PREP TRACK AND FIELD: MHS boys take SWC crown by 1.5 points over TrojansPIPESTONE — Winning the final event — the mile relay — Thursday at Paulsen Field, the Marshall Tigers changed a half-point deficit into a point-and-a-half victory and claimed the Southwest Conference high school boys’ track and field team championship.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
PIPESTONE — Winning the final event — the mile relay — Thursday at Paulsen Field, the Marshall Tigers changed a half-point deficit into a point-and-a-half victory and claimed the Southwest Conference high school boys’ track and field team championship.
The Tigers, who won four running events prior to its title-clinching 4x400-meter relay victory, tallied 149.5 points — just enough to outscore Worthington (148) and dethrone the Trojans who had won four consecutive crowns, starting in 2008.
Luverne was in the mix through most of the meet, which turned into a three-way chase for the title. The Cardinals finished a solid third with 129.5 points.
Redwood Valley, led by the triple first-place performances of sophomore jumper Randy Juell, was fourth with 98 points, followed by Jackson County Central (89), Pipestone Area (54) and Windom (26).
Marshall’s girls combined outstanding depth along with a trio of first-place finishes by sophomore sprinter Sara Buysse to convincingly win the girl’s team title by racking up an impressive 176.5 points.
Two-time defending champion Luverne captured second with 128 points, while Redwood Valley was a close third, scoring 117.5 points.
PA (75), JCC (72), Windom (69) and Worthington (55) were closely-bunched for the remaining girls’ places in the seven-team standings.
Worthington’s Mubarik Musa was a two-event individual champion for the Trojans, winning both the 1,600-meter run (4:52.53) and the 3,200 (10:26.67).
Mitch Weg, who had a fine day in the field events with a trio of top four finishes, impressively won the triple jump — by more than two feet — with a distance of 42-6.75.
Worthington’s fourth conference gold medal came from Tara Svalland, who won the girls’ high jump — staying undefeated for the season —by clearing the bar at 5-2.
“She’s jumping pretty well meet after meet,” praised Worthington co-head coach Ken Henkels. “She’s consistent and Mitch had his best all-around day of the season to really help our boys’ score.”
Worthington’s score was also boosted by dual victories in both the boys’ sprint relays.
The WHS quartet of Troy Ektnitphong, Will Dudley, Jessie Guerra and Brandon Gray won the 4x100-meter relay (47.58) and the foursome of Ethan Spittle, Danny Rodriguez, Guerra and Dudley finished first in the 4x200 (1:36.43) as both teams won close races with Luverne coming in second in each.
“They were bang bang,” exclaimed Henkels. “We felt pretty good about nipping Luverne in both of those relays, as we thought they were the team to beat. But, Marshall passed us both late in the meet.”
Tigers score 23 points in the 800-meter run, clock a 3:34.21 to win the 4x400
As expected, Marshall senior sprinter Beau Bofferding won all three dashes and the Tigers displayed lots of depth in the distance races to score well on the track.
The Trojans matched MHS in several of the running events, and led by Weg and Dudley (second place, pole vault, 12-6) picked up plenty of field event points.
“It was close between us, Luverne and Marshall throughout the meet,” summed up Henkels. “Marshall really came on strong in the last four events, especially in the 800 when they went 1-2-4, scoring 23 points.”
The MHS trio of Grant Vankuelen (2:08.29), Chad DeAustin (2:08.43) and Tanner Bukowski (2:13.63) gave the Tigers three of the top four finishers in the 800-meter run, helping turn the tide in their favor.
Bofferding, who had earlier won both the 100 (11.60) and 400 (52.54) breezed to victory in the 200-meter dash (23.07), giving Marshall another 10 points.
Musa won the 3,200, but the Tigers scored 17 points in that event by finishing 2-4-5.
“Marshall has such a doggone good cross country team and it’s carried over to track,” exclaimed Henkels. “We ran well in the 3,200, too, getting a first from Musa. a sixth from Ammanuel Fissiha (11:36.05) and a seventh from Matt Jirele (11:38.03) to score 15 points, which was pretty good.
“But Marshall took the lead and we had to beat them in the mile relay. Our guys ran well, but we came up short, as they (the Tigers) had four good legs and beat us by five seconds, so it wasn’t that close.”
Marshall’s winning time was 3:34.21, while the Trojans foursome of Nathan Landwehr, Spittle, Jon Vorwald and Guerra clocked a fine time of 3:39.36.
In addition to winning the triple jump, Weg placed second in the high jump (5-10) and leaped a personal best of 20 feet even to score a fourth in the long jump.
Rodriguez had a great day in the dashes, getting second in the 200 (23.74) and finishing third in the 100 (12.06)
Gbrown Ochothow placed third in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (43.41), fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles (17.17) and eigthth in the 100-meter dash (12.81) to contribute 11 points to Worthington’s scoring.
Landwehr, Ian Stewart, Oliver Wolyniec and Gordy Moore finished a strong third in the 4x800-meter relay (9:19.12).
Spittle was fourth in the 400 (55,56), while Ektnitphong (fifth, 200, 24.95), Gray (fifth, 300 hurdles, 47.15), Dylan Gravenhof (fifth, high jump, 5-4), Vorwald and Ektnitphong (tie for fifth, triple jump, 37-6), Vorwald (sixth, 400, 58.07, Landwehr (tie for sixth, 800, 2:17.04) and Peter Scholtes (seventh, 400, 58.88) also contributed to Worthington’s point total.
Kozlowski, Rofshus, Weis win events
PA’s Aaron Kozlowski won the 110-meter high hurdles (15.86), while Luverne won both throwing events as Cody Rofshus placed first in the discus (148-0) and Alex Weis topped the field in the shot put (48-3.25).
Juell won the pole vault (13-0), the high jump (6-0) and the long jump (20-10.25), while RV also won the 4x800-meter relay, clocked at 9:02.02, and had a first-place finish by Chris Fischer in the 300-meter intermediates (42.31).
Luverne’s Daniel Muller finished second in both hurdle races (16.34 and 42.40) and also placed third in the pole vault (12-6).
JCC had second-place performances from JasonVongsavanh (400, 53.41) and Nolan Hohenstein (shot put, 44-0.25), while PA’s Sawyer Pals placed second in the both the long jump (20-4) and triple jump (40-5.5).
Luverne’s Bo Biever finished second in the 100 (12.04) and third in the 200 (23.79).
The Cardinals swept the discus as Keegan Schoenfelder (144-1) and Weis (135-9) finished behind Rofshus, who placed third in the shot put (43-4.75), giving LHS a total of 40 points in the two weight events.
Steele, Huhnerkoch, Buysse, Bowers win multiple events in girls’ competition Thursday
Windom’s Hannah Steele won both the shot put (38-10.5) and discus (133-2), while RV’s Kayla Huhnerkoch and Beckyeia Bowers were each double winners in the girls’ meet.
Huhnerkoch won both the 800 (2:33.08) and 1,600 (5:36.44), while Bowers placed first in both the long jump (17-6.75) and triple jump (36-7).
Buysse won three events for MHS, finishing first in the 100 (13.21), 200 (27.52) and 400 (1:03.00).
Kelcey Olson led a 1-2 Windom sweep in the pole vault as both her and Megan Muller cleared 8-6.
Marshall’s Rose Andersen won the 3,200 (13:23.36) and PA’s duo of Tia Muller (100-meter highs, 17.25) and Maria Spanier (300-meter lows, 51.46) won both hurdles’ races.
JCC’s foursome of Julia Schumann, Jessica Voehl, Riley Schneekloth and Sydnee Donnelli impressively won the 4x100-meter relay, clocked at 52.67, nearly two seconds ahead of second-place Marshall.
Redwood won both the 4x200 (1:53.55) and 4x400 (4:23.00), while Marshall claimed first in the 4x800 (10:26.13).
Donnelli placed second in both the 100 (13.38) and the long jump (16-11.75), while PA’s Claire Femrite (200, 29.07) and the Luverne duo of Paige Nath (400, 1:05.54) and Makayla Hohn (1,600, 5:45.39) also earned second-place individual finishes.
Worthington’s Whitney Coriolan picked up a second-place finish for the Trojans in the 300-meter low hurdles (51.80). She added a fourth in the 200 (29.51) and a fifth in the 100-meter high hurdles (18.89) to finish as Worthington’s leading scorer with 17 points.
Megan Juber finished fourth in the 1,600 (5:51.86) and fifth in the 800 (2:39.51), while Meredith Moore (2:47.55) and Alicia Darling (2:49.69) placed 7-8 in the 800.
Lexy Teerink (seventh, discus, 98-7) and Achan Alwal (eighth, high jump, 4-2) were Worthington’s other individual placers, while the Trojans’ 4x800-meter relay team of Moore, Darling, Emma Gerber and Olivia Ebbers scored six points with a third-place time of 11:32.13.
Worthington was sixth in the 4x400 (Juber, Moore, Gerber and Elizabeth Luke) and seventh in both the 4x100 (Brandi Williams, Tracy Prins, Zalea Hamblin and Kacey Contreras) and the 4x200 (Gerber, Williams, Hamblin and Prins).