, with a time of 39.83 seconds. He was the third-fastest qualifier in that event, behind Rupert Bannerman-Thomps of Roseville and Forrest Randall of Lakeville.

Simon, a senior, went on to finish fifth in Saturday’s finals, in 40.22. Bannerman-Thomps won the event in 38.63.

“It was not one of his better races,” coach Johnny Josephson said. “He had a stumble, but we were both pleased with the fifth place finish.”

New Prague’s fourth state qualifier was sophomore Becky Theisen in the 200-meter dash. Theisen ran a 26.95 time in the second heat, and did not qualify for the finals.

“She was happy with her performance,” Josephson said, noting that it was a tough field.

Josephson said overall the track season was a success. “We had the best season for both boys and girls, with 11 academic all-state, four state entrants, a fourth place finish at the girls state true team meet and a second place in the conference and conference relays. The boys were second in the conference relays and at true team sections and won the Farmington relays for the first time.

Among new school records set this year were Andy Wescott, who tied the pole vault record at 12-6, Katelyn Meger, with 11:58 in the 3,200 meters, the girls 4x400m relay team in 4:05.94 and Busch in the triple jump.

“Both teams are losing great seniors, however we have many valuable, contributing underclassmen,” Josephson said. “We should do even better next year as a team.”

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