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Pfeifle paces Eagles to boys' victory

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WORTHINGTON -- Every time Southwest Christian's Nicholas Pfeifle and Worthington's Travis Pedersen face each other, the competition is always fierce.

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"Every meet we have our eyes on each other because we can really compete against each other," Pedersen said. "We always run really good times when we run against each other."

Each runner finished with a trio of first place finishes, but it was Pfeifle's Eagles that edged Pedersen's Trojans 163.5 to 161 for the team title Thursday at the Southwestern United Invitational. Windom (63.5 points) finished third while Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (56 points) finished fourth.

Pfeifle and Pedersen competed head to head in two events -- the triple jump and the highly-anticipated 200 meter dash.

It was Pedersen's jump of 41 feet, one inch that edged Pfeifle's 40-9 for first place in the triple jump.

"It's been a while since I've gotten a good jump off that, so it's good to get that accomplished," Pedersen said. "I was able to beat Pfeifle on that one."

SWU's Nick Ober finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 37-9.

While Pedersen had the upper hand in the triple jump, it was Pfeifle that took the victory in the 200 meter dash.

The junior sprinter set a new school record with a time of 22.31 seconds, edging Pedersen's time of 22.65.

"It's mixed emotions. It's an honor to be on the school record as a junior with another year left," Pfeifle said. "Also, it's kind of nice to get it early in the season so I have the rest of the season to try and keep breaking it a few more times."

Fellow Eagle Jordan Spronk finished third in a time of 22.98, while Worthington's Tom Mammen was a close fourth in 23.05.

"I knew it was going to be a good race, there were four really good guys running," Pedersen said. "I knew that was going to be the race of the day. Right at the curve I thought I had a good chance to win it, but (Pfeifle) really kicked it in the last 50 meters."

Prior to facing head to head in the two events, the two runners each had a first place finish individually and in a relay team under their belt before squaring off.

Pfeifle edged Spronk in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.02, compared to Spronk's 11.16. Worthington's Mammen finished third in 11.37.

"It was actually one of my first races that I've done in the 100, usually I run the 200," Pfeifle said. "My teammate Jordan Spronk and I teamed up and ran a pretty good time."

While Pfeifle won a shorter race, Pedersen (51.85) won the 400 meter dash by nearly two seconds over Adrian's Derik Everett (53.82) and Trojan John Mead (55.52).

"I tried to get out of the block pretty hard, especially with the wind like today," Pedersen said. "I wanted to get some nice speed before I got into that wind."

In the relays, Pfeifle was the anchor of the Eagle 4x200 meter relay team of Jordan Spronk, Travis Vander Woude and Kendall Stroeh that came from behind to run a time of 1:37.26.

Worthington's Jeremy Clark, Ryan Landberg, John Mead and Casey Vis finished second in 1:38.70, while Adrian finished third.

Pedersen was part of the Trojan 4x400 meter relay team that included Mead, Mammen and Adou Omot that finished first in 3:34.75, ahead of Adrian and SWC.

"It is going pretty good," Omot said of the 4x400 team. "We have a good team with Travis (Pedersen), John (Mead) and Tom (Mammen) so hopefully we're successful this year."

Omot was also a triple winner on the day, capturing an individual title in the 800 meter run and the 1,600 meter run.

In the 800 meter run, Omot had a good start and created separation in the backstretch to finish nearly six seconds ahead of W-WG/RRC's Will Spaeth for second.

"I just wanted to get out there and take advantage of the wind," Omot said of his start. "I wanted to get out there and compete today."

In his first time running the event, Worthington's O.J. Ojullu finished third in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:15.38.

"That was my first time running (the 800)," Ojullu said. "I used to be with the sprinters, but I kind of hurt my leg, so I went with the distance runners."

Worthington's Tim Zaske finished fourth, giving the Trojans four of the top five finishers.

While the race was closer, the result was the same in the 1,600 meter run. Omot finished first with a time of 5:00.46, while SWC's Ethan Spronk finished second (5:03.56) after edging W-WG/RRC's Forrest Asp (5:03.66).

"It was my first time running the mile," Omot said. "Coach (Mike Traphagen) just told me to run, so I went out there and tried and got first."

Omot finished third in the long jump (19-11.25), just behind SWC's Jordan Spronk (20-6.75) and Mammen (20-2).

Adrian's 4x800 team ran a time of 8:47.56 to defeat Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth/Edgerton and Worthington.

In the 110 meter hurdles, Worthington's Brandon Berger's time of 16.87 placed him first, while SWC's Brooks Knutson (17.08) finished second and Trojan Dustin Britten (17.39) finished third.

In one of the closest races of the day, Windom's Jesse LaMaack (44.72) defeated Knutson (44.74) by just two hundredths of a second in the 300 meter hurdles.

"It was pretty good. The first three quarters of it was pretty smooth, but towards the end I was hitting (the hurdles) and that slowed me down a lot," LaMaack said. "I saw him coming, and I tried, and I think I got him."

W-WG/RRC's Blake Stevens (45.44) finished third one hundredth of a second ahead of Britten (45.45).

The Trojan 4x100 meter relay was also victorious, edging H-BC/E/E by two tenths of a second.

SWC's Corey Vis and Ethan Spronk finished first and second in the 3,200 meter run, while Worthington's Aaron Grafing finished third.

It was in the field events in which the Eagles separated themselves.

SWC's Steven Talsma (9-6) and Knutson (9-0) finished first and second in the pole vault, while H-BC/E/E's Colton Bass (8-6) and Kale Leuthold (8-0) finished third and fourth, respectively.

SWC's Tyler Mouw finished first in the shot put (43-05.5) and second in the discus (116-10) to compliment Jordan Spronk's victory in the long jump.

Windom's Bryce Quiring finished first in the discus with a toss of 126-02.5, and third in the shot with a throw of 38-06.5.

W-WG/RRC's Matt Sticha finished second in the shot (38-08.5), while Windom's Robbie Anderson finished third in the discus (115-01).

In the high jump, Windom's Michael Johnson cleared 5-6 to finish first, while W-WG/RRC's Tyler Derickson and Blake Stevens, and H-BC/E/E's Heath VanWyhe and Dustin Verhey all cleared 5-2 to finish second.

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