Track and field: Ojulu wins three as WHS boys win Invite
LES KNUTSONDaily Globe WORTHINGTON -- On a warm early May afternoon, Worthington sophomore Obang Ojulu won three boys' individual events and ran the leadoff leg on the meet-concluding 4x400-meter relay, which was won by the Trojans.Those four fir...
WORTHINGTON - On a warm early May afternoon, Worthington sophomore Obang Ojulu won three boys’ individual events and ran the leadoff leg on the meet-concluding 4x400-meter relay, which was won by the Trojans.
Those four first-place performances by Ojulu helped the WHS boys claim the team title of the five-team Trojan Invitational high school track and field meet Thursday at Trojan Field.
Worthington, which also won a close race in the 4x800-meter relay and received a first-place from senior Omot Toung in the high jump (5-6), racked up a total of 135 points.
Windom Area was second in the boys’ standings with 83, followed by Southwest Christian/Edgerton (67), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (51) and Adrian (38).
On the girls’ side, SWC/E junior Chantel Groen matched Ojulu’s day by also winning three individual events and running the anchor leg on the Eagles’ victorious 4x200-meter relay.
SWC/E won a total of 10 events and claimed the girls’ team title with 130 points. Worthington, paced by the dual victories of senior distance runner Meredith Moore, was second with 102 points. Windom won five events and finished third in the team standings with 84 points, while Adrian (23) and W-WG/RRC (22) were a ways behind the top three.
Groen won the 100-meter dash (13.52), long jump (15-10.5) and edged Worthington sophomore Emma Thuringer in a very close 400 race. Groen was clocked at 1:03.90, while Thuringer’s time was 1:04.21.
Thuringer also finished second in the long jump (14-9.5), ran a stellar leadoff leg (2:35) on the Trojans’ winning 4x800 relay (10:49.49) and ran the leadoff leg on Worthington’s third-place 4x200 (1:56.41).
“Emma really had a great all-around day,” praised WHS co-head coach Ken Henkels. “She was willing to run an 800 to help her get better in the 400, which is a good thing. She just performed very well in all four of her events.”
After Thuringer gave the Trojans the lead in the 4x800, eighth-graders Khot Juac, Sena Uli and Adamari Rangel stretched the distance, opening up nearly a nine-second lead on a fine Windom squad which finished second in 10:58.01.
“All four girls on our 4x800 ran strong,” Henkels said. “It was Adamari’s first-ever 800 and she ran hard and kept us in the lead.”
Moore, Jenson selected as Brandl award recipients
Worthington also won the boys’ 4x800 as the team of Joe Reveles, Nathan Schuck, Chris Nelson and Cameron Jenson held off a strong challenge from SWC/E, which was anchored by senior ace Dillon Mulske.
Jenson crossed the finish line first, timed at 9:02.73, while Mulske came across right on his heels, clocked at 9:03.02.
“Cameron did a fantastic job, holding off a great runner like Mulske,” declared Henkels. “Winning both of the 4x8 relays was one of many highlights that we had today.”
Jenson and Moore --- who won thee girls’ 1600 (5:44.49) and the 3200 (13:01.10) --- were honored during a special ceremony with the Rick Brandl award, given annually to a deserving Trojan distance runner who consistently exhibits exceptional dedication, sportsmanship and team spirit.
“Both Cameron and Meredith have been a big part of our distance-running success and are very deserving of this honor,” exclaimed Henkels. “Each of them has always done the best they could to support the team effort.”
Ojulu won the 110-meter high hurdles (16.43), leading a 1-2-3-4 WHS sweep in that event. Toung (17.82), Brendan Spittle (18.45) and eighth-grader Emmett Bickett (19.61) completed the top four. Ojulu (42.91) and freshman Davis Moore (47.00) finished first and second, respectively, in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
Ojulu’s third individual first place came in the long jump with a personal record distance of 19-5. He finished his day by leading off the winning WHS mile relay (4x400), giving the baton to Schuck who passed it to Stewart Merrigan before Toung ran the anchor leg, completing the race in 3:43.05.
“Obang’s distance in the long jump was by his best,” Henkels said. “He may have found another event that he’s really good at.”
SWC/E’s Trevor Van Dyke was a triple winner, finishing first in all three dashes with times of 12.02, 25.29 and 54.78. Van Dyke completed his day by placing second in the long jump (18-8).
W-WG/RRC sophomore Nathan Runck was a double winner in the distance races. Runck (4:58.85) won a close race against Worthington eighth-grader Adam Koller (4:59.99) in the 1,600 and then pulled away for a victory in the 3,200 (11:07.70) to complete a fine day, running 12 laps around the track.
“Adam told me before the mile, that he was going to run under five minutes and he did,” praised Henkels about Koller’s performance. “He also got second in the 3200 (11:16.3) and there wasn’t a lot of time between the two races.”
Windom athletes John Irwin (800, 2:05.29), Jonas Hauge (shot put, 39-3) and Brown Ogeka (triple jump, 39-4.5) all won events and the Eagles were first in both the 4x100 (46.9) and 4x200 (1:38.01) with the foursome of Issac Tade, Yanick Tade, Ogeka and Hauge.
W-WG/RRC’s Koua Vang won the pole vault (11-0) and SWC/E’s David Moss was first in the discus (104-6).
Worthington sophomore Anna Kill had a great start and finished a strong second (behind Groen) in the girls’ 100, clocked at 13.66.
“Anna really came out of the blocks well and had the lead much of the race,” declared WHS co-head coach Doug Brands, who works with the sprinters. “It was pretty close all the way.”
Windom’s Ashley Muller (29.18) and SWC/E’s Ann Pater (29.21) finished a close 1-2 in the 200.
SWC/E’s Sommor Schaap won both the 100-meter high hurdles (17.37) and the triple jump (32-5), while teammates Miranda Buys (800, 2:37.34), Lydia Homandberg (300 hurdles, 48.46) and Mariah Talsma (discus, 99-3) each had first-place performances.
Windom’s Holly Wolf (high jump, 4-8), Delaney Smith (shot put, 31-1) and Amy Muller (pole vault, 9-6) all won events. The Eagles 4x100 team of Amy Muller, Wolf, Ashley Muller and Shiro Ogeka clocked a winning time of 54.18.
SWC/E won both the 4x200 (1:52.57) and the 4x400 (4:25.75). Pater, Halle Wassink, Lydia Homandberg and Groen ran the 4x200. Audra Homandberg, Wassink, Pater and Lydia Homandberg completed the Eagles’ 4x400.