Andrew Hilliard has coached Lakeville South’s girls’ track program to the Class 3A True Team title four times, the latest being the most exhilarating.

The Cougars overtook Mounds View in the meet’s final event — the 4x400-meter relay — to win the title by 6.5 points (794.5-788). Their relay team finished second in the event while Mounds View’s foursome wound up eighth.

“In a meet where over 6,000 points are scored, it’s amazing that only 6.5 points separated the top two teams,” Hilliard said. “I think it’s symbolic of what true team is all about. Every point scored by every athlete, whether they are your No. 1 or your No. 3 in an event, whether they have an off night or set a personal record, is vital to the team’s success.”

Senior Jocie Johnson ran the anchor leg on the runner-up relay team. She also finished second in the 100 hurdles (15.29 seconds), 300 hurdles (46.08) and high jump (5 feet, 4 inches).

“Jocie has been a stalwart for our team all season long,” Hilliard said. “She was a huge factor in the outcome of the meet.”

Lakeville South won only one event in the meet, the 4x100 relay.

“In individual events, we only had six girls place in the top five of their events,” Hilliard said. “We couldn’t have won the championship without the middle-of-the-pack points that were the result of 20 personal records and other solid performances by our girls. It was a really special night for our program.”

Top performances

• Junior Elise Leise ran legs on Red Wing’s victorious 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams and took second place in the 800 run, helping the Wingers win the Class 2A True Team championship.

• Senior attacker Alex Gaul had 10 goals and two assists, leading the Shakopee boys’ lacrosse team to a 22-6 victory over Hutchinson. Gaul entered the final game of the regular season with 47 goals.

Ron Haggstrom