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Prep track: Cardinals repeat, sweep True Team titles

SLAYTON —With 12 area teams competing Monday, the depth-filled Luverne Cardinals repeated as both girls and boys Section 3A True Team track and field champions. The twin victories send both LHS squads back to the Minnesota High School Track and Field Coaches Association State Meet in Stillwater on May 17.

“We are thrilled, obviously, to get to take both our whole teams back to the state meet,” said Craig Nelson, who has been the head coach of both programs for many years. “Jackson County Central gave us a strong challenge in the boys’ meet, but we had enough overall depth to win both team titles, which is a fine accomplishment for our athletes.”

Luverne’s girls won nine events and racked up an impressive total of 701.5 points in the meet, which awarded 24 points for a first-place individual finish and 36 points for a relay victory. The Cardinals won three of the four relays and finished second in the other, accumulating a total of 141 points in those four events.

It was the seventh consecutive sectional True Team title for the LHS girls, who have finished among the top three teams in the state True Team meet six times since 2007, including getting second last year.

The Cardinals won eight of the 18 boys’ events and tallied a total of 684 points, claiming their fourth straight Section 3A crown. LHS was fifth in the final standings at the state meet in 2013.

Jackson County Central finished a solid second in the boys’ meet Monday with 633 points, while Canby was a distant third with a score of 503. Windom Area edged Murray County Central, 454-449, for fourth, while Tracy-Milroy-Balaton was sixth with 411.5 points, followed by Fulda (364), Pipestone Area (359), Hills-Beaver Creek and Southwest Christian each with 338, Adrian (255) and Cedar Mountain/Comfrey/Springfield (218.5).

Canby claimed second in the girls’ meet with 534 points, followed by PA (494.5), SWC (489), T-M-B (469), JCC (464.5), CM/C/S (461), Windom (350.5), MCC (346), Adrian (252.5), Fulda (249) and H-BC (232.5).

Individually, Adrian’s Nicole Slater was a triple winner, finishing first in the 400-meter dash (1:01.72), the 1,600-meter run (5:22.18) and the 3,200 (11:58.33).

Luverne’s Tayla Peterson sprinted to wins in both the 100-meter dash (13.09) and the 200 (26.99), while PA’s Maria Spanier claimed victory in each hurdle race, clocking a time of 15.82 in the 100-meter highs and notching a 47.01 in the 300-meter lows.

Luverne had a pair of double-event winners in the boys’ meet, as Dirk Thone won the 200 (22.77) and 400 (51.89), while Cody Rofshus topped the field in the shot put (52-10.75) and the discus (142-1).

PA’s Collin Moeller (high jump, 5-10), Windom’s Victor Ogeka (triple jump, 41-11.75), Fulda’s Alex Holmes (11-6) and JCC’s Warren Darling (long jump, 19-8.5) were other boys’ field event winners, while Luverne’s Jon Ehde (100, 11.15) and Cody Hess (1,600, 4:47.92) also claimed first-place finishes.

JCC won the boys’ 4x400 (3:41.90), while Luverne took first in both the 4x200 (1:34.00) and 4x100 (46.01) relays.

Luverne won the girls’ 4x800 (9:59.58), 4x200 (1:50.53) and 4x100 (52.99) relays.

The Cardinals picked up individual first-place performances from Morgan Edwards (shot put, 35-1), Kami Sawtelle (discus, 112-4), Kynzie Smedsrud (triple jump, 33-4.5) and seventh-grader Jadyn Anderson (800, 2:30.18).

Other area first-place finishers in the girls’ meet were Windom’s Amy Muller (pole vault, 8-6), T-M-B’s Sammie Gervais (high jump, 5-0) and MCC’s Hannah Schmidt (long jump, 16-3.5).