Track: Winger girls third at True Team
STILLWATER – Between eight other teams and a crippling cold weather forecast, the Red Wing girls' track and field team had plenty to compete with on Saturday.
With temperatures in the 40s with steady rain and wind beating down on Pony Stadium in Stillwater, the Wingers were able to battle both the teams and the elements for a third-place finish at the Class 2A state True Team championship.
“No real surprises for us. Everyone competed well,” said Red Wing head coach Jesse Nelson. “Emily (Hart), I think it was a personal best for her in the 400. The relays were a strong pert of our team today. Seeing the kids compete in these conditions and to hear no complaining, I was impressed with that.”
A year after winning the 2A championship, the Wingers got third with a team score of 391, behind champion record (479) and Willmar (456). Pequot Lakes (344.5), Visitation (316.5), Belle Plaine (295), Byron (262), North Branch (216) and Benilde-St. Margaret's (174) rounded out the field.
Red Wing had three victories on the day, starting with Hart winning the 400-meter dash in 58.95 seconds. Hart was also the starting leg of the winning 4x200, with Taylor Heise, Carolyn Hanson and Tyler McGrath, that crossed the finish line in 1:49.24.
Madisyn Lyons came up with 63 points for Red Wing, thanks to four top-five finishes. She won the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 3 inches, finished second in the triple jump at 33-10.25 and was fifth in both the high jump (4-8) and 300 hurdles (49.44).
The field ended up yielding results higher than Nelson anticipated.
“We were 2-3 in the triple (with Lyons and Paige Patterson; 33-4.25), and Elle Thorson (third; 4-10) and Madisyn's high jumps were a solid part for us today,” Nelson said. “And our throwers fared better than they did in sections. On the track, it played out the way I thought it would.”
Abi Demming was eighth in the shot put at 30-6 and 12th in the discus at 70-0 while Libertie Ryan finished ninth in discus (78-1) and Lily Befort 11th in the shot (30-0).
In the distance runs, Grace Johnson finished second in the 3,200 (11:33.55) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:19.50). Tori Leitner, filling in for an injured Elayna Meyer, was seventh in the 3,200 (12:09.58) and 10th in the 1,600 (5:38.01).
“For what we were missing today, third is a good accomplishment,” Nelson said. “Finishing fourth, first and third, that's a good three-year run.”
Pine Island boys second
The Pine Island boys' track and field team snuck into True Team by the slimmest of margins thanks to the wild card meet. And the Panthers made the most of their surprise state trip, taking second place in Class 1A competition Saturday.
Pine Island's score of 375 was bested only by Holdingford's 355. The rest of the field included St. Charles (370), Ada/Norman County (361), Luverne (344), Wadena-Deer Creek (276), Blue Earth Area (267), Maple Lake (255) and Moose Lake-Willow River (230).
Jack Williams provided one of the biggest boosts for the Panthers, winning the 800 in 2:06.36, with teammate Connor Bailey not far behind in fourth at 2:11.26. Williams also placed second in the 1,600 in 4:44.35, while Eric Wittlief placed fourth at 4:46.67. Wittlief was also third in the 3,200 at 10:43.36.
Nathan Marx also produced in a big way for Pine Island, placing first in the triple jump (40-0), fourth in the pole vault (11-6) and fifth in the long jump (18-9.75).
Both Ryan Kelling and Will Warneke had a pair of top-five finishes. Kelling was fourth in the 300 hurdles (44.13) and fourth in the discus (109-10), and Warneke placed fourth in the triple jump (38-9) and fifth in the high jump (5-6).
The Panthers also managed a first-place showing in the 4x800 relay with a time of 8:41.61.