Each of the counties four track and field programs is sending multiple athletes to the state meet. Six relays and seven individuals have qualified. LFCMC’s Emma Breitsprecher is the section’s top hurdler, as she set the pace in the 100-meter (15.45) and 300-meter (45.62) prelims, then won each final (15.31, 44.99). Both times were under state qualifying standards. Her 300-meter pace set the field and meet records. The junior was a dual state entrant in each event last year, taking third in the 300-meter event. Teammate Carson Kiehne requalified in the 400. The sophomore ran 51.33 (prelims) and 50.59 (final) to take second, both times behind PEM’s Kyler Bade (50.24, 49.78). Kiehne’s finals run was a season best and it topped his 2018 section final (51.09). Burro Pole Vaulter Kassidy Broadwater’s story was interesting. The junior wasn’t out for track and field to start the year (made it just in time). After a bit of a marathon, Broadwater did enough to out-do Byron’s Emma Johnson (third) and teammate Breitsprecher (fourth) to claim second behind Lourdes Julia Cordes. All vaulted 9’6” (which was Broadwater’s personal best). LFCMC had a state vaulter last year too, Ashley Miner. LFCMC’s two boys relays were semi-surprises, only cause Drew Wyffels, Josh Peters, Ben Snyder, and Kiehne had ran 4x200s competitively just twice together this year, 4x400s thrice. They’d only done so at the same meet once (Sub 1, both took second). The 4×400 qualified first (3:28.71), then beat (3:26.60) L-A (3:26.99) narrowly in the finals, each team faster than qualifying standard (3:27.71). The 4×200 qualified fourth (1:33.25) then was only bested (1:32.31) by Chatfield (1:31.78) in the finals. Peters/Kiehne are the “FC,” Snyder the “L,” and Wyffels the “M-C.” Kiehne anchored both. Chatfield’s boys 4×200 and 4×100 each made statements (ending a one-year state draught for the Gophers). The 4×200 (Ben Muller, Jared Baker, Jack Tuohy, Chance Backer) won both the prelims (1:32.28) and finals (1:31.78), the latter over LFCMC. The 4×100 (Carson Larrabee, Muller, Gage Tuohy, Backer) finished fourth in the prelims (45.24), then ran 44.31 to give the Gophers a short-relays, first place sweep. Each ran season best times in the finals. Backer, in his first year of track, anchored both runs. Muller and G-Tuohy were apart of Chatfield’s 4×100 and 4×200 state qualifiers in 2018. GMLOKS’ girls relay continued their preeminence. The 4×200 (Anika Reiland, Hailey Hindt, Lauren Buchholtz, Riley Queensland) three-peated as section champ, winning the prelims (1:47.06) and finals (1:45.18). The 4×100 (Isabelle Olson, Reiland, Kassidy Kirtz, Buchholtz) was bested by Lourdes (50.40/49.661) twice (50.49/49.669), by the narrowest of margins in the finals. Each GMLOKS relay would’ve made state on standard. Each has made state the last three years. The 4×200 is on year four. Buchholtz has been a part of all four. The 4×200 is the defending state champ (winning time, 1:45.23). Buchholtz and Hindt will compete at state individually. Known for her jumping, Lauren picked a great time for a season-best 17’1 ½” leap in the Long Jump. It took third behind SC’s Lindsay Root (17’9” ½”) and PI’s Jaci Newman (17’1 ½”). Lauren qualified by standard (16’11”). It’s her second individual qualification (400 as a frosh). She added a sixth place finish in the 100. Hindt, with a season-best time (45.09), pushed Breitsprecher (44.99) in 300-hurdle final, taking second to qualify for state. Hailey was also close in the 100-hurdles (third place). Finally, RPH gets a pair of state entrants. Luke O’Hare came out of nowhere, from a “track and field” angle. He ran both the 1,600 and 3,200 (two days apart), a first. He qualified for state in both by taking second twice (4:35.20, 9:55.20). PI’s Eric Wittlief (4:31.37) won the 1,600, Stewartville’s Alex Lawrence (9:54.93) the 3,200. It was O’Hare’s first year of track and field. He was the 2018 cross country Section 1A individual champ. Team-mate Triton Meldahl had multiple events to try to make state (110-H, 300-H, Long Jump). He punched through in the 110-hurdles, qualifying fourth (16.10), finishing second (15.73) in the finals, behind PEM’s Jacob Munsch (15.42), just ahead of PI’s Will Warneke (15.74). Meldahl qualified second (42.64) in the 300-H and finished fourth (42.23). He also took fourth in the Long Jump (21’0 ½”). State standard was 21’8”. Triton hit 22’ or more twice earlier in the season. GMLOKS’ Reiland (3rd 200, .1 second from qualifying), LFCMC’s Brielle Ruen (3rd 400, .24 seconds out of second), RPH’s Emma Geiwitz (3rd L-Jump, 4” out of second), and RPH’s Brady Gile (3rd T-Jump) got close to state. RPH’s Kaleah Davis (4th Shot) also finished top five. LFCMC’s girls 4×400 (Macayla Brogle, Ruen, Kammry Broadwater, Breitsprecher), RPH’s girls 4×200 (Kjersta Hinz, Brielle Rasmussen, Jenny Albrecht, Allison Papenfuss), and GMLOKS boys 4×800 (Jacob Kerrins, Brendan Kennedy, Christian Hjelman, Lucas Howard) each took fourth. Rasmussen (200), Gile (200), Queensland (H-Jump), and Kirtz (L-Jump) added sixth place finishes. LFCMC’s Tyler Raaen (800) took sixth. LFCMC’s Kaylee Arndt took sixth (1,600) and seventh (3,200). The meet was held at Winona’s Paul Giel Field.
About Paul Trende