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Southwest Conference Track: Card girls, Tiger boys prevail

REDWOOD FALLS -- On an ideal day for high school track and field competition, Worthington's Will Dudley outdueled Redwood Valley's Randy Juell in the boys' pole vault and set a new WHS school record in the process, soaring over the bar at 14 feet, one inch.

"It was quite the competition," exclaimed Trojans' co-head coach Ken Henkels. "Both guys kept making heights, all the way up to 13-6. Then, Will cleared 13-9 and Juell missed three times.

"Our school record is 14 feet, so Will had the bar moved up to 14-1.

He missed on his first try, but sailed over cleanly on his second vault, never touching the bar."

Worthington's previous record of 14-0 was held jointly by Matt Redding (1989) and Junior Nguyen (2011).

"Will had three close vaults at 14-4 - which is an inch higher than his dad's (Steve Dudley) best high school vault (Nebraska, 1979) --but couldn't quite make it. But, that's Will's next goal."

While Dudley and Juell were dueling it out in the vault, the Luverne girls and the Marshall boys were racking up enough points to win Southwest Conference team championships.

Luverne, which finished second in the girls' standings last year with 128 points, won its third league title in the last four years -- doing so in convincing fashion, tallying a total of 212 points.

"Scoring that many points was kind of a shock," admitted veteran LHS head coach Craig Nelson. "I wouldn't have predicted that at the beginning of the meet.

"But, we had so many athletes come through with outstanding days. Our depth came through in so many events. A good example of that was Katelyn Hart stepping up and placing third in the shot put, giving us a 1-2-3 finish --which is 24 points in one event."

Defending champion Marshall was a solid second with 174½ points --just two below their winning 2012 total.

Worthington -- paced by sophomore Meydee Okello's victory in the 400-meter dash (1:02.71), senior Whitney Coriolan's second-place finish in the 300-meter low hurdles (48.84) and senior Tara Svalland's second place in the high jump (4-10) -- was third in the girls' standings with 76½ points.

Pipestone Area (69), Jackson County Central (67), Windom (55 ½) and Redwood Valley (38½) completed the seven-team field.

Meanwhile, the depth-filled Marshall Tigers repeated as boys' champions, accumulating 167½ points.

Luverne edged Redwood Valley, 130-129, for second.

Worthington, sparked by Dudley's win in the pole vault and freshman Amanual Fissiha's first-place run in the 3,200 (10:20.77), claimed fourth with 87 ½ points, followed by JCC (81), Windom (71) and PA (30).

Peterson, Smedsrud

win two events

Sprinter Tayla Peterson won both the 100 (13.24) and 200 (27.09), hurdler Kynzie Smedrsud finished first in both the 100 highs (16.51) and 300 lows (47.85) and the Cardinals' trio of Allison Dohlmann (36-2½), Morgan Edwards (34-6¾) and Hart (34-4 ¾) swept the shot put, highlighting Luverne's stellar day in the girls' meet.

The Cardinals won the 4x200-meter relay (1:50.34) with the quartet of Sierra Schmuck, Naomi Dooyema, Smedsrud and Peterson exchanging the batons.

Makayla Hohn (800, 2:26.73) and Madison Schandelmeier (3,200, 11:33.47) gave LHS two more first-places on the track.

Okello impressively won the 400, drawing praise from Henkels.

"Meydee ran really well and won by quite a ways," noted her coach. "She's getting better with every race."

Marshall's Nicole Sample won the 1,600 (5:20.29) and the Tigers' Sarah Anderson won both the long jump (16-2½) and triple jump (33-8), while Windom's Holly Larson placed first in the discus with a fine throw of 114-4.

PA freshman Shantelle Des Marais won the high jump, clearing 5-0.

Perhaps the most impressive field event performance was turned in by Windom senior Megan Muller, who cleared the pole vault bar at 10-6, winning the event by 30 inches.

JCC (Julia Schumann, Riley Schneekloth, Makenna Donnelli and Sydnee Donnelli) won the 4x100 (53.85).

PA (Maria Spanier, Brianna Rieck, Des Marais and Claire Femrite) finished first in the 4x400 (4:21.32) and Marshall won the 4x800 (9:54.91).

Worthington's Achan Alwal placed third in the high jump (4-8) and the Trojans finished third in both the 4x200 (1:55.80) and 4x800 (10:53.55) relays with Allison Kremer, Brandi Williams, Mary Chan and Okello running the two-lap race and the quartet of Alicia Darling, Meredith Moore, Olivia Ebbers and Katherine Luke running the two-mile event.

Fissiha outkicks Bell

Fisshia, who earlier finished third in the 1,600 (4:44.85), earned the gold medal in the 3,200 by outkicking Marshall's Andrew Bell.

"Amanual broke away from Bell with about 200 meters to go," explained Henkels. "He got ahead and then was able to hold him off with a strong kick."

Windom's Michael Rivera won both dashes, clocking a time of 11.35 in the 100 and being timed at 22.87 in the 200.

RV's Ryan Phillips won the 800 (2:02.55) and the 1,600 (4:37.89), while Marshall's Sam Marshall was first in the 400 (51.97).

RV's Macius Schroeder (110 highs, 17.00) and Marshall's Promise Nkwocha (300 intermediates, 42.05) won the hurdles' races.

Luverne's Cody Rofshus (49-11¼) edged teammate Alex Weis (49-10¼) by an inch to give the Cardinals a 1-2 finish in the shot put.

Rofshus (145-9) won the discus, while Weis (131-3) placed third.

Juell impressively won both the high jump (6-7) and long jump (20-9½), while JCC's Darnell Taylor-Breck leaped an outstanding distance of 43-2¼) to win the triple jump.

Luverne finished first in three relays.

Jackson Winter, Darrion Jones, Ethan Rust and Trenton Rops won the 4x100 (46.00), Winter, Rust, Bo Biever and Jones were first in the 4x200 (1:33.43) and the team of Drew Weis, Payton Stemper, Eli Dooyema and Josh Friedrichson ran a time of 8:27.85 to win the 4x800 by 22 seconds.

RV won the 4x400 with a time of 3:34.61.

Worthington's Jesse Guerra placed second in the long jump (20-2), Ethan Spittle tied for third in the 400 (53.68), Nathan Landwehr was fourth in the 800 (2:11.19) and Joey Mills placed fourth in the pole vault (10-6)

The Trojans were a close second in the 4x200 (1:33.48) with the team of Guerra, Troy Ektnitphong, Dudley and Spittle.

Ektnitphong, Landwehr, Oliver Wolyniec and Spittle finished third in the 4x400 (3:39.54) and the team of Landwehr, Wolyniec, Ian Stewart and Gordy Moore placed third in the 4x800 (8:55.25).

The Trojans' 4x100 team (Guerra, Ektnitphong, Erik Landgaard and Dudley) clocked a fourth-place time of 47.44.

Complete meet results are available on the website.