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Worthington girls solid throughout, win invitational by 77 points

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Trojans girls' track & field team literally ran away from the competition Thursday afternoon at the Southwestern United Invitational, winning the meet by 77 points.

The Trojans totaled 172 points on the day, while second place Windom finished with 95 points.

Host Southwestern United placed third with 85 points, edging fourth place Adrian (74). Southwest Christian was fifth with 48 points, while Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central and Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth/Edgerton finished with 45 and 35 points, respectively.

The Trojans had six individual winners on the day and won one relay event.

The Trojans' 4x100 meter relay brought Worthington its first gold of the afternoon, as the quartet of Anneli Dudley, Alyssa Smith, Holli Aggen and Jenny Mammen finished in a time of 53.61 to win the event.

Rachel Malmgren raced to victory in the 400 meter run, clocking a time of 1:05.32 to give the Trojans their second gold and first individual title. Adrian's Leslie Stover placed second with a time of 1:05.97, while Worthington's Kayla VanderVeen (1:06.56) was third.

"Those last 200 meters, you're usually hanging on, but today, the wind was at our backs and that made it easier to finish strong," Malmgren said. "I thought our relay teams ran some good races today."

The Trojans' Sarah Cham led from start to finish in the 300 meter hurdles and won the event with a time of 51.65. Adrian's Hailee Heitkamp (52.35) was second, while Worthington's Anneli Dudley (52.50) placed third.

Sarah Suby cruised to victory in the 800 meter run, as the Trojan clocked in at 2:39.79, nearly two seconds ahead of Windom's Meredith Hentges (2:41.59). SWU Wildcat Cassie Cselovszki (2:44.29) placed third.

The Trojans also did well in the field events, capturing first place in the pole vault and shot put.

Anneli Dudley triumphed in the pole vault, as the junior cleared 8 feet, 6 inches to win the event. Sister Ellen Dudley (6'-6") finished third, as the Trojans sandwiched W-WG/RRC's Krystle Sell, who finished second with a vault of 8'-0".

"That's about as good as I've vaulted this year," Anneli Dudley said. "Last year, I went 9-6, but with the weather this year, it's been tough."

Jenna Donkersloot gave the Trojans a fifth individual title, chucking the shot put 36'-4 ¾". SWU's Erika Post claimed second place with a throw of 34'-11", while Windom's Christy Nepp finished third with a put of 34'-5 ½".

In the last individual event of the day Kaitlin Gerber picked up another gold for Worthington with a convincing victory in the 3,200 meter run. Gerber turned in a time of 12:29.44 to win the event -- beating Adrian's Megan Sauer (12:48.31) by nearly 19 seconds. SWC's Megan DeRuyter was third with a time of 13:02.40.

Individually, no one could compare to Windom's Lindsay Elston on the day, as the sophomore won the high jump, triple jump and 100 meter hurdles and was second to SWU's Betsy Voehl in a jump off in the long jump.

Elston won her first event of the day with a time of 16.77 in the 100 meter hurdles. Worthington's Cham (17.50), while Adrian's Heitkamp was third in 17.87 seconds.

Elston cleared 5'-0" to win the high jump, while W-WG/RRC's Thea Engen was second with a leap of 4'-10". Worthington's Malmgren (4'-8") was third.

Elston immediately went to the triple jump pit, where she edged Cham by an inch. Elston's leap measured 34'-5", while Cham jumped 34'-4". SWU's Bria Baumgard (31'-9") was third.

Voehl won the long jump by jump off with a leap of 16'-0 ½". Elston's identical jump was good for second, while Worthington's Cassie Landgaard (15'-10") finished third.

"I'm really excited, I got my personal best in the high jump," Elston said. "Having the wind at my back in the hurdles was nice, and I had my steps just right -- consistent all the way through. I haven't been jumping well in the triple jump, but today, things clicked."

W-WG/RRC's Krystle Sell was a two-time winner on the day, capturing individual titles in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. She also placed second in the pole vault.

In the 100, Sell (13.13) had to come from behind to beat Voehl (13.26). Windom's Abby Luitjens (13.56) was third.

The 200 was raced in similar fashion, as Sell closed in on and passed Voehl (27.61) on the backstretch to win with a time of 27.30. Worthington's Mammen (27.88) was third.

"I had a terrible start in the 100, but came back in the end," Sell said. "She gave me the impetus to keep going hard. In the 200, having the wind at my back down the stretch really helped. It was a similar race to the 100. I got lucky with the 8 feet in the pole vault. I just didn't have many good vaults today."

SWU's Cassie Cselovszki ran wire-to-wire in the 1,600 meter run to win the event in a time of 6:03.07. Adrian's Sauer (6:05.71) was second, while H-BC/E/E's Rayna Sandoval (6:09.08) was third.

"I was thinking I'd stay behind somebody, but the pace was kind of slow, so I took the lead and stayed out in front," Cselovszki said. "The H-BC girl was right behind me until about the fourth lap, and then I found another gear."

Windom's Nepp, who was third in the shot put, easily won the discus with a throw of 132'-4 ½". SWU's Katey Granstra (106'-10 ½") was second, while Wildcat teammate Post (100'-5") was third.

The 4x200 meter relay was won by the Wildcats in a time of 1:54.33. The SWC Eagles won the 4x400 meter relay, posting a winning time of 4:22.07, while the Adrian Dragons raced to victory in the 4x800 meter relay in a time of 10.17.41. The Trojans finished second in each of these races.