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Trojan Relays Class AA: Luverne wins boys, girls team titles at 61st Trojan Relays

WORTHINGTON - As expected, the Luverne Cardinals completed a Class AA sweep of Thursday's 61st annual Trojan Relays.

Competing in a strong eight-team field on an overcast day with breezy temperatures in the middle 50s during most of the meet, the Cardinals - who were coming off a pair of Section 3A True Team championships earlier in the week (May 6) - performed well on the track and in the field events.

Luverne's girls won two relays and had four individual first-place performances - including one-two placings in both the long jump and shot put - to rack up a meet's best winning total of 191½ points.

Marshall, which came within three points (168 to 165) of the Cardinals last year, was 54 points behind this time with a score of 137½.

Worthington, paced by solid performances from Meydee Okello, Tara Svalland and Whitney Coriolan, was third with 92 points, followed by Pipestone Area (72½), Jackson County Central (69), Windom (61), New Ulm (43½) and Montevideo (28).

In the boys' meet, Luverne ended Worthington's five-year reign as the Trojan Relays Class AA champions by winning a pair of relays and getting one-two finishes by Alex Weis and Cody Rofshus in both the discus and shot put.

Luverne also a first place from Bo Biever in the 200-meter dash and finished the day with a winning total of 165 points.

"We're really happy about winning both team championships," exclaimed veteran LHS head coach Craig Nelson. "We were a bit concerned about maybe coming out a bit flat after performing so well in Monday's True Team meet. But, our kids sure competed hard and came through with great performances again."

Marshall was second in the boys' standings with 135½ points, followed by JCC (82½), Worthington (77), Windom (68), Montevideo (66), New Ulm (65) and PA (41).

Weis won both the discus (147-0) and shot put (48-10), finished second in the 110-meter high hurdles (16.83) and added a sixth in the 300-meter intermediates (48.12) to finish a stellar day with 31 points.

"Alex had a super day," summed up Nelson. "He did very well in all four events."

Rofshus, meanwhile, was second in both the shot (47-10) and discus (140-2) and contributed 16 more points to Luverne's total.

"Alex and Cody are friendly competitors," said long-time LHS assistant coach Gordy Hanson, a former star hurdler for the Cardinals. "They both do whatever they can to help the team."

Biever's winning time in the 200 was 23.58. He had earlier finished second in the 100 (11.62) and teamed with Jackson Winter (third in the 100, 11.75), Ethan Rust and Darrion Jones to win the 4x200-meter relay in a time of 1:35.28.

Earlier, the Cardinals' quartet of Drew Weis, Payton Stemper, Eli Dooyema and Cody Hess had claimed an impressive win in the 4x800, clocked at 8:47.30.

Smedsrud claims three gold medals and a silver to lead LHS girls

As she has been doing all spring, LHS sophomore Kynzie Smedsrud had another banner day Thursday.

After winning the 100-meter high hurdles (17.30) and helping the Cardinals win the 4x200-meter relay (1:54.08), she found herself challenged strongly by Coriolan in the 300-meter lows.

The strong-running Coriolan held the edge on Smedsrud through the first five hurdles, coming off the turn with a slight lead.

But Smedrsud ran smooth over the final three hurdles and won a very close race with a time of 49.54.

Coriolan was clocked at 50.26.

"It was a fun race," summed up Smedsrud, who also placed second in the triple jump (32-1 ¾). "She's (Coriolan) good. I'm glad that I was able to have a strong finish."

Sierra Schmuck, Naomi Dooyema and Tayla Peterson teamed with Smedsrud in the 4x200 victory.

Earlier, the quarter of Madison Schandelmeier, Kaitlin Wohnoutka, Anna Tofteland and Makayla Hohn had won the 4x800 with a time of 10:10.03, claiming a three-second victory over Marshall.

Tianna Doppenberg (15-6¼) and Courtney Siebenahler (15-2¾) took the top two places in the long jump and the tandem of Allison Dohlmann (33-11¼) and Morgan Edwards (33-4¼) scored 18 points in the shot put with a one-two finish.

Peterson (100, 13.43), Schandelmeier (1,600, 5:54.89), Wohnoutka (400, 1:04.93), Hohn (800, 2:34.10) and Dohlmann (discus, 98-7) added important second-place individual placings for the Cardinals.

Okello finishes strong, wins 400-meter dash

Running the event for just the third time, Trojan sophomore Meydee Okello claimed the gold medal in the 400-meter dash, clocked at 1:04.46.

"I just wanted to finish," exclaimed Okello after receiving several post-race congratulations. "I took the lead coming into off the last curve and I really focused on running straight ahead."

Worthington's other first-place performance came from senior veteran Tara Svalland, who won the high jump by clearing the bar at 4-10.

PA's Shantelle Des Marais also cleared 4-10 but Svalland claimed the gold medal on the basis of fewer misses.

Coriolan was second in the 200 (28.68) and third in the 100 high hurdles (17.90), scoring 22 individual points for the Trojans.

"Whitney had another very good day," praised Trojans' co-head coach Ken Henkels. "She consistently performs well for us."

JCC won the 4x100 (54.08) with sprinters Julia Schumann, Makenna Donnelli, Sydnee Donnelli and Riley Schneekloth exchanging the batons.

Getting a very strong anchor leg from Claire Femrite, PA won a competitive 4x400 relay with a time of 4:23.31.

Maria Spanier, Des Mararais and Brianna Rieck ran the first three legs for the Arrows.

Other area individual winners in the Class AA girls' meet included Femrite (200, 28.32), JCC's Sydnee Donnelli (100, 13.38) and the Windom duo of Megan Muller (pole vault, 9-0) and Holly Larson (discus, 110-6).

Dudley clears 13-6

With his father, Steve, coaching him, Worthington junior Will Dudley enjoyed an outstanding day in the pole vault.

After clearing the bar at 13 feet and missing once at 13-6, Dudley switched poles and had an aborted attempt.

But, Steve - a high school vaulter in Nebraska, who cleared 14-3 back in 1979 - had a chat with Will.

On his third and final attempt, Dudley stayed back and allowed his pole to thrust him upward and over as he sailed cleanly over a new personal best height.

"My dad's been coaching me since I started and he really helps me a lot," exclaimed Dudley after winning the event. "My goal is to some day go as high as he did."

Worthington freshman Amanual Fissiha ran two outstanding races, finishing a close second to Marshall's Andrew Bell in each.

In the 1,600-meter run, Bell clocked a time of 4:47 flat, pulling away from Fissiha (4:50.66) in the final stretch.

Fissiha nearly caught Bell with a great kick in the 3,200, but missed by a tenth of a second, clocking a fine time of 10:21.98 (compared to Bell's 10:21.88).

Ethan Spittle (third, 400, 54.49) and Dudley (fourth, long jump, 19-1) had Worthington's next-best individual placings, while the Trojans finished third in two relays.

Nathan Landwehr, Oliver Wolyniec, Ian Stewart and Gordy Moore (9:08.90) claimed bronze medals in the 4x800.

The quartet of Troy Ektnitphong, Erik Landgaard, Dudley and Spittle scored six points with a time of 1:38.97 in the 4x200.

JCC's Darnell Taylor-Breck won both the long jump (19-11) and triple jump (41-3¼) and Windom's Michael Rivera sprinted to victory in the 100-meter dash (11.28).

Rivera also kicked off the Eagles' winning 4x100 relay team, which also included Alex Leopold, Tyler Morgan and Victor Ogeka, running a time of 46.47.

Complete results of the Class AA meet are on the website.