Track and field: Trojans host five-team meet
WORTHINGTON -- On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the Worthington High School track and field team began its first home meet in three years -- and the first since a finally-completed major renovation to the track.
“And the boys (4x800-meter relay team) won the first race,” exulted co-head coach Cory Smidt. “How ‘bout that!”
Indeed they did. Trojans Ofbeka Morke, Mason Bobb, Filmon Wolday and Mikele Walu easily captured the first boys race in Tuesday’s five-team meet in 8:37.37. Morke’s leg stepped Worthington out to a 15-yard lead before he handed off to the next runner, and the lead only increased from there. Fairmont finished in second place, well behind the winners in a time of 9:09.43.
“I think we ran pretty good. We can go faster, but we need the right competition for that,” said Walu afterward. “We get faster every single meet. I’m cool with that for a while. … Everybody’s going to get faster in the big meets.”
Worthington was joined by Fairmont, Marshall, St. James Area and Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda in Tuesday’s competition -- a warm-up for an 11-school meet scheduled for Thursday at the local facility.
The WHS 4x800 team has high goals this spring.
“Like last year, our main goal is to beat the 4x800 record,” Walu said.
Though the foursome didn’t get that job done, its members believe this season might be the time for it.
“We were like 24 seconds away (last year),” recalled Morke. “We’ve started out a lot better than we did before. Most of us are already at PRs (personal record splits). Just a little more improvement on one or two of our runners and we should be able to get there. I still have to get my times down a bit, too.”
In individual events, Wolday achieved a first in the 1600-meter run in a clocking of 4:47.16, also winning the 3200-meter run in 10:31.30. Walu won the 800 meters in 2:08.76. Teammate Abagotte Opiew won two events, taking the 110-meter high hurdles in 16.77 and also the long jump in a 20-2.25 leap.
Tuesday’s meet was also a good one for Worthington’s Bailey Newman, who captured the girls 100-meter dash in 13.16 and the 4x200-meter relay with teammates Newmanyou Gora, Pham Gora and Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor.
Newman leaned into the finish line to nip Corene Moeller of Fairmont in the dash by two-one hundredths of a second. Newman had the 4x200 team in first place after the second leg of that race, which was won in 1:50.09. Fairmont was second in 1:56.74.
“The best that I have done all year (in the 100 meters),” Newman pronounced. “The 100, I feel real good about it. I feel that I ran the 4x2 better than I’ve ever run it. I feel that I’m in better shape than I was last year.”
She likes running on the new track surface.
“I think this new track makes a big difference. It’s definitely better than the old one. It’s more comfortable,” she said.
In other events, Scheitel-Taylor won the 200-meter dash in 26.86 and the girls 4x100-meter relay squad of Gora, Newman, Gora and Scheitel-Taylor won in 52.83.
The final team standings showed the Fairmont boys with 115 points while Worthington had 113, Marshall 73, St. James Area 44 and Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda with 29. On the girls’ side, Fairmont had 151, Marshall 109, Worthington 65, St. James Area 24 and HL-O/F 22.
Complete results can be found online at