Area athletes busy on first day of state track and field meet

PAUL -- Morgan Gehl of Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda was not deterred by the heat Friday. Competing in the first day of state Class A girls track and field action, Gehl said a personal record in the 3200 meter run with a clocking of 10:58.15, good eno...

  1. PAUL - Morgan Gehl of Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda was not deterred by the heat Friday.

Competing in the first day of state Class A girls track and field action, Gehl said a personal record in the 3200 meter run with a clocking of 10:58.15, good enough for third in the event. That moved her up a notch from her showing of 2018, when she placed fourth.


Not far behind Gehl was Luverne freshman Tenley Nelson, who finished sixth in the 3200 with a time of 11:30.82. Nelson was fifth in the 3200 at the 2018 state meet.


Also earning a spot on the medal stand Friday was Windom sophomore Delaney Smith, who took fifth in the discus with a throw of 120 feet, 8 inches. Smith will be back today to compete in the shot put, where she’s expected to have a favorable showing.



Another female athlete who fared well was senior JCC long jumper Aleigha Henderson, who turned in an effort of 16 feet, 5½ inches to place ninth,


On the boys side, Southwest Christian/Edgerton freshman Micah Schaap improved on his effort at sectionals by jumping 43 feet, 6½ inches in the triple jump - good enough for fifth place,  


Numerous competitors from the region, meanwhile, did well enough to advance to the finals in their respective events today. Among them - relay teams from both Pipestone Area and Ellsworth.


The Arrows’ 4 x 200 meter relay team captured their heat and posted the second-fastest overall time in the event Friday with a mark of 1:30.30. The team is comprised of Carter Nesvold, Cole Doppenberg, Jason Steenstra and Devin Tinklenberg.



Ellsworth qualified third fastest overall in the same relay at 1:30.82. The Panthers’ team is made up of Sean Boltjes, Noah Kruse, Robby Armstrong and Kade Boltjes.


Pipestone Area’s 4 x 100 meter relay team had the third-fastest overall time in that event (43.89) thanks to the efforts of Nesvold, Braeden Benz, Steenstra and Tinklenberg. Ellsworth was not far behind with the fifth-fastest time (44.13) and led by Sean Boltjes, Kruse, Cole Boltjes and Kade Boltjes.


The Arrows’ Tinklenberg also qualified for the 400 meter dash finals, recording the second-fastest time of the day at 50.06. Nesvold, his teammate, qualified in the 200 meter dash with Friday’s seventh-fastest time (22.89).


For the Panthers, Sean Boltjes earned a spot in the finals of the 300 meter intermediate hurdles by turning in a time of 40.26 (fifth quickest on the day). His twin brother, Kade, is in the finals of the 200 meter dash; it had the event’s ninth-best time at 23.05).



Luverne qualified its boys 4 x 400 meter relay team for today’s finals with an eighth-best mark of 3:28.38. Jordy Thone, Ashton Sandbulte, Jonah Friedrichsen and Jedidiah Dooyema form that Cardinals’ quartet.


Dooyema also qualified individually in 400 meter dash, winning his heat impressively and finishing the day fifth overall at 50.53.


Murray County Central’s Aaron Johnson qualified to run in today’s 110 meter high hurdles final, finishing with a time of 15.84. Pipestone Area’s Benz, meanwhile, came up just short at 15.85, falling just .01 second short of a spot in the finals.


Southwest Christian/Edgeton’s Austin Pater set a personal record by nearly four seconds (1:58.77) and advanced to today’s finals in the 800 meter run.


Luverne’s 4 x 400 meter girls relay team qualified with the fifth-best time of the day at 4:02.07. The team’s foursome is Regan Feit, Autumn Nath, Jayden Anderson and Brooklynn VerSteeg, who also qualified individually in the 400 meter dash (58.76). Feit qualified individually in the 300 low hurdles, too, placing sixth time-wise with a clocking of 46.32.


The Cardinals’ 4 x 200 meter girls relay team (Nath, Ivy Hudson, Graciie Zewiske and Sydney Biever) was sixth overall in qualifying with a time of 1:47.04.


In the 100 meter girls high hurdles, Sommer Schaap of Southwest Christian/Edgerton qualified seventh overall with a showing of 15.88. Pipestone Area’s Michelle Neece, a state champion last year in the event, did not advance, winding up 11th (16.27).  


Among those competing in events Friday and not advancing were HIlls-Beaver Creek sophomore Tyson Bork (10th in the 100 meter dash, 11.57); JCC’s Matt Stubbe (12th in the 100 meters, 11.61); Benz (13th in the 300 intermediate hurdles, 32.24); the Luverne 4 x 100 meter girls relay team (Hudson, Mallory Oye, Zewiske and Biever); JCC’s Henderson in the 100 (16th, 13:05), Hills-Beaver Creek seventh-grader Layla Deelstra in the 100 (18th, 13.55);  Zewiske in the 200 (15th, 27.75); Windom’s Gracie Bucher in the 800 meter run (13th, 2:23.68.); Luverne’s Gabrielle Ferrell (16th in 300 low hurdles, 58.47); Scot Edwards of Adrian in shot put (14th, 46 feet 9¾ inches); and the Hills-Beaver Creek 4 x 200 meter relay team of Madison Spath, Sidney Fick, Deelstra and Taryn Rauk (12th, 1:49.47).


In Class AA action, Worthington’s Sean Souksavath took 15th in the triple jump; his best effort was 40 feet 7¼ inches.

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