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Youth track and field: Area athletes excel at Hershey state

ST. PETER — Youth athletes from throughout the region showed how they stack up against the best the state of Minnesota has to offer Saturday at the Hershey’s Track and Field State Meet.

Area athletes showed some great ability as — among qualifiers from the area — there were 10 first-place, eight second-place and six third-place event champions.

In the girls age 9-10 class, the strongest event was the softball throw. Brooklyn Schietel-Taylor of Worthington took the championship in the event, tossing the softball 91 feet, four inches. Pipestone’s Ariel Clipper wasn’t far behind as she came in with a toss of 88-10 for third place. Maci Farmer of Luverne tied for third in the standing long jump in that particular age group, leaping 5-8.5.

The softball throw was a big event for the 11-12-year-old girls as well. Zoe Velde of Pipestone let loose on a monster throw to take gold in the event, finishing with a toss of 153-4. That defeated the second-place throw of 118-8 by Detroit Lakes’ Tori Lafriniere by nearly 35 feet. Fulda’s Emily Madison took third in the event at 115-0.

Tenley Nelson, Brooke Versteeg, Autumn Nash and Regan Feit got the relay teams into the mix when they represented Luverne with a time of 1:02.58 for second place. Nash took third individually in the 400-meter dash at 1:11.45.

The area was well represented in the 13-14-year-old girls division with three event winners. Alyssa Post from Jackson County Central won the 200-meter dash at 28.83 seconds. She also helped the 4x100-meter relay team that included Jessica Christoffer, Sarah Holmberg and Zoe Pohlman win its race at 57.78 seconds.

Cheyenne Schaffer of Southwestern United added a title in the softball throw, hurling it 132-3. Teammate Cheyliskaf Schaffer took third at 116-6. Pohlman added to her day with a time of 14 seconds to take second in the 100-meter dash.

In the 9-10-year-old boys division, Carter Braun of Adrian paced area athletes with a second-place toss of 112-8 in the softball throw. Dylan Hattendorf of Southwestern United tallied an individual fourth-place finish. Hattendorf, Tim Alentiny, Adam Perrizo and Evan Madsen also took fourth for Southwestern United.

Nathaniel Post from Jackson County Central was the top individual finisher amongst 11-12 years olds. He took second place with a distance of 6-11.5 in the standing long jump. Caleb Soleta, Parker Benda, Post and Colby Ringeisen ran the 4x100-meter relay in 1:00.89 to take second. Worthington’s Tyler Wietzema added a third-place leap of 6-11.25 in the long jump and also finished fourth in the 100-meter dash, coming in at 14.87 seconds.

Michael Suda and Isaac Clipper, both of Pipestone, won two events each for the 13-14-year-old boys. Suda took first in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 13.46 seconds, and in the softball throw at 185-5. He also took second in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:04.56. Clipper was the 200-meter dash champion at 27.95, just ahead of the 28.28 time for second-place Joel Salgado of Worthington. Clipper also won the standing long jump with a distance of 8-2.25 while adding a second-place throw of 180-11 in the softball throw. Mountain Lake’s 4x100-meter relay team took first at 59.25 seconds.

The young athletes will now await national selection. If chosen, they will get to participate in the National Hershey’s Track and Field Championships in Hershey, Penn., on August 2.

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

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