PREP GIRLS' TRACK AND FIELD: Wolverines repeat as sub-section champsWORTHINGTON — Competing on a beautiful late spring afternoon — which has been a rare occurrence during April and May of 2011 — high school girls’ track and field athletes from eight teams participated in the Sub-Section 9 meet at Trojan Field Thursday, seeking qualification for next week’s Section 3A state-meet qualifying event.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Competing on a beautiful late spring afternoon — which has been a rare occurrence during April and May of 2011 — high school girls’ track and field athletes from eight teams participated in the Sub-Section 9 meet at Trojan Field Thursday, seeking qualification for next week’s Section 3A state-meet qualifying event.
While advancing to compete at Redwood Falls on June 2 is the primary goal of the sub-section meet, there is also team competition as all 18 events were scored on a 12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the top eight placers in each.
Jumping out to a big early lead by racking up 35 points in the first two events on the track, the depth-filled Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines — coached by Paul Metcalf — impressively repeated as team champions Thursday, accumulating a total of 204 points.
ML/B-O won the team title in 2010 by scoring 147 points, claiming the championship in close fashion over runner-up Windom (135) and third-place Worthington (132.5).
This year, the Wolverines had an easier time, scoring well in the field events and holding the lead in the team standings throughout the four-hour meet.
“We’re so happy,” beamed an elated ML/B-O senior Kaitlin Feil prior to the trophy presentation. “We all love track, we work hard and we’re focused for our events, plus we have a great coaching staff, headed up by Mr. Metcalf, who is awesome.”
“We had a wonderful day,” exclaimed Metcalf, who credits his outstanding seniors with continually displaying exceptional leadership by example and providing the inspiration to “do things the right way.”
“Our seniors came through, as they have time after time.
“But, we also had so many other performances that were better than expected. We had several PR’s (personal records) today, which means a lot to those kids, who helped our team by scoring points in those third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth places.
“It was a solid all-around team effort by a great group of hard-working girls.”
Worthington, paced by the dual victories of Sarah Cham and a pair of outstanding finishes by Lydia Kemper, claimed the runner-up trophy with 165.5 points.
Winning five events — including a pair by junior thrower Hannah Steele — Windom was a solid third, scoring 132 points.
Jackson County Central, which did well in the sprints, was fourth with 104.5 points, followed by Springfield/Cedar Mountain/Comfrey (80), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (50), Southwestern United (46) and Mountain Lake Christian (33).
Wolverines lead from start to finish, Romsdahl, Wall, Feil, two relays win events
ML/B-O took its early lead by getting a victory in the meet-opening 4x800-meter relay, clocking a time of 10 minutes, 43.53 seconds.
Running for the Wolverines were Brianna Soutthivong, Jordan Syverson, Stacey Harder and Brooke Fast.
“Winning the 4x8 gave us a solid start,” declared Metcalf. “We got nice races from all four girls.”
ML/B-O tacked on 23 quick points with a 1-3-6 finish in the 100-meter high hurdles as the trio of Jennie Romsdahl (15.22), Feil (16.10) and Lounee Soutthivong (19.17) all well ran for the Wolverines.
Romsdahl, who finished third in last year’s Class A state meet, was impressive in winning the first of her three races on the track.
She later anchored the Wolverine 4x100-meter relay to a late-race victory over a strong JCC team — with a blazing finish — and then crossed the line first in the 200-meter dash to help her team pad its lead.
“She is amazing,” praised Metcalf. “You could coach for 50 years and might not get one like her.”
Romsdahl’s strong anchor leg took the Wolverines from second to first in the 4x100, as ML/B-O clocked in at 52.23, bettering JCC’s time of 52.43.
Running for the Wolverines ahead of Romsdahl were Mikayla Falk, Clarice Wallert and Feil.
Romsdahl’s winning time in the 200 was 26.54, while eighth-grade teammate Lydia Hildebrandt sprinted to a second-place finish, clocked at 27.27, giving the Wolverines 22 clinching points in that event.
Hildebrandt enjoyed a fine all-around day, as she broke her older sister’s (Heidi) school record in the pole vault, clearing 8-1 and placing second; finished third in the 400-meter dash (1:03.79) and ran a leg on ML/B-O’s third-place 4x200-meter relay team (1:52.07).
Romsdahl completed her day by placing fourth in the triple jump (32-9¼).
In addition to running the third leg on the 4x100 and placing third in the highs, Feil impressively won the 300-meter low hurdles (47.43) and placed fourth in the long jump (14-8¾).
“A lot of us have been in track since seventh grade,” summed up Feil. “So, we’ve been together for a long time and have fun working together, striving to do our best at these meets.”
“I love having her (Feil) to run with and compete against,” chimed in Romsdahl, who is also a senior with six years of track experience. “We all get along so well and help each other out.”
The Wolverines also received a key first-place performance from senior veteran Gretchen Wall in the long jump (15-6½) and a surprise second-place finish from first-year senior Sharlett Rodney in the 400 (1:03.17).
“Gretchen’s win in the long jump was big,” praised Metcalf. “Getting 2-3 in the 400 was more than we expected and then getting a 3-5 in the 800 and the 1-2 in the 200 was more than we counted on, too.”
Sisters Nikki and Jessica Sawatzky, Syverson and Rodney ran to a second-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay (4:22.57), putting the capper on an outstanding day for the Wolverines.
Wallert (third, 100, 13.40), Soutthivong (third, 800, 2:35.25), Nikki Sawatzky (third, triple jump, 32-11), Jessica Sawatzky (fifth, 800, 2:39.55), Stacy Harder (fifth, 3,200, 13:27.34), Nikki Sawatzky (fifth, high jump, 4-7), Sada Kliewer (sixth, discus, 82-4; sixth, shot put, 28-9½) and Fast (sixth, 1,600, 6:06.22) contributed additional high-placing individual points for the Wolverines.
Running with Hildebrandt on ML/B-O’s 4x200 relay team were Falk, Rodney and Wallert.
Cham, Kemper, 4x400, 4x200 win for Trojans
Cham was a double winner for Worthington, placing first in both the 400-meter dash (1:00.84) and the triple jump (36-6¾).
She also finished second in the 100 highs (15.67) — between Romsdahl and Feil — and also anchored the Trojans’ 4x200-meter relay team to victory in a sizzling time of 1:46.58.
Running ahead of Cham on the WHS 4x200 were Whitney Coriolan, Cassie Landgaard and Kemper.
“We loaded that relay and they sure came through,” said WHS co-head coach Ken Henkels about the Trojans’ 4x200, which won the race by more than four seconds. “Both JCC and ML/B-O have good 4x200 teams, too. But our girls ran great today and once Sarah had the lead, there was no catching her.”
Henkels noted that the quartet ran very close to the WHS school record time of 1:46.11 set by the Trojans in 1984 and that Cham’s time of 15.67 in the highs was better than this year’s state-meet qualifying standard.
After helping the 4x200 team to a first-place finish, Kemper utilized a strong kick to cross the finish line first two more times.
Coming off the final turn, Kemper outkicked Windom’s Meredith Hentges — who had earlier won the 1,600 — to claim victory in the 800-meter run, clocked at 2:29.31.
Then, Kemper completed her day by anchoring the Trojans’ 4x400-meter relay to victory, timed at 4:20.25.
“My teammates — they all ran great — putting me in position to do what I do best, which is finishing a race,” summed up Kemper about her strong anchor-leg performance, which brought WHS from second to first. “In the 800, I like to come from behind. I have confidence in my kick, which I had in my races today.”
Kemper’s teammates in the 4x400 were Alina Keodouangsy, Megan Juber and Ellen Dudley.
“Megan’s run lots of quarters and is consistent for us,” noted Henkels. “Alina and Ellen are both really coming on for us, too. Winning that race was a great way to end the meet.”
Juber (1,600, 5:36.53), Coriolan (300 low hurdles, 50.30) and Tara Svalland (high jump, 5-1) each earned second-place individual finishes for the Trojans.
Also finishing in the top six for Worthington were Brooke Henning (third, high jump, 4-11), Marin Korthals (fourth, shot put, 33-5½), Meredith Moore (fourth, 800, 2:38.83), Dudley (fourth, pole vault, 7-7), Coriolan (fifth, 100 hurdles, 19.08), Kemper (fifth, triple jump, 32-8½), Lexy Teerink (fifth, discus, 95-4), Landgaard (sixth, 200, 28.23), Alecia Darling (sixth, 3,200, 13:45.17) and Chelsea Schmitz (sixth, triple jump, 32-2¾).
Worthington’s 4x100-meter relay team of Keodouangsy, Svalland, Samantha Thuringer and Landgaard finished third (52.98) and the Trojan 4x800 team of Moore, Darling, Olivia Ebbers and Ariana Lopez placed fifth, clocked at 11:09.41.
Steele, Hentges, Turner, Olson lead Eagles
Steele won both the shot put (38-7) and discus (116-6) to lead Windom.
“Hannah placed in the shot at state last year, but scratched on all three of her discus throws in the sub-section,” recalled Eagles’ head coach Cathy Henkels. “So, we’re happy for her — that she’s moving on to the section in both events this year.”
Kelcey Olson added a third field event victory for the Eagles, when she cleared the bar at 8-7 and won the pole vault.
Hentges won the 1,600 (5:28.54) and Emily Turner claimed an easy win in the 3,200 (12:31.55), giving Windom a pair of distance-running first places.
Danielle Antes (second, shot put, 35-4½), Megan Muller (third, pole vault, 8-1) and Holly Larson (third, discus, 109-7½) were the next highest individual placers for the Eagles.
JCC picked up an individual first-place finish from Sydnee Donnelli in the 100-meter dash (13.03) and had both sprint-relay teams place second.
The Huskies’ quartet of Courtney Donnelli, Riley Schneekloth, Sydnee Donnelli and Julia Schumann clocked a time of 1:50.88 in the 4x200 and blazed the track in 52.43 in the 4x100.
Sydnee Donnelli was second in the long jump (15-1¾), while Courtney Donnelli placed third in the shot put (35-4½) and fourth in the 200 (28.12) to provide more points for the Huskies, who also received a fourth-place finish from Jade Holthe in the 1,600 (5:46.17).
W-WG/RRC’s top individual placings came from Chanel Madson’s third-place finish in the 3,200 (13:05.48), a fourth by Maddie Frank in the 100 hurdles (18.66) and fifths by Chloe Arfsten (pole vault, 7-1), Melanie Kedl (200, 28.16) and Hailey Osland (long jump, 14-3¾).
Leading SWU was the second-place performance by Katey Granstra in the discus (115-9½), along with a third-place finish by Regina Steffen in the 300-meter low hurdles (52.33) and a trio of top placings by sprinter Mara Eichenberger.
Eichenberger scored a team-leading 18 points for the Wildcats by finishing third in the 200 (27.41), fourth in the 100 (13.42) and fifth in the 400 (1:05.01).
Jennifer Schmidt (fourth, high jump, 4-8) and Granstra (fifth, shot put, 33-0) gave the Wildcats more points.
Whitney Klassen paced MLC with a second-place finish in the 3,200 (12:43.50) and a third in the 1,600 (5:39.76).