The Burnsville girls track team secured four individual state spots and had one relay qualify in Section 3AA competition.

Seniors Sarah Kuplic and Olivia Rippentrop, junior Hannah Buchanan, sophomores Arielle Edwards and Sophie Nilsson and ninth-grader Zoie Dundon will represent the Blaze at the Class AA state meet, which is June 7-8 at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Dundon had the Blaze's lone section win, claiming the 800 meters with a time of 2:14.37 in the finals in Prior Lake May 31.

Buchanan, Edwards and Nilsson each earned runner-up finishes in their respective section events to qualify, as did the 4x400 relay team of Buchanan, Kuplic, Rippentrop and Dundon. That foursome finished second with a time of 4:03.77.

The top two finishers in each event, including relays, make the state field. The other way to get there is by meeting the state standard.

Buchanan finished second in the high jump in the prelims May 29 with a height of 5-3. Nilsson qualified in the long jump on the same day, taking second with a leap of 16-05.

In the finals, Edwards earned a bid in the 100 meters with a runner-up time of 12.98. She was 0.03 ahead of the third-place finisher.

Nilsson will be competing in her third straight state meet, while it will be the first for Dundon, Kuplic, Rippentrop, Buchanan and Edwards. Nilsson was sixth in the triple jump last year at state and 15th in the long jump. As an eighth-grader, she was eighth in the triple jump.

Nilsson just missed making state in both jumping events this year. She was third in the triple jump with a leap of 36-04. The state qualifying mark is 37-01.

Buchanan was also in the finals in the 200 taking seventh (27.02). Rippentrop had two top-five finishes, taking fourth in the high jump (5-2) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.88).

The Blaze's 4x100 team of Edwards, Kuplic, Nilsson and senior Judith Incoom was sixth (50.80), while the 4x200 team of senior Daisha Jefferson and sophomores Betsy Sanchez, Jada Somsanouk and Gianna Bedford was seventh (1:51.58). The 4x800 team of senior Anna Cruz, junior Morgan Hanson and sophomores Laura Jensen and Francesca Garreffa ended up 13th (12:18.02).

Other finishes for the Blaze included junior Natalie Thoresen in the discus (12th, 93-02), senior Danielle Kurr in the discus (15th, 89-02) and Somsanouk in the 300 hurdles (15th, 51.68).

In the team standings, Burnsville ended up fourth with 81 points. Prior Lake won the title (134), followed by Eagan (112) and Bloomington Jefferson (101.5).

Other teams: Woodbury (5th, 76), East Ridge (6th, 72), Visitation (7th, 60), Eastview (8th, 59), Simley (9th, 48), Henry Sibley (10th, 47), Holy Angels (11th, 41), South St. Paul (12th, 27), Apple Valley (13th, 21), Richfield (14th, 20.5), Bloomington Kennedy (15th, 14) and Park (16th, 4).

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.


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