Banner day at the track
WORTHINGTON -- Winning five events and claiming a trio of second place finishes, Worthington ran away with the boys' team title at the eight-team Trojan Invitational Thursday.
Worthington's Travis Pedersen had a stellar day, earning four blue ribbons. Pedersen won both the 400 meter dash (51.90) and the triple jump (39-10). He also ran key legs on the Trojan 4X200 and 4X400 relay teams, which clocked winning times of 1:35.45 and 3:39.27, respectively.
"The handoffs were a key in our relay events," Pedersen said. "In the 400, I kept an eye on the leader and then made my move on the second curve."
Joining Pedersen on the 4X200 were Neal Melton, John Mead and Aduo Omot.
Felipe Ortega teamed up with Pedersen, Mead and Omot in the meet's final race -- the 4X400, as Omot held off Southwest Christian's Nicholas Pfeifle in an exciting finish -- putting the capper on great meet for the Worthington boys.
Omot had earlier won the 800 meter race (2:06.75) and Pfeifle had sprinted to victory in the 200 meter dash (24.12).
Ortega finished second in the 1600 meter run (5:06.48), Trojan Brian Juber came in second in the 3200 (11:02.18) and Mead placed second in the long jump (18-6) account for 24 more Worthington points.
The Trojans finished with 122 points, winning the meet by 26 points.
Adrian (96), Fulda (94) and Luverne (92) had a close battle for second, while Southwest Christian (86), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (78), Southwestern United (63) and Windom (57) completed the field.
In addition to Pedersen, Adrian's Ethan Weineke and Blake Springman -- along with Luverne's Ben Uphoff -- were each double individual winners.
Springman won the shot put (46-5) and discus (136-6) events, while Weineke won both the 1600 (4:53.37) and 3200 (10:41.57).
Uphoff claimed victory in both hurdles races -- winning the 110 highs (16.46) and the 300 meter intermediates (44.01).
Fulda's Tyler Goedtke won a close 100 meter dash (12.03), just nipping W-WG/RRC's Josh Merrick (12.04).
In other field events, SWU's Shaun Mathias won the long jump (19-1), Fulda's Chris Witzel was first in the pole vault (10-6) and Fulda's Chris Dardin won the high jump (6-0).
Southwestern United sprinted to victory in the 4X100 meter relay (47.40) and Adrian won the 4X800 (8:55.02).
Taking advantage of the good weather, three new records were established -- and a fourth was tied -- in the girls' division.
Windom's Christy Nepp whirled the discus 123-6 to win the event by more than 17 feet -- breaking the meet record by just over six feet.
Cali Mischke held the previous record of 117-4.5, while throwing for Windom in 2005.
Luverne's Katlyn Sawtelle cleared the pole vault bar at 9-6 -- high enough to tie the existing mark, held jointly by Amber Marten of Worthington (2001) and Amanda Aning of Luverne (2002).
In an exciting 800-meter race, both Adrian's Morgan Lynn (2:25.98) and Windom's Alex Potter (2:26.51) bettered the record of 2:26.74 ran by Worthington's Kelli Henkels in 2000.
Earlier in the meet, Luverne (10:07.01) and Adrian (10:09.45) each ran faster in the 4X800 meter relay than the record of 10:09.49 set by Adrian in 2006.
Luverne's victory in that relay, along with six individual first places -- including three by Lexi Heitkamp and two by Katlyn Sawtelle -- sparked the Cardinals to the team title.
"I was hoping I could catch her, and as I got near her I knew I'd pass her," Heitkamp said. "I knew we were having a good race, but I didn't think we'd break a record."
Luverne racked up 139 points, finishing nine ahead of Worthington's 130.
Windom was third (123.5), followed by SWU (84.5), Adrian (78), Fulda (55), SWC (53) and W-WG/RRC (38).
Heitkamp won the high jump (4-10), 400 meter dash (1:03.04) and the 3200 meter run (12:28.63), accounting for 30 individual points herself.
In addition to winning the pole vault (10 points) Katlyn Sawtelle added 18 points to the LHS total in the hurdles. She won the 300 lows (48.21) and was second in the 100 highs (17.02). Sawtelle added a third in the 200 meter dash (28.06), giving her 34 points for the day.
Worthington's Ashley Aggen won the highs (16.62) and was second in the lows (48.63)
Suze Peters had a big day for the Trojans, winning both the 100 meter dash (13.36) and the long jump (15-9.5). She also anchored Worthington's winning 4X200 meter relay team (1:54.56) and placed second in the 200 meter dash (27.94).
"I didn't think I could catch them in the relay, but as I got closer, I knew I could get them," Peters said. "In the 100, I got a really good start and just kept moving."
Luverne's sixth individual blue ribbon came from Callie Sawtelle, who won the shot put (35-9), finishing ahead of Nepp (35-3), who accounted for 18 of Windom's points.
Lynn picked up another first place finish, leading a one-two Adrian effort in the 1600 meter run with a winning time of 5:27.70.
Leslie Stover, who placed third in the 800 (2:32.47), was second in the 1600 (5:39.68).
Bria Baumgard soared 33 feet to win the triple jump ahead of the two-three Windom finish of Lindsay Elston and Maggie LaMaack, who both went 32-5.
Windom's Abby Luitjens won the 200 meter dash (27.87) and anchored the winning Eagle 4 x 100 meter relay (53.71).
Brianna Spronk ran a great anchor leg to help Southwest Christian win the 4X400 (4:19.20).