WINDOM —- Having lived in just three towns — Pipestone, St. Cloud and Windom — Jack Kelly continues to be more active than the average person can imagine. His loyalty, work ethic and steady dedication to his family, school and community are among the traits that have enabled him to be so respected and admired by the many people he has associated with. Approaching age 81, Jack has battled some health issues in recent years — but even a nightly procedure of peritoneal dialysis has not slowed him down much.
SLAYTON — Nearly ideal spring weather conditions graced the 12-team Fulda Invitational high school track and field meet Tuesday, and many stellar performances were turned in by the competing athletes. The day’s best race developed in the boys’ 1,600-meter run when two of the area’s top distance runners squared off. Murray County Central senior Jack Erickson and Pipestone Area sophomore Michael Suda have each experienced loads of success in lots of endeavors during their high school careers. Both of them earned advancement to last year’s state track meet.
MARSHALL — Winning seven events Tuesday, Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton claimed a narrow two-point victory over host Marshall in the girls’ division of a four-team high school track and field meet.
PIPESTONE — Pipestone Area’s Eli Stevens clocked a sizzling time of 50.33 seconds Saturday, winning the boys’ 400-meter dash by more than five seconds in a highlight performance of the 10-team Pipestone Invitational high school track and field meet at Paulsen Field. Stevens, a senior, also won the 200-meter dash (23.22) and anchored the Arrows’ first-place 4x400-meter relay (3:34.39) helping PA claim the team title with a total of 139 points.
LUVERNE — Pipestone Area junior hurdler Justin Kooiman and Luverne junior thrower Logan Stratton each won two events Tuesday at the 11-team Cardinal Relays, while PA freshman Michelle Neece and Luverne junior Courtney Siebenahler were double-event first-place performers in the girls’ division. Kooiman won both the 110-meter high hurdles (16.74) and the 300-meter intermediates (42.37), leading the Arrows to the boys’ team title with 148 points.
TRACY — Fulda’s Nicole Madison and Murray County Central’s Clayton Hartle each won events Tuesday at the six-team Panther Invitational high school track and field meet, hosted by Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. Madison, who placed in three other events, won the girls’ shot put with a distance of 29-10. Hartle clocked a time of 10:43 to win the boys’ 3,200-meter run.
LUVERNE — Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton junior Chantel Groen and Redwood Valley senior Cade Johnson each won three individual events at Luverne’s nine-team Early Bird Invitational high school track and field meet Tuesday at Cardinal Field. Groen was the meet’s outstanding girls’ performer as she won the 100-meter dash (13.60 seconds), the 200 (28.06) and the long jump (15 feet, nine inches). Groen finished her day by anchoring SWC/E’s second-place 4x400-meter relay team.
SLAYTON — A trio of Murray County Central athletes, Fulda’s Nicole Madison and Heron Lake-Okabena’s Kaylan Untiedt were all double event winners at a six-team high school track and field meet, hosted by MCC Tuesday. MCC’s Nicole Thovsen won both the girls’ 100-meter dash (13.51) and the long jump (14-7.25), while Jack Erickson finished first in both the boys’ 1,600 (4:53.98) and the 800 (2:12.33). MCC’s Wyatt Heezen had the best distances in both the boys’ shot put (39-6) and discus (119-1).
PIPESTONE — A pair of returning fifth-place performers from last year’s Class A state meet highlight the early-season area high school boys track and field rosters. Competing at Hamline University in St. Paul in June of 2015, Pipestone Area sprinter Eli Stevens blazed a time of 50.03 seconds in the 400-meter dash finals and Hills-Beaver Creek’s Zach Scholten cleared the high jump bar at six-feet-two-inches. Both sophomores capped their fine spring seasons by receiving medals with green neck ribbons on the awards podium at Klas Field.
In its three state tournament games, Jackson County Central outscored its opponents by 30 points in the second half. The Huskies outscored Caledonia by four points (44-40) after intermission, pulled away from Annandale by winning the second half by 11 points (34-23) and outscored Braham by 15 points (61-46) in Saturday’s second half. Adding them up, JCC scored 139 second-half points in Minneapolis compared to 109 by its three opponents.