Hackel wins 100 and 200-meter dashes as Packer girls take fourth at Big Nine meet

Published 9:37 pm Friday, May 25, 2012

ROCHESTER — The Austin girls track and field did even better than it was hoping for as it finished fourth place in the Big Nine meet in Rochester Mayo Friday, which is the team’s best finish since at least 2001.

“I was hoping for fifth and I’m ecstatic about fourth,” Austin head coach Nancy Jones said. “Overall it was a good meet and the girls should be proud of themselves.”

The Packers got a big lift from their freshman sprinter Carolyn Hackel, who won Big Nine titles in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Hackel broke a school record in the 100-meter preliminaries with a time of 12.71 seconds.

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“I’ve been working at breaking that record for three years now and it feels good to finally be able to say I did it,” Hackel said. “Last year, I didn’t even think winning at Big Nine would be possible, so that’s a big accomplishment too.”

The previous school record of 12.74 seconds was set in 1976 by Liz Ackerwold.

Hackel was nervous heading into the meet, but she found away to calm herself down.

“I was talking to one of the other runners that I’ve become friends with before the race and I think running against friends is more fun and relaxing,” Hackel said.

Hackel, who is usually one of the younger runners near the top of the field, said she doesn’t feel any intimidation from any older competitors any more.

“I’m one of the taller girls out there, so I’m used to it,” she said.

Austin eighth grader Madison Overby ran a season’s best time in the 1600-meter run, where she took third and she placed second in the 3200-meter run as she was 24 seconds behind Albert Lea’s Chrissy Monson, who took third in the 3200 and won the 1600 at state last year.

Saara Tuomola took fourth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump for Austin and Abby Snater took fourth in the pole vault.

Rachel Needham took 21st in the 3200-meter run and she beat her personal best time by 30 seconds.