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Prep track and field: Cards take third, Huskies sixth at boys' True Team

STILLWATER — Winning four events Saturday, the Luverne boys performed well at the Minnesota Track and Field Coaches Association State True Team Meet, finishing in third place in the final standings among nine competing teams.

Fresh off a Southwest Conference championship two days earlier (May 15), the Section 3A True Team champion Cardinals accumulated a total of 361 points Saturday, finishing behind champion Holdingford (437) and runner-up Maple Lake (377).

Pine Island (343) was fourth and the combination of Mankato Loyola and Cleveland (336) finished fifth.

Section 3A runner-up Jackson County Central, which won the “Wildcard” computerized meet among all eight section runner-ups, competed well Saturday at the state meet. The Huskies — paced by 55 individual points from senior Jon Harmening — placed sixth in the standings with 319.5 points, while Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (306), Moose Lake/Willow River (259.5) and West Marshall (192) completed the field.

Luverne senior Cody Rofshus uncorked a pair of outstanding throws, winning both the shot put (54-1) and discus events (161-9), scoring 36 points for the Cardinals.

Luverne sprinter Jon Ehde blazed a time of 11.26 to win the 100-meter dash and the Cardinals (Jackson Winter, Blake Richters, Trenton Rops and Dirk Thone) finished first in the 4x200-meter relay, clocked at 1:33.19.

Harmening won both the 110-meter high hurdles (16.18) and the 300-meter intermediates (42.50). He placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 40-1.5.

Luverne, which finished fifth last year at the state True Team meet and sixth in 2012, matched its best-ever team placement (third in 2005), but was very close to getting second Saturday.

Ehde, who anchored the Cardinals’ second-place 4x100 team (46.15), pulled a muscle while holding a lead in the 200. Forced to walk across the finish line in 18th place, the injury was likely at least a 17-point swing, which could have moved Luverne ahead of Maple Lake in the final standings.

“We were a long ways from Holdingford, but we were certainly challenging for second,” said LHS head coach Craig Nelson. “Jon had won the 100, ran a great anchor leg on our 4x100 and was leading the 200 coming off the turn when the injury happened.”

Had Ehde won the race, Luverne’s total would have improved 17 points and Maple Lake’s would have dropped by two points, giving the Cardinals a 378-375 edge.

Winter, Richters and Cyris Halverson ran the first three legs of the 4x100 for Luverne, which also received several other stellar performances, including seconds from Cody Hess in the 3,200 (10:41.47) and Rops in the 300 hurdles (43.20).

Thone finished third in both the 400 (52.89) and 200 (23.31), while Rops nabbed a third in the 110 highs (16.23) and DJ Reker placed third in the discus (136-3).

For JCC, Nolan Hohenstein placed second in the shot put (51-1.25), Warren Darling was fourth in the long jump (19-1.25), Matthew Schmit finished fourth in the high hurdles (16.64) and Ryan Salzwedel placed fifth in the 400 (53.84).

The Huskies finished a solid second in the 4x200 (1:33.91) and placed third in the 4x400 (3:40.56), scoring 45 points with those two high relay finishes.

Luverne picked up a pair of individual fifths on the track from Drew Weis (800, 2:06.92) and Ethan Marshall (3,200, 10:50.26). Hess ran a personal record time of 4:42.81 and placed seventh in a very competitive 1,600-meter race.

“We had several PR’s and all-time honor roll performances,” summed up Nelson. “Our boys had a very good all-around day and our whole coaching staff is proud of how well they competed at the state level.”