TROJAN TRACK: Luverne sweeps eight-team track and field meet at Trojan Field Thursday
WORTHINGTON -- Utilizing speed on the track and proficiency in the field events, the depth-filled Luverne Cardinals dominated the eight-team Worthington Invitational high school track and field meet Thursday at Trojan Field, convincingly finishing at the top of the standings in both the girls' and boys' divisions.
Paced by the triple first-place performances of sophomore Kynzie Smedrsud, the Cardinals won seven girls' events and racked up 218 points to more than double the total of second-place Southwest Christian /Edgerton (88).
Canby (76), edged Worthington (74) for third place, while Windom (70), Adrian (61), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (47) and Fulda (24) completed the field.
Smedsrud had a spectacular day, scoring 38 points herself as she won both hurdle races (17.68 in the 100-meter highs and 48.65 in the 300 lows) and the triple jump (32-3), while placing second in the long jump (15-3).
"Kynzie had a super all-around day," praised LHS head coach Craig Nelson, who was glad to be participating again after a trio of significant April snowfalls in the last two weeks had put the damper on early-season spring sports' schedules. "It was a nice day and it was great to see the kids have a chance to compete."
Fellow sophomore Tayla Peterson sprinted to victories in the both dashes (13.61 in the 100 and 27.52 in the 200), while junior Makayla Hohn clocked a fine time of 5:24.71 and won the 1,600-meter run.
Hohn started the meet by anchoring the winning LHS 4x800-meter relay team (9:57.80). Madi Schandelmeier, Kaitlin Wohnoutka and Anna Tofteland ran the first three 800 legs for the Cardinals.
Luverne's boys won three relay races and had four individual first-place finishes, as they also won seven events.
The Cardinals tallied 176.5 points in the team scoring, while Worthington's boys finished a solid second with 118 points.
W-WG/RRC, led by three first-place performances by senior Jeff DeCock in the jumping events, was third with 99.5 points, followed by Canby (77.5), SWC/E (61), Windom (56), Fulda (53.5) and Adrian (19).
Luverne's 4x200-meter relay quartet of Jackson Winter, Ethan Rust, Bo Biever and Jon Ehde clocked a sizzling time of 1:31.64 -- which is the fastest Class A time in the state this year.
Winter, Darrion Jones, Biever and Ehde won the 4x100 (44.42) and the team of Cody Hess, Payton Stemper, Jeremiah Dooyema and Drew Weis opened the boys' meet with victory in the 4x800, clocked at 8:43.44.
Individually, Ehde won the 100 (11.30), Biever finished first in the 200 (23.28), Hess claimed top honors in the 800 (2:09.43) and Cody Rofshus led a 1-2-3 LHS sweep in the discus, with a winning throw of 149-1.
Due to the wet ground conditions, the shot put event was not included in Thursday's meet.
DeCock, LaFollette are multiple-event winners
DeCock was impressive with wins in the high jump (6-2), long jump (20-11) and triple jump (40-5). He also placed third in the 400-meter dash (56.10) to finish as the leading individual scorer (36 points) in the boys' meet.
Southwest Christian/Edgerton senior Austin LaFollette claimed dual victories in both the 110-meter high hurdles (16.64) and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (41.53), winning each by comfortable margins. LaFollette completed his stellar day with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash (24.29).
Worthington won three boys' events, getting first-place finishes from Will Dudley (pole vault, 13-0), Ethan Spittle (400, 54.06) and Amanuel Fissiha (3,200, 10:37.72).
Fulda won the meet-concluding 4x400 relay (3:44.48), nipping Worthington (3:45.38) in a close race.
Brian Fenske, John Getting, Andy Oakland and Nate Getting ran the quarters for the Raiders, while Troy Ektnitphong, Nathan Landwehr, Obang Ojulu and Spittle raced for the Trojans.
Candy's Nick Stoks (4:49.36) edged Fissiha (4:51.15) in the 1,600, while Worthington's Matthew Jirele also ran the mile under five minutes, placing third (4:59.14). Jirele later capped a 1-2 Trojan finish in the 3,200 (10:49.75) behind Fissiha.
"We had a pretty good all-around day," summed up Trojan co-head coach Ken Henkels. "It was a good competitive meet and Luverne is just loaded. Considering the weather of the last two weeks, there were lots of outstanding performances."
Other second-place individual placings in the boys' meet included Windom's Michael Rivera (100, 11.57), Jones (200, 24.20), Luverne's Omar Martinez (400, 55.02), SWC/E freshman Dillon Mulske (800, 2:13.78), Canby's Nick Pavek (both hurdles, 17.14 and 43.56), Luverne's Alex Weis (discus, 136-7), Adrian's Taylor Recker (high jump, 6-0), Luverne's Eli Dooyema (pole vault, 11-0), Worthington's Jesse Guerra (long jump, 19-10) and W-WG/RRC's Adam Holman (triple jump, 38-1).
Eagle girls win both sprint relays
Southwest Christian/Edgerton's girls sprinted to a pair of first-places, winning the 4x100 (54.01) and 4x200 (1:54.16).
The foursome of Cassie Groen, Devin Bloemendaal, Hannah Van Dyke and Kara Homandberg ran the one-lap race after the quartet of Chantel Groen, Cassie Groen, Bloemendaal and Van Dyke had edged Luverne (1:54.39) in a very close race in the 4x200.
Erin Sietsema, Naomi Dooyema, Sierra Schmuck and Peterson ran the two-lap event for the Cardinals.
Adrian won the 4x400 relay, clocked at 4:23.86.
The Dragons' Nicole Slater earlier crossed the finish line first in the 800-meter run (2:29.19), W-WG/RRC's Melanie Kedl won the 400 (1:04.21) and Canby's Amanda Grengs was first in the 3,200 (12:59.37).
Homandberg, who finished third in both the 100 (13.77) and 200 (28.03) capped a strong all-around day by winning the long jump with a leap of 15-6.
Windom's Holly Larson (discus, 98-6) and Megan Muller (pole vault, 9-6) each won field events and Worthington's Tara Svalland took top honors in the high jump, clearing 4-10.
Worthington's Whitney Coriolan finished second in each of the hurdle races with respective times of 18.14 and 49.15 and W-WG/RRC's Chloe Arfsten placed second in both the high jump (4-8) and pole vault (8-6).
Other second-place individual performances were turned in by Muller (100, 13.69), Chantel Groen (200, 27.96), Canby's Kali Jelen (400, 1:07.73), Wohnoutka (800, 2:33.60), Schandelmeier (1,600, 5:32.06), Windom eighth-grader Christianna Green (3,200, 13:20.13), Sietsema (triple jump, 31-10) and Luverne's Allison Dohlman (discus, 96-9).