Track and field: Trojan Relays' 65th running gets under way today

WORTHINGTON -- The Trojan Relays has been a big track and field event for as long as anyone can remember. It certainly looms large on the Worthington calendar as a day to pull out all the stops in front of a large and anticipatory home crowd.At t...

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Worthington runners (from left to right) Emma Thuringer, Taylor Eggers, and Kara Thuringer explode out of the starting blocks at practice in preparation for today's Trojan Relays. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The Trojan Relays has been a big track and field event for as long as anyone can remember. It certainly looms large on the Worthington calendar as a day to pull out all the stops in front of a large and anticipatory home crowd.
At the annual running of the Relays, timing is key. The event occurs each year at a moment in springtime where the most important meets of the season are bunching up.
Today at Worthington’s Trojan Field, the 65th Trojan Relays will take place with 16 teams separated into two divisions. In Class A, Adrian, Fulda, Hills-Beaver Creek, Murray County Central, Southwest Christian/Edgerton, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and Worthington JV will compete in both girls and boys events. Likewise in Class AA, Jackson County Central, Luverne, Marshall, New Ulm, Pipestone Area, St. Peter, Windom Area and Worthington will vie for team and individual honors.
This year, the meet is sandwiched just after section True Team competitions, the May 11 Dick Davidson Invitational in Slayton and the May 13 Big South Conference meet in Fairmont. After the Relays occurs other highly significant track and field events -- the Red Rock Conference meet at Slayton on May 18, and sub-section and section qualifiers after that.
The Luverne girls are coming off a small-school team championship in the Big South meet. The Marshall girls won the big school meet.
“That’s what really makes track fun, when you get to this time of year,” said Worthington High School co-head coach Doug Brands recently.
Trojan Relays action today begins with field events at 4 p.m. Running events begin at 4:15 starting with the girls’ 4x800-meter relay.
A year ago, the Pipestone Area boys and the Marshall girls captured team Class AA titles, while the Murray County Central boys and Southwest Christian/Edgerton girls were crowned Class A champs. The Marshall girls set a new AA meet record in the 4x800-meter relay and Fulda seventh-grader Morgan Gehl set a new Class A mark in the 3,200-meter run.
Not surprisingly, the 2017 Relays will bring many outstanding individual athletes to Worthington today.
Pipestone Area’s Tyl Woelber will draw a lot of attention. The multi-event Arrow standout is following up a successful 2016 state tournament performance with another eye-popping season. On Saturday in the Big South meet, he won the boys high jump (6-2), the long jump (21-11) and the triple jump (42-9). At the Dick Davidson Invite, he “only” went 20-8.5 to win the long jump, but that was more than two feet better than the second-place distance.
Luverne senior Matthew Hup stepped up to the plate recently at the prestigious Howard Wood-Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a personal record 13-9 in the pole vault. Teammate Logan Stratton has often won both the shot and discus events at spring meets.
Windom Area’s John Irwin has enjoyed a consistent season in the distance running events. He ran his fastest-ever 3,200-meter race at the Howard Wood. Ethan Swanson of Murray County Central (100 and 200-meter sprints) and Garhok Gatchay (high jump, triple jump) remain threats for the Rebel boys.
The Hills-Beaver Creek girls will bring some fine relay runners to Worthington. The Patriots’ 4x400-meter relay foursome took second (4:15.20) at a Howard Wood Class B race. H-BC’s Zach Scholten is a proven winner in the boys high jump.
Southwest Christian/Edgerton has been led all year by Chantel Groen in girls events. In Slayton last week, she won the 100 and 400-meter races and the long jump. Gehl continues to impress for Fulda in the 3,200 meters.
For Worthington, Obang Ojulu (hurdles), Bryce Olsen (discus), Adam Koller (distance running), Andrew Huber (distance running) Emma Thuringer (400, long jump) and Taylor Eggers (sprints, long jump) lead a balanced Trojan squad.
Here are existing Trojan Relays records:
100-meter dash: Sas, Southwest Christian, 12.2 (1977)
200-meter dash: Otis, New Ulm, 26.66 (2005)
400-meter dash: Henkels, Worthington, 58.52 (2000)
800-meter run: Huhnerkoch, Redwood Valley, 2:21.21 (2011)
1,600-meter run: J. Gifford, T-M-B, 5:02.42 (2000)
3,200-meter run: J. Gifford, T-M-B, 11:05.57 (2000)
100/110-meter hurdles: Eykyn, Worthington, 15.33 (2002)
300-meter hurdles: Woelber, Pipestone, 45.36 (2009)
Shot put: Lais, Luverne, 41-5.75 (1988)
Discus: Sumption, Pipestone, 125-3 (2011)
Long jump: Woelber, Pipestone, 18-9.75 (2010)
Triple jump: Orvis, Luverne, 37-8 (2000)
High jump: Koskamp, Worthington, 5-7 (1992)
Pole vault: Sawtelle, Luverne, 10-6 (2011)
4x100 relay: New Ulm, 51.36 (2005)
4x200 relay: Southwest Christian, 1:46.3 (1977)
4x400 relay: Slayton, 4:04.9 (1977)
4x800 relay: Marshall, 9:21.93 (2016)
Medley relay: Worthington, 4:23.3 (1996)
100-meter dash: Pass, Worthington, 10.9 (1981)
200-meter dash: Bofferding, Marshall, 23.33 (2010)
400-meter dash: Omot, Worthington, 50.72 (2009)
800-meter run: Cook, JCC, 1:58.84 (2010)
1,600-meter run: Schemmel, Madison, S.D., 4:14.2 (1971)
3,200-meter run: Stanton, Redwood Valley, 9:49.1 (1998)
100/110-meter hurdles: Christopherson, Marshall, 14.6 (1978)
300-meter hurdles: Walgrave, Luverne, 39.59 (2003)
Shot put: Schroyer, Pipestone, 59-7 (2006)
Discus: Reder, Luverne, 174-5 (1999)
Long jump: Junge, Pipestone, 21-10.25 (1969)
Triple jump: Berger, Worthington, 44-2 (2009)
High jump: Paulson, Pipestone, 6-6 (1997)
Pole vault: Caviness, Windom, 14-1 (1979)
4X100 relay: Redwood Valley, 44:24 (1994)
4x200 relay: Luverne, 1:31.33 (2014)
4x400 relay: Madison, S.D., 3:25.2 (1971)
4x800 relay: Flandreau Indian School, 8:10.6 (1964)
Medley relay: Marshall, Slayton, 3:36.9 (1977,1978)
100-meter dash: Mix, Tracy, 12.5 (1981)
200-meter dash: Everson, MCC, 27.05 (2008)
400-meter dash: Everson, MCC, 60.01 (2009)
800-meter run: A. Thier, Adrian, 2:22.21 (2009)
1,600-meter run: Zellar, SSC/SVRLB, 5:24.7 (1998)
3,200-meter run: Gehl, Fulda, 11:58.21 (2016)
100/110-meter hurdles: Romsdahl, MLBO, 15.65 (2011)
300-meter hurdles: Berg, MLBO, 46.65 (1996)
Shot put: J. Wendorff, Fulda, 42.6.25 (2002)
Discus: Overman, Fulda, 141-11 (1994)
Long jump: Voehl, SW United, 16-7.75 (2009)
Triple jump: Pater, SW Christian, 35-2 (1998)
High jump: Schulz, WWG/RRC, 5-6 (2003)
Pole vault: Kremer, MCC, 10-0 (2001)
4x100 relay: Adrian, 52.0 (1978)
4x200 relay: SSC/SVRLB, 1:48.41 (2000)
4x400 relay: Adrian, 4:10.89 (2009)
4x800 relay: Adrian, 9:51.53 (2011)
Medley relay: Adrian, 4:28.6 (1998)
100-meter dash: Luitjens, Br; Norstegaard, We; Titus, Ja, 11.0 (1969,83,94)
200-meter dash: Pfeifle, SW Christian, 23.21 (2009)
400-meter dash: Pfeifle, SW Christian, 50.87 (2009)
800-meter run: Van Schepen, SW Christian, 2:01.33 (2006)
1,600-meter run: Dyk, SW Christian, 4:27.4 (1981)
3,200-meter run: Metcalf, MLBO, 9:49.6 (1993)
100/110-meter hurdles: Boeck, Westbrook, 14.6 (1981)
300-meter hurdles: Hulzebos, MLBO, 40.94 (1993)
Shot put: Gonnerman, Adrian, 54-4.5 (1965)
Discus: Williams, Fulda, 167-1 (1986)
Long jump: Bunkers, Fulda, 21-5 (1972)
Triple jump: Heisinger, SSC/SVRLB, 42-7 (1999)
High jump: Larson, Fulda, 6-6 (1981)
Pole vault: Wehking, Fulda, 13-3.5 (1983)
4x100 relay: Murray County Central, 44.69 (1997)
4x200 relay: Hills-Beaver Creek, 1:33.4 (1972)
4x400 relay: Adrian, 3:29.9 (1981)
4x800 relay: Adrian, 8:12.1 (1981)
Medley relay: Southwest Christian, 3:41.7 (1978)

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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