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PREP TRACK: Close race results in photo finish at Minnesota Class AA girls track meet

Meleah Biermaier of Thief River Falls competes in the girls Class AA 300-meter hurdles during the Minnesota State Track and Field Meet on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in St. Paul. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ST. PAUL — In another close race, this time with a state title on the line, Meleah Biermaier and Erin Huls reversed spots.

Huls, a junior from Rocori, won the 300 hurdles title Saturday in the Minnesota Class AA girls high school track meet. The junior ran a winning time of 43.39 seconds to edge Biermaier (43.44), a sophomore from Thief River Falls.

In the Section 8AA meet, it was Biermaier (43.00) getting the win over Huls (43.01) in a photo finish.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Biermaier, a state runner-up in the 300s for the second straight season after winning the title in 2012. “But if I’m going to lose to anyone, I’m glad it’s to Erin. We’ve become great friends. And she’s such a good athlete.”

Despite running in rainy conditions, Mike Biermaier — the TRF hurdles coach and Meleah’s father — said it was probably the sophomore’s third-best time ever. “With these conditions, we’re very pleased with that,” he said.

“Erin was ahead most of the way. Meleah was coming on strong from behind. She passed Shaina Burns (of Lakeville South, who finished third) after the seventh hurdle. She got close to Erin after the eighth and final hurdle.

“If it had been another 10 yards, I think Meleah wins. I believe Meleah finishes stronger than anybody in the state. She just couldn’t quite do it today.”

Biermaier also was a first-time placer in the 100 hurdles, finishing sixth. She was the No. 8 seed coming out of the prelims. She followed that with the 300s, where Biermaier said the early part of the race cost her.

“After the third hurdle, I slowed down a little for some reason,” she said. “I don’t know why. It probably cost me a half of a second. I could overcome most of that, but not enough to win it.”

EGF gets 4 places

East Grand Forks Senior High athletes placed in four events over the two-day Class A state meet.

Erica Eades placed in two events for the Green Wave girls. The sophomore was sixth in the 800 (2:24.82) and anchored the 4x800 relay team that finished seventh (9:51.78). Other members of the relay were Rachel Jenson, Rylee Skyberg and Haylie Carlstrom.

On the boys side, the Green Wave broke the 4x400 relay school record for the second straight day. The quartet of Austin Kloety, Tanner Seim, Miguel Perez and Zach Tingelstad finished fifth with a time of 3:26.06. Senior High’s Brock Scheving placed sixth in the shot put Friday.

“It was an above-and-beyond meet for us,” Senior High girls coach Liesa Hanson said of the performances of the two Green Wave teams. “It’s been a few years since we’ve brought medals home from state. We had good, strong performances by our athletes.”

Other area top-nine placers in the Class A meet Saturday included:

Madeline Huglen, Roseau: The junior finished sixth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:09.23.

Gina Balstad, Bagley-Fosston: The junior cleared 9-foot-6 to tie for seventh place in the pole vault.

Cody Gagner, Red Lake County: The junior ran a 2:00.61 to place eighth in the 800.

Marissa Carlson, Bagley-Fosston: The junior was ninth in the 800, running a 2:29.95.