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State Track: Medals race begins today

ST. PAUL -- Both the Hills-Beaver Creek and Luverne boys' 4x100-meter relay teams are highly seeded for today's running preliminaries as the 2013 Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) track and field meet opens at Klas Field on the campus of Hamline University in St. Paul.

H-BC, the Section 3A champion in the event, enters the two-heat, 16-team race with fifth-fastest seed time, having clocked a time of 44.85 seconds at Benson May 30.

Luverne, the second-place finisher at Benson, is close behind. The Cardinals are ranked sixth with a qualifying time of 44.90.

Byron (44.17), Kenyon-Wanamingo (44.61), Jordan (44.66) and Minnesota Valley Lutheran (44.80) are the only teams entered with faster qualifying times than the Patriots or Cardinals.

Running for H-BC in lane three of heat 1 will be Dalton Bass, Dylan Gehrke, Dirk Thone and Tate Bork. Luverne draws the same lane in heat 2 and will compete with sprinters Jackson Winter, Alex Weis, Bo Biever and Darrion Jones.

The top two finishers in each of the eight-team heats, plus the next five fastest times will qualify for Saturday's nine-team finals.

Class A prelims begin today at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday's finals are also scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start time.

Murray County Central sprinter Jack Thony has the fourth fastest qualifying time in the boys' 400-meter dash (50.44) and will run his prelim race today (lane five, heat 1) next to Kendall Strandlund of Christ's Household of Faith, who has the fastest seed time of 49.39.

Thony's section-winning time of 22.44 in the 200-meter dash ranks second in a very closely-bunched field, while Windom's Michael Rivera's time of 22.70 is the fifth best. Rivera is running in lane five of heat 2, while Thony will race in lane 4 of heat 2.

There are six qualifying times faster than Thony's seed-time of 11.24 in the 100-meter dash.

Southwest Christian/Edgerton hurdler Austin LaFollette ranks a close third in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a section-winning time of 40.68, while MCC's Tyler Scotting is the seventh-seed with his time of 40.98.

In Class AA, Worthingon's Will Dudley is tied for sixth in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13 feet, 11 inches in last week's Section 2AA meet at St. Peter.

Among the girls' competitors, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton eighth-grader Kendra Ludeman ranks among the top 10, as she is one of nine girls who cleared 5-3 in their respective sectional meet. Senior Emma Lange of Caledonia/Spring Grove tops the field of 16 jumpers with a 5-4 mark in the Section 1A meet.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton's Jada Carr has the best qualifying leap in the long jump, having sailed 17-8½ to win the Section 3A meet.

Pipestone Area hurdler Maria Spanier is ranked eighth in the 300-meter low hurdles (47.44), as is Adrian's Jordin Kopplow in the 3,200-meter run (11:40.50).

Kopplow and Luverne's Madison Schandelmeier will open today's Class A competition by competing in the finals of the 3,200-meter run. Luverne's Cody Hess will also run in the finals of the boys' 3,200. All the other running events today are prelims.