Luverne Cardinal 4x800 relay team wins fourth straight state title
Murray County Central takes second in the same relay contest.
ST. MICHAEL — Senior stars Ashton Sandbulte and Tenley Nelson combined for three individual state championships as the Luverne track and field program completed a successful weekend here Friday at the Class 1A state track and field meet.
Sandbulte won both the 100 and 200 meters, while Nelson won the 800 meters and helped the Cardinal 4x800 relay team win its fourth straight state title.
The Cardinals, coached by Pete Janiszeski, led the way, but there were other fine performances turned in from athletes in our region.
Murray County Central distance ace Amanda Overgaauw finished second in the Class 1A 3,200 meters. She also ran an anchor leg on MCC’s 4x800 girls relay team, which finished second to Luverne.
Sandbulte, who was also a star running back on the Luverne football team, finished third in the 100 meters at last year’s state track meet here at the St. Michael-Albertville facility. This weekend he wasn’t letting anyone else break the tape.
In the 100, Sandbulte won in a splendid time of 10.91 seconds. Minneapolis North football star Jaivon Hill was second in 11.12.
In the 200, Sandbulte sprinted to victory with a time of 21.94 seconds.
Nelson, meanwhile, was no less impressive. The longtime Cardinal star capped her great career with a state title in the 800, finishing in 2:14.68. She also ran on Luverne’s 4x800 relay team, which edged Murray County Central in a battle of family southwest Minnesota rivals.
The Luverne 4x800 relay team (Elizabeth Wagner, Tiana Lais, Jenna DeBates, Tenley Nelson) won its fourth straight gold medal with a time of 9:35.81. The MCC Rebels (Brylei Schreier, Sophia Nelson, Ashley Overgaauw, Amanda Overgaauw) were next in 9:36.93.
Overgaauw, a junior who won a state cross country title last fall, had been unbeaten this spring in the 3,200. She finished second to Nevis star Jade Rypkema this weekend, while Luverne’s Jenna DeBates was eighth. Rypkema recorded a fine time of 10:36.99, while Overgaauw finished in 10:51.76.
Luverne also received standout efforts from sisters Jadyn Hart (fifth in discus) and Jocelyn Hart (eighth in shot put), brothers Camden and Owen Janiszeski (seventh and eighth, respectively, in 3,200).
In addition, Luverne’s 4x100 relay team, anchored by Sandbulte, finished second to Minneapolis North. And the Cardinals’ 4x400 girls’ relay team (Tiana Lais, Elizabeth Wagner, Sarah Stegena, Nelson) finished third. Also Luverne’s Eli Radtke finished sixth in the pole vault (13-6).
The MCC girls’ effort included a fifth-place effort by sophomore Brylei Schreier in the 400 meters.
Among other highlights turned in by southwest Minnesota athletes included the efforts of Pipestone hurdler Aiden Voss, who finished third in both the 100 highs and the 300 hurdles.
Brynn Bakken of Hills-Beaver Creek finished seventh in the girls’ 100 (12.79). She also helped the H-BC 4x100 girls’ relay team to a seventh-place finish.
Jackson County Central’s Andrew Boyum was sixth in the boys’ 3,200 (school-record time of 9:44.98). The Huskies’ Caleb Vancura was fifth in the discus (151-08). Also, the JCC girls’ 4x200 relay team of Daysia Tomlinson, Kendra Haar, Hannah Carson and Elsa Landherr finished sixth.
Tony Nelson of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, a football star who has signed with the Minnesota Gophers, won the 1A shot put for the second year in a row (57-3). He also placed third in the discus (155-11).
Adrian-Ellsworth’s Cole Boltjes was third in the shot put (53-11), while Dylan Derreyn of Windom Area finished second in the triple jump (44-7.75).
Final team scores were not available late Friday night. According to a tweet from Minnesota State High School League official John Millea, the top-three in the girls’ team race included Eden-Valley Watkins (81 points), Concordia Academy (68) and a tie between Zumbrota-Mazeppa and GMLOKS (48). The top three in the boys’ team race included Nova Classical Academy (47.5 points), Pelham (47) and Minneapolis North (46).