Track: Red Wing boys and girls place second at home
Getting some competition at the Red Wing High School track for the first time this season, both the Winger boys and girls track and field teams put up near-identical points, with both teams netting second-place finishes.
Aside from being leaders on the team, the Red Wing boys’ team captains were the leaders in the results in Tuesday’s home meet.
With Winger captains accounting for four of the team’s five wins, Red Wing scored 64 team points, good for second place. New Prague won the boys’ meet with a score of 112.5, and Farmington placed third with 14.5.
Providing the biggest boost for the Wingers was senior Lucas Knowlton, who won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at 16.53 and 43.56 seconds, respectively. Knowlton also had a second-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 18 feet, 8 ½ inches.
“He’s kind of coming off a minor (hip flexor) injury … but him being a pretty strong kid, he kept up his weight-room presence and that helped him shrug that off pretty quickly,” said Red Wing head coach Tony Casci. “We let him to the long jump (on Tuesday) and he almost had a season best.”
Fellow senior and captain Darrick Jackson had a season-best time in the 400 at 51.77, winning the race by over two seconds. In the thrower’s circle, junior Nick Connelly won the shot put with a throw of 46 feet, 11 inches.
In the 3,200, junior Meyer Beckner cruised with a winning time of 11:19.10, over six seconds better than the second-place finisher.
What Casci came away impressed with was the team’s sophomores.
“I saw some strong sophomore performances, which is encouraging,” Casci said. “Omonte (Bowens) in the sprints, Tony Poss in the jumps, Kaden Erie, Forest Evanson in the mile and Grahm Johnson in the throws. Those sophomores are starting to step up as a class.”
Another surprise came from track newcomer Jon Sevlie, who placed second in the high jump with a height of 5-4.
“He came on about a week-and-a-half ago. He’s a pretty natural athlete,” Casci said of Sevlie. “Jon had the spring open, he’s been doing the three jumps for us and he’s really found himself in the high jump.”
Coming into every meet, Red Wing girls track coach Jesse Nelson knows where his team’s strength lies: in distance and middle-distance running. Those units lived up to their billing on Tuesday, helping bring the bulk of the Wingers’ 65.5 team points.
New Prague won the girls’ meet with 99.5 points, with Red Wing taking second and Farmington finishing third with three points.
Starting in the 800, the Winger duo of freshman Elise Leise (2:26.77) and sophomore Kianna Stewart (2:30.58) took first and second place, respectively. Red Wing got another 1-2 finish in the 3,200 thanks to seventh-grader Jasmyn Armstrong (12:27.88) and freshman Adelle DeSutter (12:50.11).
“Both Elise and Kianna have been having great years. Both have been rock solid,” Nelson said. “And for Jasmyn and Adelle, that’s the first time they’ve run (the 3,200).”
In the 1,600, New Prague’s Maria Berg took first place at 5:17.23, but Red Wing got points at second, third and fourth place thanks to Armstrong (5:28.03), Elle Bryant (6:13.29) and Nora Bayley (6:17.96).
“We knew all along our distance and middle distance would do well and they did,” Nelson said.
Emily Stegora secured a pair of individual first-place finishes, winning the 100 hurdles in 16:10 and the long jump with a hop of 15-7. She also ran the anchor leg of the winning 4x200 relay with teammates Ashley Elford, McKayla Muelken and Paige Patterson, as they won with a time of 1:55.59.
The 4x200 win capped off a strong meet for the senior Elford, who also finished second in the 200 with a time of 28.23, falling behind New Prague’s Delaney McLoone by .02 seconds.
“It was nice to see her back and running well,” Nelson said of Elford.
Red Wing’s throwers showcased their depth in the shot put with Winger throwers finishing 2-3-4-5. Jennifer Salter led that group with a throw of 31-5 while also finishing second in the discus with a toss of 96-10.
“We know the throwers are usually going to score a lot of points for us,” Nelson said.
Taylor Quandt had another top-three finish for Red Wing, placing third in the triple jump with a distance of 30-7.
Next Tuesday, the Winger boys and girls will compete at the Missota Conference relays in Chaska.