May 24, 2012 at 9:20 a.m.
North Suburban Conference Championships Girls Prestige among conference foes is always something to strive for, and nothing is more prestigious in the North Suburban than their conference championship meet to end the regular season.
The girls put up a strong fight for first place, falling just seven and a half points short of first place St. Francis. On the day, the girls finished in third place with 102.5 points. The Saints won the meet with 110, Chisago Lakes got second with 109 and Spring Lake Park finished in fourth place with 102 points for one of the most competitive top four finishes in conference history. Maddie Kunshier got the Vikings on the board in the early stages of the meet with a sixth place finish in the 200 meter dash and second place in the 400. Her time of 58.70 was just over a second off of first place Kianna Carter of Irondale, who set a meet record with a 57.34. Sophomore Haley Huset followed that with North Branch’s first victory of the day. She demolished the competition in the 800 meter run, qualifying for the finals with the fastest time then dusting the finals field with a time of 2:26.37. The second place runner finished in 2:29.64.
Contrasting runners Rhianna Rinke and Megan Zimmerman earned two top seven finishes for North Branch in the 1,600 meter run. Rinke, a seventh grader, finished in 5:20.36 in third place and Zimmerman, a senior, finishing in 5:50.23 in seventh place. They both followed that up the next day with impressive finishes in the 3,200 meter run. Rinke finished second, just two seconds behind winner Abby Forsman of Chisago Lakes and Zimmerman finished in fourth place. SherahLynn Linkert, the junior hurdling sensation, finished third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.20 seconds and first in the 300 hurdles with a 47.70. In the 4x200, Kunshier, Becky Ramberg, Linkert and Cassie Kunshier teamed up for a second place finish and All-Conference honors. The 4x400 relay quartet also fared well, earning All-NSC Honorable Mention. Huset, Courtney White, Kadie Mattson and Cassie Kunshier teamed up to finish in third place with a time of 4:16.92.
Mattson and Gina Amundson went three-four in the high jump competition. Mattson, a sophomore, leapt 4’8”, four inches from winner Ashley Dahly of Totino-Grace and Amundson also went 4’8” Kassie Salo finished second in the pole vault, vaulting 10’ even. Emma Kanning of Irondale won the meet with a 10’6”. “We had a very strong showing by the girls team taking third place,” Head Coach Norm Nagel said. “The top three teams were within eight points from the first place team. Many of the girls performed their personal best and made All-Conference status.” All- North Suburban Conference Madison Kunshier - 400 meter dash Haley Huset - 800 meter run Rhianna Rinke -1600, 3200 meter run Megan Zimmerman - 3200 meter run SherahLynn Linkert - 100 and 300 meter hurdles Crystal Emery-Snaza - Discus Kadie Mattson - High Jump Gina Amundson - High Jump Kassie Salo - Pole Vault Madison Kunshier, Rebecca Ramberg, SherahLynn Linkert and Cassie Kunshier - 4x200 All-Conference Honorable Mention Madison Kunshier - 200 meter dash Megan Zimmerman - 1600 meter run Rebecca Ramberg - Triple Jump Crystal Emery-Snaza - Shot Put Mikayla Johnson - Pole Vault Haley Huset, Courtney White, Kadie Mattson and Cassie Kunshier - 4x400 Relay Boys The guys didn’t fare nearly as well as the girls as the boys half of the North Suburban Conference is stacked with athletes.
Only three boys earned All-Conference awards, including Austen Wek in the 300 hurdles and Carl Neumann in the pole vault. Those two earned All-Conference. Sophomore Brandon Thauwald earned All-Conference Honorable Mention in the high jump. Unfortunately, one of the favorites for North Branch to medal, freshman Matt Marrin, went down for the rest of the season with a jump injury in the prelims. “Overall, the boys have a great performance considering we are in one of the toughest conference,” Nagel said. The boys finished in 10th place with 21 points. Spring Lake Park and Irondale duked it out for the top spot with the Panthers coming out on top with 177 points. The Knights finished with 151.5 points.
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