|(l to r) Megan Graham, Maria Kiminski, Alicia Hett, Isabelle Ferm|
Intolerable weather conditions. Debilitating injuries to key performers. A fraction of a second or inches from qualifying for the state meet in multiple events.
But there was no sign of frustration on the faces of Hart or the Tiger 4x400 relay team on Saturday after Maria Kiminski, Alicia Hett, Megan Graham and Isabelle Ferm roared to a second place finish at the Class AA State Championships at Hamline University in St. Paul.
The speedy foursome clocked a season best 3:55.73 to finish 1.69 seconds behind champion Minnetonka. The runner-up finish was the best-ever by a Tiger girls' relay team at the state meet.
Kiminski and Hett ran strong opening legs to keep the Tigers in the hunt and then Graham and Ferm put together back-to-back 57 second-plus laps to record all of Farmington's 10 points in the meet.
Ferm's strong closing leg helped take the sting out of her 10th place finish in the 400-meter dash preliminaries the previous day, one spot short of making the finals.
Later on Friday Jennifer Miller stepped in for Ferm in the 4x400 prelims (after Ferm aggravated a nagging hip injury) to allow the Tigers to advance to Saturday's finals.
"Jennifer helped us get here and today we ran an amazing race," Hart said. "I told the girls beforehand that we could run 3:55 if everyone did what they had to do...and that's exactly what they did.
"They put themselves into a position to be state champions. You can't ask for much more than that. I am so proud of all of them"