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State Track: MCC boys tie for second

ST. PAUL -- Getting 22 points from sprinter Jack Thony, 12 from state shot put champion Tanner Nepp and six more from hurdler Tyler Scotting, the Murray County Central Rebels tied Perham (40 points each) for second place in the final boys' standings of the Class A state track and field meet Saturday at Klas Field on the campus of Hamline University.

Foley, paced by the dual wins of sprinter Tyler Beehler, a first-place performance by discus thrower Sam Udermann and a second-place finish by its 4x400-meter relay team, racked up a total of 62 points to convincingly claim the state title of the season-ending meet, sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).

Perham, which was solid in the distance races -- including an impressive victory in the 4x800-meter relay (7:57.58), held the lead for much of the meet.

But, a fourth-place finish by Scotting in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (40.92) and a third by Thony in the 200-meter dash (22.44) put 14 more points on the board for the Rebels and moved MCC into a temporary three-way tie for first place.

Beehler, who had earlier won the 100-meter dash (11.11), scored 12 points with his victory in the 200 (21.85), increasing Foley's point total to 40, matching Perham and MCC.

Both the Yellowjackets and Rebels were finished for the afternoon, with no more entrants in any events.

Then, the discus results came in and Udermann tacked on 12 points to Foley's total with an impressive winning distance of 169-0, topping a quality field of throwers which had the next three placers all whirl the platter beyond 162 feet.

Beehler put the capper on Foley's state title by anchoring the Falcons' 4x400 (3:24.99) to a second-place finish (10 points) behind Madelia/Truman's winning time of 3:23.30.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central tied for 14th in the final boys' standings with 20 points -- all scored by senior jumper Jeff DeCock.

After winning the state title in the triple jump Friday (45-9), DeCock placed sixth in both the high jump (6-5) and long jump (20-11) Saturday.

A year ago, DeCock participated in the same three events at the state meet without placing in the top nine in any of the three jumps.

This year, the talented senior put a fine finishing touch on an outstanding all-around high school athletic career by bringing home a trio of state-meet medals, including another triple jump state championship earned by a Red Rock Conference athlete.

Comfrey's Troy Stresemann won the Class A state triple jump gold medal in 1994 and Heron Lake-Okabena's Ryan Heisinger, representing the combination of Southwest Star Concept and Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster, claimed the triple jump state title in 1999 after placing second in 1998.

There were 74 boys' teams who scored points in this years' MSHSL state meet, including Jackson County Central (eight), Luverne (seven) and Windom (four).

Following Foley (62), MCC (40) and Perham (40) -- in the top 15 -- were Christ's Household of Faith (38), St. Croix Lutheran (38), Byron (35½), Minnehaha Academy (32), Redwood Valley (30), Pillager (26), Blake School (26), Madelia/Truman (26), Waseca (22), LeSueur-Henderson (21), W-WG/RRC (20) and Breckinridge/Campbell-Tintah (20).

"Getting a second-place trophy at the state meet is an exciting thing," declared MCC head boys' coach Tim Bobeldyk. "Slayton won a state title in 1978, but this is our next best finish at this meet. MCC had some very good true team-type of teams in the 1990s.

"This weekend, Jack, Tanner and Tyler all came through with high-placing performances, which allowed us to finish among the top three teams. It was close between the top five or six, so we needed every point that we were able to get from each of them."

Thony finishes second In 100-meter dash finals

Saturday's finals began strong for the Rebels when Thony -- after somewhat of a shaky start -- accelerated down the track with sizzling speed and earned a second-place silver medal (behind only Beehler) in the 100-meter dash, scoring 10 points for MCC.

"It was very close from second through sixth," noted Bobeldyk. "So Jack getting second was good for him and good for us."

Thony was clocked at 11.21, while times of 11.22, 11.22, 11.27 and 11.27 took the next four places.

Windom senior Michael Rivera -- who is competing in just his second season of track -- placed eighth in the finals, clocked at 11.48.

"I ran a faster time yesterday in the prelims (11.18) to make it to the finals," Rivera said after receiving his medal. "I just wish I had another season left."

Luverne's 4x100-meter relay team (Jackson Winter, Alex Weis, Bo Biever and Darrion Jones) were also involved in a very close race.

The Cardinals, who ran the race in 44.89 in Friday's prelims, were clocked a 44.70 in Saturday's finals and earned fifth-place medals, scoring five points for LHS.

Byron won the 4x100 with a time of 44.25, but places two, three and four were clocked at 44.64, 44.65 and 44.66, while sixth-place was 44.83.

"It was a fun race," exclaimed Weis, who later placed eighth (two points) in the discus with a best throw of 144-7. "It was really close. I thought, we might have got second. It was so close."

Weis finished up an exceptional all-around season for the Cardinals as a thrower (discus and shot put) and a hurdler (both the highs and intermediates), as well as running key legs on LHS relays teams. His second-best distance in the discus Saturday was 141-10.

Hills-Beaver Creek's 4x100 relay team (Dalton Bass, Dylan Gehrke, Dirk Thone and Tate Bork) was running well, too, in Saturday's finals, having matched Luverne's 44.89 preliminary time. But, the Patriots were unable to finish when Bork pulled a muscle, running the anchor leg.

Thony added four points to MCC's total with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash, timed at 50.40.

"Jack had a busy two days," summed up Bobeldyk. "He looked a little tired at the end of the 400 finals, not quite duplicating the 49.9 that he ran in Friday's prelims. But, again it was close and for him to place sixth and pick up four points was big."

With Thony's 14 points and Nepp's 12 (from Friday), the Rebels were positioning themselves near the top with 26 points.

"Tanner's victory in the shot put on Friday was huge," praised Bobeldyk. "He came in as the second-ranked thrower and went out and won the event, claiming a state gold medal and getting a PR (personal record) in the process. It was a great accomplishment for Tanner, who has been a consistent performer for us in both the shot put and discus for the last two seasons."

Nepp placed sixth at the state meet in the 2012 shot put (49-7) and third in the discus (147-3), scoring 12 points for the Rebels a year ago.

This year, Nepp placed third in the discus at the Section 3A meet and did not qualify to throw at Hamline. He did, however, improve his shot put distance by nearly three feet as he moved up five places.

Nepp's winning distance Friday was 52-3¾.

Scotting comes through In the 300 intermediates

A versatile junior, who also sprints and competes in the shot put, Scotting came through with a stellar race for the Rebels in Saturday's finals of the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.

Entering with the sixth-best qualifying time (41.15), Scotting utilized a strong finish to move all the way to fourth-place in the finals. He was clocked at 40.92 and scored six points for MCC, increasing the Rebels total to 32.

"I knew I had to catch some of the guys ahead of me," summed up Scotting about passing several hurdlers in the final stretch.

"Tyler came through with a great race in the finals," declared Bobeldyk. "His last 100 meters were really good."

Then, Thony moved MCC's total to 40 with his third-place finish in the 200, clocked at 22.44.

"I switched my blocks and had a good start," said Thony about the last race of his brilliant high school career. "I felt pretty good the whole way and I am glad that I placed among the top three. It was a good race to finish up on."

"He didn't have much time after the 400, as the meet (with impending threatening weather approaching) went to a rolling schedule and the events came up faster," noted Bobeldyk. "But, Jack came through like he has all season and had a great race from start to finish."

CHOF's Kendall Strandlund, who won the 400 (48.93), finished second (22.36) between Beehler and Thony.

Meanwhile, Rivera claimed his second state-meet sprinting medal of the day, clocking a time of 22.91 and placing eighth.

"I like the 200, I'm better at it," concluded Rivera, who ran a near-school record time of 22.86 in Friday's prelims. "I sure wish I had one more year of high school track left. This has been a lot of fun."

Maria Spanier medals in girls' 300-meter low hurdles; Both LHS 4x800 teams and Adrian's Nicole Slater just miss earning state medals

Pipestone Area freshman Maria Spanier had the best area girls' finish Saturday, placing eighth in the finals of the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 47.73.

"I think my race was pretty good," said Spanier, who ran the anchor legs of the Arrow's 4x200 and 4x400 relays most of the season. "I had a good race (Friday) to make the finals, so I'm happy with how I did up here."

Spanier's time in Friday's prelims was faster (47.30), but was the ninth-best qualifying time.

Both of Luverne's 4x800-meter relay teams finished 10th Saturday, missing the medals by one place.

The Cardinals girls' quartet of Madison Schandelmeier, Kaitlin Wohnoutka, Anna Tofteland and Makayla Hohn ran the eight-lap event in 10:00.98, just shy of the ninth-place time of 9:57.15.

Benson/Kerhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, who Luverne edged to win the Section 3A meet, won the state girls' 4x800 title Saturday with a time of 9:38.56.

Luverne's boys (Drew Weis, Peyton Stemper, Eli Dooyema and Josh Friedrichson) ran very well Saturday, improving their section time by nearly 12 seconds. Clocked at 8:20.76, the Cardinals finished fourth in their heat and 10th overall, outrunning Redwood Valley (8:36.17), which finished ahead of LHS at Benson nine days earlier.

Adrian girls' distance ace Nicole Slater, a junior, ran an evenly-paced race (2:39, 2:42) in the 1,600-meter run and notched a personal record time of 5:21.09.

Running quarter splits of 75, 84, 83 and 79, Slater moved up from the back of the highly-competitive pack and was challenging for ninth-place coming down the final stretch.

But, she ended up finishing 11th -- two places and less than a second from the medals, as the ninth-place time was 5:20.11.

PA sophomore Collin Moeller cleared 6-0, which was good for eleventh in the boys' high jump.

Luverne senior Allison Dohlmann had a best distance of 34-7¼ in the shot put (on her third throw) after recording distances of 33-3 and 33-11½ on her first two efforts. Dohlmann was not able to advance to the finals and finished with the 12th best throw.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central senior Chloe Arfsten competed again at Hamline in the pole vault and cleared 9-0, finishing in a tie for 11th place. Windom freshman Amy Muller was unable to make the opening height of 8-6.

The winning vault Saturday was 10-6, a height that Windom senior Megan Muller cleared earlier this season in the Southwest Conference meet at Redwood Falls May 16.

A couple of spectacular girls' performances were turned in Saturday in the 4x400 relay and, especially, in the 1,600-meter run.

Osakis (3:58.34) and Blue Earth Area (3:59.65) both ran the 4x400 under four minutes.

Blake's Clare Flanagan (4:50.54) and Cannon Falls' Emi Trost (4:51.00) dueled it out in a state meet record-setting mile, finishing 20 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.

Warroad and Milaca tied for the Class A girls' team title with 42 points each.