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Section Track: Dudley, Rofshus, Spanier get ready to shine

WORTHINGTON — Competition begins today in the Section 2AA high school track and field meet at St. Peter and concludes Friday, while those athletes who qualified through the four sub-section meets (last week) of Section 3A will strive for state-meet advancement at Redwood Falls Thursday.

Worthington, which enjoyed several highly-successful seasons in Class A a few years ago, is again competing with the large schools in Class AA. The Trojans did not participate in a sub-section meet last week, as all 14 schools converge at St. Peter for the two-day meet, which could have as many as 42 competitors in an event.

There will be six field event finals today — three for boys (pole vault, triple jump and shot put) and three for girls (high jump, long jump and discus) — beginning at 3 p.m.

Friday, those field event finals will be reversed.

The 3,200-meter run finals will also be today, while prelims in all races — except the 1,600-meter run and all four relays — will be staged today, as well.

Worthington senior Will Dudley, along with Mankato East senior Calvin Deike have each cleared 15 feet in the pole vault this season and are the obvious co-favorites. The next-best mark has been 13-8 by Waconia sophomore Zach Olsem.

The top two in each event qualify for the state meet, which will again be held at Hamline University in St. Paul, June 6-7.

Dudley placed fourth at last year’s state meet, clearing 14-0. It was at Hamline this year in late April when the all-around Trojan athlete soared over the bar at 15-0.

Trojan senior Jessie Guerra (long jump) and sophomore hurdler Gbrown Ochothow (in both the 110 highs and 300 intermediates) are ranked among the top competitors in those events, while WHS has also run fast times in the 4x200-meter relay with Guerra, Ochothow, sophomore Erik Landgaard and Dudley likely to run for the Trojans Friday.

Juniors Maer Abella (shot put) and Achan Alwal (discus) are among the best throwers in the girls competition.

Huherkoch, Slater both

enter Section 3A meet

with stellar 1,600 times

Thurday’s Section 3A Meet will feature 16 participants in event with most races being run in two heats.

One of the best races of the day will likely be in the one-heat girls 1,600-meter run where a pair of state-meet experienced veterans have each recorded stellar times in their sub-section meets.

Redwood Valley junior Kayla Huhnerkoch won Sub-Section 11 with a sizzling 5:07.56 and Adrian senior Nicole Slater blazed a 5:11.07 to win Sub-Section 10. Both times are under the state-qualifying standard of 5:14.47.

Luverne senior Cody Rofshus impressively tops the list in both the boys shot put (52-9) and discus (156-7) events with distances well beyond the qualifying standards of 50-11 and 147-6, respectively.

Pipestone Area sophomore Maria Spanier is also ranked first twice, entering with the best times in both girls hurdle races (16.60, 100-meter highs and 47.62, 300-meter lows).

Montevideo senior Jack Spaeth returns to defend his title in the boys 110-meter high hurdles — with a best sub-section time of 15.65 — in a field loaded with quality hurdlers as 12 of the 16 entrants ran under 17 seconds in their sub-section meets.

Other top sub-section boys performances include Windom Area senior Victor Ogeka’s 43-5 leap in the triple jump and RV senior Ryan Phillips’ time of 1:59.16 in the 800.

Among the best girls mark from the sub-section meets were a 10-2 pole vault by BOLD/Buffalo Lake-Hector junior Josie Lilja and a 17-1 long jump by Central Minnesota Christian senior Danielle Wubben, both matching the state-qualifying standard.

Competition begins with field events at 2 p.m. followed by the normal order of running events at 3:30 p.m.