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Section 2AA track and field: Ochothow joins Dudley at state

Gbrown Ochothow (left) of Worthington overtakes a hurdle in the 110-meter high hurdles Friday at the Section 2AA track and field meet at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. SUBMITTED BY LORI DUDLEY

Les Knutson

Daily Globe

SAINT PETER — Worthington High School sophomore Gbrown Ochothow earned an opportunity to continue his fine track and field season Friday when he finished second in the nine-runner finals of the boys 110-meter high hurdles at the Section 2AA Meet on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Ochothow clocked a personal-record time of 15.90 seconds, qualifying for next week’s state meet at Hamline University in St. Paul, June 6-7. Logan Bristol, a junior from Mankato West, won the race with a time of 15.76.

Ochothow had run the fastest qualifying time in Wednesday’s preliminaries (16.09) after entering the meet with a seed time of 16.02, run earlier this season.

“Gbrown ran two great high hurdle races at St. Peter,” praised WHS co-head coach Ken Henkels. “Finishing second in the finals and getting the chance to run at the state meet is a great accomplishment.”

Ochothow, who later came close to advancing in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and ran the second leg on Worthington’s fifth-place 4x200-meter relay team, joins senior teammate Will Dudley as the only two Trojans qualifying to compete at Hamline.

Dudley placed second in the pole vault on Wednesday, clearing 14-0. Mankato East senior Calvin Deike won the event (14-6). Dudley still has the state’s best vault when he soared over 15-0 at the Hamline Elite Meet April 25.

It will be a return trip to the state meet for Dudley, who placed fourth in Class AA last year (14-0). Ochothow will be competing in his first state meet.

Two Trojan throwers came close to qualifying to compete in St. Paul with personal-record performances Friday, each placing third.

Junior Caleb Kill uncorked a throw of 135 feet, eight inches in the boys discus throw — a distance which was more than six feet better than his previous best of 129-4.

“Caleb has really progressed this season,” declared Henkels. “He had his best throw ever Friday and he had a good day in the shot put on Wednesday, too.”

Kill came close to placing in the shot put with a mark of 44-1.5, which was 11th best among 42 competitors. Teammate Peter Abraham, also a junior, was 14th with a PR distance of 42-5.5.

In the girls shot put finals Friday, Trojan junior Maer Abella came within 10 inches of advancing to compete at Hamline. She placed a solid third with a stellar throw of 36-7, bettering her previous best distance (34-11.5) by nearly 20 inches. The second-place mark Friday was 37-4.5.

“Maer competed really well and came very close to qualifying,” exclaimed Henkels. “She had by far her best throw of the season, which shows how determined she was.”

Abella scored six points for the Trojans with her third-place performance and eighth-grader Anna Kill contributed a point with an eighth-place finish in the 100-meter dash finals, clocked at a near-personal-best time of 13.08.

Kill entered the meet with a seed time of 13.02 and was clocked at 13.11 in Wednesday’s prelims, qualifying for the finals with the ninth-best time among 45 entrants.

While Abella and Kill were the only two Worthington girls to score in the meet, several others came close.

Junior Achan Alwal (91-6) and Abella (90-2) were 10th and 1lth, respectively, in the discus.

Junior Alecia Darling finished 10th in the 3,200 (12:23.15) and 12th in the 1,600 (5:43.43), while sophomore Meredith Moore was 12th in the 800 (2:30.40) and 13th in the 1,600 (5:43.60).

Those two teamed with eighth-grader Emma Thuringer and junior Allison Kremer to finish 11th in the 4x400-meter relay (4:23.32). Earlier, the quartet of Kremer, Thuringer, sophomore Katelyn Walters and Kill exchanged the batons in the 4x200, finishing 11th with a time of 1:53.86.

Alwal tied for 11th in the high jump, clearing 4-8.

Ochothow, 4x200, Guerra score points for Trojan boys Worthington scored 34 points in the boys meet, finishing ninth in the standings among the 15 competing teams. Hutchinson won the team title with 88 points.

In addition to the 22 points earned by the second places of Dudley and Ochothow, along with the third by Caleb Kill, the Trojans picked up 12 more with another three placing performances.

Ochothow was Worthington’s leading scorer as he contributed six more with a fine third-place finish in the 300 intermediates, clocked at 41.38. Two Shakopee hurdlers finished ahead of Ochothow with respective times of 39.83 and 40.12.

“The 300 hurdles may really be Gbrown’s best race,” said Henkels about Ochothow, who has run as fast as 40.79 this season and qualified for the finals Wednesday with a 41.41. “But he hit the first hurdle Friday and that threw him off stride just enough to keep him from challenging for the lead.”

Worthington ran a season-best time of 1:32.84 and finished fifth (four points) in the 4x200-meter relay with senior Jessie Guerra, Ochothow, sophomore Erik Landgaard and Dudley sprinting for the Trojans.

“All four guys ran hard and the exchanges were good,” summed up Henkels. “That was a great race by that relay team.”

While both Chanhassen (1:30.38) and Hutchinson (1:30.73) were well out in front, the Trojans were very close to claiming third as Mankato West (1:32.66) and Chaska (1:32.75) crossed just before Dudley. Shakopee was sixth with a time of 1:33.79, as nine teams ran the event under 1:35.

Guerra concluded Worthington’s scoring with a seventh-place (two points) performance in the long jump, leaping 20-1.25.

“Jessie was in second place after the prelims, but five guys had better jumps in the finals, moving him down,” noted Henkels, who spoke highly of the career contributions made by Guerra. “Jessie has had an outstanding career for us, both as a sprinter and a jumper. He has run lots of great relay legs and scored a lot of points in several different events.”

Worthington eighth-grader Obang Ojullu just missed scoring Friday. He finished ninth in the 110-meter high hurdle finals, clocked at 17.70 after qualifying with a 17.29 in Wednesday’s prelims.

“There were 35 high hurders competing,” Henkels said. “For an eighth-grader to get ninth among all of them is pretty amazing.”

Guerra ran a time of 11.74 (15th best) in Wednesday’s 100-meter dash prelims and Trojan junior Matt Jirele finished 17th Wednesday in the 3,200 (10:41.27) and 20th Friday in the 1,600 (4:54.55) running good times in each race.

Sophomore Hser Eh Pwae cleared 10-6 and finished in tie for 12th place in the pole vault and the Trojan 4x800-meter relay team (Oliver Wolyniec, Anthony Hartman, Troy Feller and Mitchell Schreiner) was 12th with a time of 9:12.38.