HERSHEY'S YOUTH TRACK: Local athletes win 10 state titles at Morris

MORRIS -- Averi Pankonen of Slayton and Madison Schandelmeier of Luverne each won dual state championships Saturday at the Hershey's State Track and Field Meet at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

MORRIS -- Averi Pankonen of Slayton and Madison Schandelmeier of Luverne each won dual state championships Saturday at the Hershey's State Track and Field Meet at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

The blue-ribbon performances of Pankonen and Schandelmeier were among a total of 10 first-place finishes recorded by young athletes in the Daily Globe coverage area.

There were a total of 42 events held at the 33rd annual meet, sponsored by the Hershey Corporation and the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA).

Broken down into six age and gender classifications, state meet participants had all qualified by placing among the top four in their respective event at one of the seven district competitions that were conducted around Minnesota earlier in June.

Worthington hosted the District 2 Meet at Trojan Field on June 19 and many of the qualifiers from that meet performed well at the state meet June 26.


Competing in the girls' 11-12 age division (born in 1998 or 1999), Pankonen blazed to an impressive first-place finish in the 100-meter dash, clocking a time of 14.72 seconds. Later, she won the 200-meter dash by more than a full second, sprinting the distance in 29.96.

Schandelmeier won twice in the same division, as she convincingly won both the 400-meter dash (1:12.53) and the 800-meter run (2:49.72). Schandelmeier won the 800 by almost nine seconds.

Pipestone's Megan Stark and Devin Tinklenberg both claimed state titles in the 9-10 age division (born in 2000 or 2001).

Stark won the girls' 400-meter dash by nearly a second (1:17.30) and Tinklenberg sprinted to first place in the boys' 100-meter dash, clocked at 15.13.

Pipestone also brought home blue ribbons in the boys' 11-12 division's 4x100-meter relay. The quartet of Brett Baerenwald, Will Cooper, Charley Rops and Tyl Woelber claimed the state championship with a time of 1:01.49 -- winning the race by more than four seconds.

A trio of area competitors won state titles in the softball throw Saturday.

Windom's Tessla Crowell, who was competing with the Heron Lake team, had the best throw in the girls' 9-10 age division, uncorking a distance of 90-9 ½ -- which was good enough to win the event by almost six feet.

Pipestone's Michael Suda had an even more dominating victory in the boys' 9-10 age group, as his throw of 133 ½ was nearly 17 feet better than the second-place distance.


Pipestone's fifth state title came in the girls' 11-12 softball throw as Alyssa Griepentrag led a 1-2-3 area finish. Griepentrag's throw of 129-4 won the event by more than 21 feet.

Worthington's O.D. Othow earns trio of top places

While the 10 first-place performances highlighted the accomplishments of the local athletes, many area youngsters came through with top performances in multiple events.

Worthington's O.D. Othow had a trio of high placings in the boys' 9-10 age division. Othow was second in the standing long jump (6-3 ¼), third in the 50-meter dash (8.35) and fourth in the 200-meter dash (33.60).

Suda was second in his group's 200-meter dash (32.22) and third in the 100 (15.62), while Tinklenberg was second in the 400 (1:12.79) and fifth in the standing long jump (6-1 ¼).

Pipestone's Eli Stevens earned a pair of seconds and a third in the boys' 11-12 age group. Stevens was second in both the 400 (1:07.97) and 200 (28.21) in impressive times, while leaping 6-10 ½ to place third in the standing long jump.

Slayton's Riley Schmitz ran to a second-place finish in the 800-meter run of the girls' 11-12 age group, clocking a time of 2:58.37.

Fulda's Nicole Madison (108-0) and Pipestone's Tiffany Evans (107- ½) placed second and third, respectively, in the girls' 11-12 softball throw.


The Worthington quartet of Othow, Nick Weg, Ben Lopez and Collin Schmit raced to a second-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay (1:04.42) in the boys' 9-10 age group.

Many area competitors stand on awards podium

The following area athletes listed by event also earned a Hershey's state ribbon and stood on the awards podium Saturday after earning a top eight finish in their respective event:

Girls' 13-14, 1,600-meter run: Morgan DeRuyter, Pipestone, fifth, 6:21.90.

Girls' 9-10, 50-meter dash: Alyssa Post, Okabena, fourth, 8.25; Kate Reeves, Worthington, seventh, 8.37; Abigail Hollingsworth, Pipestone, eighth, 8.41.

Girls' 11-12, 100-meter dash: Claire Femrite, Pipestone, fourth, 15.02; Maria Spanier, Pipestone, seventh, 15.13; Madison, eighth, 15.40.

Boys' 13-14, 100-meter dash: Troy Ektnitphong, Worthington, fourth, 13.33; Alejandro Coronado, Heron Lake, seventh, 14.34.

Boys' 11-12, 100-meter dash: Zach Lynn, Heron Lake, third, 14.57.


Girls' 9-10, 100-meter dash: Post, third, 16.01.

Girls' 11-12, 400-meter dash: Evans, fourth, 1:13.72.

Girls' 9-10, 400-meter dash: Crowell, sixth, 1:22.61

Boys' 9-10, 400-meter dash: Levi Spittle, Fulda, eighth, 1:23.33.

Boys' 13-14, 200-meter dash: Ektnitphong, sixth, 28.05.

Boys' 11-12, 200-meter dash: Lynn, fifth, 30.50; Woelber, seventh, 31.07.

Girls' 9-10, 200-meter dash: Hannah Rahn, Windom, fourth, 34.51; Stark, seventh, 34.92.

Boys' 13-14, 800-meter run: Colby DenHerder, Luverne, fourth, 2:45.35.


Boys' 11-12, 800-meter run: Spencer Wolter, Windom, third, 2:54.27; Logan Knutson, Heron Lake, fifth, 2:56.73; Josh Hermann, Pipestone, sixth, 2:58.03; Cayd DenHerder, Luverne, seventh, 2:59.20.

Girls' 9-10, standing long jump: Hollingsworth, third, 6-1 ¼;

Boys' 9-10, standing long jump: Payton Marquardt, Fulda, seventh, 6-0.

Girls' 11-12, standing long jump: Samantha Pierce, Luverne, third, 6-7; Femrite, eighth, 6-3 ¼.

Boys' 13-14, standing long jump: Quinton Siebenahler, Luverne, third, 7-6 ¾.

Girls' 9-10, softball throw: Brandi Spies, Fulda, fourth, 83-5; Emily Steen, Windom, fifth, 83-4.

Boys' 11-12, softball throw: Woelber, third, 135-8; Justin Kooiman, Pipestone, fourth, 132-3; William Gehl, Fulda, eighth, 126-3 ½.

Girls, 13-14, softball throw: Nikki Bounsavong, Fulda, fourth, 117-4.


Boys' 13-14, softball throw: Oliver Wolynieck, Worthington, fourth, 158-7 ¼.

Girls' 9-10, 4x100-meter relay: SSC (Crowell, Abi Fest, Cheyenne Schaffer, Post), fourth, 1:11.59; Pipestone, fifth, 1:11.64; Windom (Steen, Rahn, Reegan Elder, Abigail King), seventh, 1:13.42.

Boys' 9-10, 4x100-meter relay: Pipestone (Wyatt Schoonhoven, Tyson Wacker, Suda, Tinklenberg), fifth, 1:12.97.

Girls' 11-12, 4x100-meter relay: Luverne (Mariah Aukes, Sierra Schmuck, Pierce, Courtney Siebenahler), third, 1:04.35; Pipestone (Lexi Carstensen, Rachel Skyberg, Evans, Spanier), fourth, 1:04.94.

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