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Trojans dominate Sub-Section 9

WINDOM -- Advancing at least 10 girls and 15 boys, the Worthington Trojans enjoyed a banner all-around day at Thursday's Sub-Section 9 high school track & field meet, sweeping both team championships in the process.

The Trojans won five individual gold medals and claimed one relay victory, while racking up 165 points to win the girls' team title by 47 points.

Windom (paced by double winner Christy Nepp) and Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (sparked by Kaitlin Feil's 26 individual points) tied for team runner-up honors with 118 points each.

The combination of Springfield, Cedar Mountain and Comfrey finished fourth in the girls' meet with 104 points, followed by Southwestern United (72), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (61) and Jackson County Central (53).

Worthington blazed to six first-place finishes on the track (four individual and two relay) in the boys' meet and captured the team crown by a 30-point margin over runner-up JCC, 173-143.

W-WG/RRC edged S/CM/C for third, 113 to 111.5, while ML/B-O (78.5), Windom (52) and SWU (6) completed the seven-team field.

"Things went well for us," Trojan co-head coach Mike Traphagen said after the meet. "We approach this meet with the idea of putting athletes where they have the best chance to advance to the section meet. Our goal is to get as many kids as possible to move on and we were pleased with how they performed today."

The top three finishers in each event automatically qualify for the Section 3A meet, which will be held at Redwood Falls Thursday. While each of the four sub-sections sends the top three placers, the remaining four spots in each event are determined by times, heights and distances -- meaning that even a seventh-place finisher could advance to the section meet.

Nepp, Feil win two girls' events

While the Trojans were running away with the team title, two area performers shined with dual individual victories and many others placed high in multiple events.

Nepp won both the shot put (36-10.5) and discus (125-4) events, while Eagle teammate Alecia Norby took third in both events, tossing the shot 33-10 and whirling the discus 110-3.

Feil, who also finished third in the long jump (15-7.5), claimed victory in both the 100 meter high hurdles (16.22) and the 300 meter lows (48.50).

Windom's Lindsay Elston won the long jump (15-11.5), placed second in the triple jump (33-8.75) and earned thirds in both the high jump (4-10) and high hurdles (16.78).

W-WG/RRC's Krystle Sell won the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:02.42 and placed second in both the pole vault (8-6) and the 100 (13.55).

Worthington's Sarah Cham won the triple jump (35-6.5), finished second in the high hurdles (16.75) and placed fifth in the 200 (28.58).

Kaitlin Gerber of Worthington finished an impressive first in the 1,600 meter run (5:34.77) and later came back with a second in the 3,200 (12:28.71).

Trojan Jenny Mammen sprinted to victory in the 100 meter dash, clocked at 13.35. She later added a third-place finish in the 200 (28.07) and also leaped 14-6.5 to place sixth in the long jump.

Worthington's Anneli Dudley won the pole vault (9-0) and placed third in the low hurdles (51.52).

The fifth Trojan to win an event was Sarah Suby, who also ran two fine relay legs for Worthington. Suby opened up a big lead and clocked a time of 2:34.97 to claim gold in the 800 meter run.

ML/B-O's Jennie Romsdahl dashed to a first-place finish in the 200, timed at 27.62.

Betsy Voehl of SWU raced to a second in the 200 (27.98) after getting third in the 100 (13.59). She also placed fifth in the long jump (15-2.75).

Worthington's Jenna Donkersloot (second, shot put, 35-1.75) and SWU' Katey Granstra (second, discus,123-2) also qualified for the section meet, as did Worthington's Rachel Malmgren (second, high jump, 4-10) and JCC's Tracey Steffen (third, pole vault, 7-6) in the field events.

On the track, other area runners that qualified for the section meet were JCC's Jasmine Timko (second, 1,600, 5:37.41), Windom's Meredith Hentges (third, 1,600, 5:37.63), ML/B-O's Natalia Krahn (third, 400, 1:04.43), ML/B-O's Nikki Sawatzky (second, 300 lows, 50.27), Hentges (second, 800, 2:36.09), Windom's Emily Grandprey (third, 800, 2:36.80) and ML/B-O's Petra Nelson (third, 3,200, 12:37.75).

Worthington's 4x200 meter relay (Dudley, Cassie Landgaard, Malmgren, Mammen) raced to victory in a time of 1:51.54.

The Trojans also qualified both their 4x100 (Dudley, Alyssa Smith, Holli Aggen, Lydia Kemper) and 4x400 (Kemper, Cham, Suby, Malmgren) which both finished second.

Other are girls' relay teams qualifying were JCC's 4x800 (second), Windom's 4x800 (third), SWU's 4x200 (second), W-WG/RRC's 4x200 (third), ML/B-O's 4x100 (first), Windom's 4x100 (third), ML/B-O's 4x400 (first) and W-WG/RRC's 4x400 (third).

Jason Cook wins twice for JCC boys

JCC baseball star Jason Cook competed in just his fourth track meet of the season, but the stellar all-around athlete blazed to a pair of victories, winning both the 300 meter intermediate hurdles (42.24) and 200 meter dash (23.97). Cook had earlier placed third in the 100 (12.01), finishing the day with 26 points and a trio of sectional qualifications.

"It's just the second time that he's raced in the 300 hurdles," said his father and JCC head coach Brian Cook. "He has good speed, we just need some practice time to get his steps down better, so he doesn't stutter -- like he did today before a couple of the hurdles."

While Cook was leading the Huskies, the Trojans countered with individual victories by four different athletes, as Brandon Berger (110 meter high hurdles, 17.17), Tom Mammen (100 meter dash, 11.67), Travis Pedersen (400 meter dash, 52.65) and Adou Omot (800 meter run, 2:02.88) each captured gold medals for the Trojans.

Worthington added impressive relay victories, winning both the 4x200 (Trojan school record time of 1:31.70) and the 4x400 (3:30.47).

The foursome of Mammen, John Mead, Pedersen and Omot won the 4x200 by more than seven seconds -- and for the third consecutive meet, lowered the WHS record in that event. The same four (Pedersen and Omot, just switch legs) breezed to victory in the 4x400 by nearly 10 seconds.

"We have been running good times with both those relays," Traphagen said. "We will need to run our best in each of them next week if we hope to advance them to the state meet."

JCC distance runners Marc Strom (1,600, 4:53.34) and Matt Kocak (3,200, 10:30.91) each posted victories in their events, but had to hold off strong challenges from Trojan runners Aaron Grafing and Ethan Spittle.

Grafing knocked eight seconds off his previous personal best, as he finished strong (nearly catching Strom) and clocked a second place time of 4:53.75 in the 1,600.

In the 3,200, the seventh-grade Spittle stayed close to Kocak for six laps, before the Husky ace broke away midway through lap seven. Spittle finished second in the event with a time of 10:40.08.

JCC's Cole Von Ohlen had an impressive day, clearing 13 feet to easily win the pole vault. Theo Johnson and Sam Huset, both of W-WG/RRC, placed 2-3 in the event, both making 11 feet.

In the discus, the trio of Bryce Quiring (Windom), Matt Buschena (JCC) and Steve Skog (W-WG/RRC) whirled the platters respective distances of 133-0, 126-1 and 118-11 to qualify.

W-WG/RRC's Joe Doubler won the shot put (41-11), while Buschena (41-10) and Worthington's Max Pierson (41-8.75) were second and third, respectively.

ML/B-O's Dalton Wall won the long jump (20-3), while Mammen's leap of 19-10 placed third.

In the triple jump (won by S/CM/C's Dustin McColley, 40-6.5), Pedersen placed second (38-5) and ML/B-O's James Sawatzky (36-8) was third.

McColley won the high jump (6-3), while W-WG/RRC's Blake Stevens cleared 5-8 and earned the silver medal.

On the track, Worthington's Dustin Britten (17.36) and Windom's Jesse LaMaack (17.38) finished 2-3 (behind Berger) as the Trojans claimed a 1-2 finish in the 110 meter high hurdles.

W-WG/RRC's Forrest Asp finished third in the 1,600 (4:59.53) and the Chargers' Garrett Amundson (53.39) raced to second in the 400 meter dash.

Britten was second in the 300 hurdles (44.30), while Mitch Comnick (W-WG/RRC) placed third with a time of 44.54.

JCC's Nathan Brandt stayed close to Omot in the 800, finishing a strong second with a fine time of 2:04.69 and Will Spaeth (W-WG/RRC) also qualified for the section meet with his third place time of 2:10.92.

In a photo finish, Worthington's Jeremy Clark placed third in the 200 (24.44) and JCC's Sam Hendrickson qualified in the 3,200 by finishing third, clocked at 11:08.77.

JCC won the 4x800 relay (8:44.28), while W-WG/RRC (8:51.76) and Worthington (8:57.27) finished second and third, respectively.

Running for the Trojans were Tim Zaske, Nathan Mejia, Spittle and O.J. Ojulla.

JCC (1:38.57) and Windom (1:41.09) finished 2-3 (behind the Trojans) in the 4x200.

S/CM/C (46.67), ML/B-O (46.72) and W-WG/RRC (47.65) were the top three teams in the 4x100, and W-WG/RRC (3:40.44) and JCC (3:54.35) finished 2-3 in the 4x400.