Red Rock Conference Track: MCC boys, SWC/E girls claim Red Rock track titles
SLAYTON -- Paced by 38 individual points from sprinter Jack Thony, the host Murray County Rebels edged rival Fulda by eight points Thursday to claim the Red Rock Conference boys' track and field team championship.
Competing for most of the meet under nearly ideal weather conditions, the chase for the team title was even closer in the girls' division.
But the well-balanced Southwest Christian/Edgerton Eagles --with four first-place performances --topped the field, scoring five points more than Mountain Lake Area.
Thony clocked a time of 11.22 seconds to win the 100-meter dash. He later ran a sizzling 50.36 to win the 400 and completed his day with a victory in the 200 (22.75). Thony placed second in the long jump with a distance of 20 feet, one inch.
Thony's stellar day -- along with a pair of first-places from thrower Tanner Nepp --helped the Rebels repeat as team champions with a total of 145 points.
Nepp won both the shot put (45-7½) and discus (129-8), contributing 20 points for MCC.
Fulda had a trio of second-place individual performances and a victory by Brock Burchill in the pole vault (11-6) and earned the runner-up trophy with 137 points.
MLA was a solid third in the boys' standing with 128 points, followed by Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (91), Hills-Beaver Creek (72), SWC/E (68), Adrian (39), Ellsworth (12) and Southwestern United (1).
SWC/E's girls exchanged the baton smooth as silk in a very impressive 4x100-meter relay victory, clocked at 52.89 and the Eagles had gold-medal performances from Kelly Tinklenberg (discus, 93-5), Hannah Van Dyke (300-meter low hurdles, 49.10) and Kara Homandberg (200-meter dash, 27.42).
Homandberg anchored the winning 4x100 race after Devin Bloemendaal, Chantel Groen and Cassie Groen ran the first three legs for SWC/E.
The Eagles tallied a total of 145 points, while MLA - which had individual firsts by Hannah Stoesz (shot put, 31-7½), Lydia Hildebrandt (400, 1:02.31) and Whitney Klassen (800, 2:26.49), along with a victory in the meet-ending 4x400-meter relay (4:17.45) --racked up 140 points and earned the runner-up trophy.
Defending champion MCC, paced by an outstanding day from junior sprinter/jumper Hannah Schmidt, was third in the girls' meet with 125 points.
Schmidt won the 100 (13.11) and long jump (15-2¾), finished second in the 200 (27.69) and placed fourth in the 400 (1:04.18) to account for 33 of MCC's points.
"Hannah had a very good all-around day," praised MCC head coach Dominick Damm. "She has been out for track every year since seventh grade and continues to improve each season. Hannah's been having a great year and was really happy with her win and her time in the 100."
H-BC, which won the 4x200 (1:52.56) in a very close race with SWC/E (1:52.76) and also had a first-place performance from Jenna Wilgenburg in the triple jump (32-¼), finished fourth in the team standings with 81 points, followed by Fulda (78), Adrian (56), W-WG/RRC (51) and SWU (21).
Adrian girls' distance claim convincing wins
Adrian opened the meet by winning the girls' 4x800 relay (10:07.50) with the quartet of Megan Sauer, Jordin Kopplow, Morgan Sauer and Nicole Slater running for the Dragons.
Slater later won the 1,600 (5:30.11) and Kopplow cruised to a gold medal in the 3,200 (11:42.70), while SWU seventh-grader Rachel Salentiny ran a fine time of 12:05.14 and placed second, scoring eight points for the Wildcats.
MCC's Paris Thomas won the 100-meter high hurdles (17.46) and finished second in the 300 lows (50.50), reversing places with Van Dyke who was second in the highs (17.65).
The W-WG/RRC duo of Melanie Kedl (high jump, 4-8) and Chloe Arfsten (pole vault, 8-6) completed the list of girls' individual conference champions.
Haley Leuthold, Kayla Thone and Paige Leuthold teamed with Wilgenburg on H-BC's winning 4x200.
Brianna Soutthivong and Mikayla Falk joined Klassen and Hildebrandt on MLA's first-place 4x400 team.
DeCock wins all three jumps, LaFollette is first in both hurdle races
W-WG/RRC's Jeff DeCock won all three boys' jumping events, clearing 6-0, leaping 20-7 and hop-step-and-jumping 40-1.
MLA's Britton Pankratz also cleared six feet in the high jump, but had more misses than DeCock.
SWC/E's ace hurdler Austin LaFollette won the 110-meter highs (16.23) and 300-meter intermediates (41.44).
H-BC's Justin Kerkove-Brandt won the 800 (2:08.23) and MLA freshman Slade Harder was an impressive first in the 3,200 (10:48.11).
The best boys' race of the day was the 1,600 when W-WG/RRC's AJ Jongen outkicked Fulda's John Getting --after the two had separated from the field on the final lap. Jongen was clocked at 4:48.03, while Getting ran the mile in 4:49.81.
W-WG/RRC won two relays, as the unit of Tanner Pederson, Alex Knutson, Derek Christians and Levi Buntin finished first in the 4x200 (1:39.00) and the foursome of Christians, Jongen, DeCock and Bunting finished the meet with a victory in the 4x400, clocked at 3:40.85.
H-BC (Dalton Bass, Dylan Gehrke, Braden Ellingson and Dirk Thone) won the 4x100 (46.65)
MCC opened the meet with a win in the 4x800 (9:23.70), as Joey Petersen, Patrick Platt, Clayton Hartle and Jack Erickson carried the baton for the Rebels.