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Girls track: Four top-fours land Tigers fourth

Farmington's Izzie Ferm, right, hands off to Maria Kiminski during the 4x400 at Saturday's Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. The Tigers' 4x400 finished fourth in a school-record time of 3:54.41.

Farmington picked the perfect time to run its best three races of the season.

Following Nadia Lorencz's second-place finish in the long jump on Friday, the Tigers ran season-best times in all three of their races on Saturday to secure the school's best team finish -- a fourth-place total of 34 points -- at the Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.

"It was really exciting to see them compete at such a high level," Farmington coach Tom Hart said. "A lot of kids make it there and don't have their best performances, so we were really happy that all the kids got there and set personal records and school records."

Lorencz, a sophomore, bounced back from a narrow defeat in the long jump to place second in the 100 hurdle finals. Her time of 15.26 seconds was just under half a second off the pace of defending champion and state record holder Jessica January of Richfield.

Another state meet veteran, junior Alyssa Parco, continued to move up the ladder in her third appearance in the 300 hurdles. Parco was last as a freshman and seventh last year before earning third in Saturday's final with a personal-best time of 44.81 seconds. Mariah Witt of Hopkins won the title in 44.34, followed by Emma Russ of Simley, who edged Parco for second in 44.77. Witt, Russ and Parco, all juniors, had the fortune of not having to compete against defending champion January, who was disqualified from Friday's prelims.

"Every year Parco has gotten just a little better and a little better," Hart said. "As an athlete she just keeps getting faster and stronger."

Parco closed out her day by joining senior Erin Hickey, freshman Izzie Ferm and sophomore Maria Kiminski for a fourth-place finish in the 4x400 relay. The foursome shattered their previous best and the school record by nearly five seconds with a time of 3:54.51 that was just three seconds off the pace of Hopkins, which set a state record in finishing first.

"The 4x400 was what really blew me away. They were cooking. They dropped five seconds from their previous best," Hart said. "I think the biggest difference was they were all fresh. Most of them were used to running three or four events at each meet, so having one thing to get ready for made it easier. It also helped to have people that fast to chase and compete with."

Parco started the race with a 59-second split and Hickey and Ferm followed with 58-second splits before Kiminski brought the baton home in 59 seconds.