Caledonia/Spring Grove senior high jumper Chris Pieper has earned a second straight trip to the state track and field championships. This year on May 31 and June 2 at Triton High School in Dodge Center, he advances as the Section 1A champion after being the 2021 section runner-up.
The top two in each section event qualify for state along with any others who achieve a state standard height, time or distance. The young Warrior 4×200-meter relay team finished third at section and missed the state standard by three-hundredths of a second. Clocked at 1 minute 32.54 seconds were freshmen Eli Staggemeyer and Fischer Wait along with sophomore Josh Beardmore and junior Eric Mauss. They had the best qualifying time in the prelims (1:33.53) and then improved their time in the finals, but were just short of a state berth.
In the 4x100M relay, Beardmore and Mauss were joined by freshman Owen Staggemeyer and junior Hunter Holland. A shaky handoff resulted in a seventh-place finish in the finals with a time of 46.07 seconds after having had the third-best time in the prelims (45.16). Holland replaced senior Reid Bjerke, who was not at full strength with a nagging injury.
The top eight in each event earned team points; the Cal/SG boys finished tied for 10th with neighbor La Crescent-Hokah among 20 teams that scored. No Warrior girls had qualified for section. Section team championships were won by the Pine Island boys and the GMLOKS girls (Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland/Southland).
Wait earned 12 team points in three events, the 4x200M relay plus his fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash and a sixth-place at 200 meters (23.92 seconds). The freshman had a personal-record time of 51.73 seconds in the 400M finals.
Mauss, in addition to both relays, finished eighth in the 200M dash at 24.29 seconds after a prelim time of 24.18. Freshman Ethan Stendel earned eighth-place points in the high jump while clearing 5 feet, 7 inches. Pieper at 6-03 and runner-up Mark Quintero of Pine Island (6-01) were the only two high jumpers to go over six feet. Last year, Pieper was section runner-up at 6-01 and went on to clear 6-02 to place sixth at state. His personal record is the 6-05 he achieved while winning his second consecutive conference crown.
Eight Warrior boys had qualified to compete in six different section events – three sprints, two relays and high jump. Beardmore was eliminated in the prelims of the 100-meter dash.
The Class A State Track and Field Championships are June 9-11 in St. Michael at St. Michael-Albertville High School.