WORTHINGTON -- The Adam Kollers of the world may appear to have the world by the tail, but that was the same Adam Koller Tuesday afternoon at the Trojan Relays who collapsed on the Trojan Field infield grass in a bout of exhaustion.
Moments earlier, Koller and teammates Andrew Huber, Christian Lietz and Ammanuel Ojha finished a close second to Marshall in the Class AA boys 4x800-meter relay, and Koller -- who took the baton 35 yards behind the MHS leader on the third leg but climbed to within 10 yards of the lead before he handed it off -- was spent.
“I’m always this tired after the 800,” he said later. “To me they’re the hardest race. It really takes it out of me.”
There was plenty of excitement left over, however, for his teammates. Though they finished a close second behind the Tigers, who set a new Trojan Relays record with their time, the WHS foursome was clocked in 8:09.48, meaning they were only a couple of seconds short of the school record.
Marshall was timed in 8:07.06.
The four Trojans’ previous best time was 8:22.76 at the section True Team meet last week.
“I’m really happy that we came this close,” Koller finally said when he lifted himself off the grass. “To be honest, I don’t think we were really looking for it. I think we really just went out and ran for it. That’s been a goal of ours for a while now.”
For a distance runner like Koller, who in the fall is a state-caliber cross country runner, track meets require a special kind of recovery time. He also competes in the 4x400-meter relay on occasion as well as the 800-meter run and the 3,200-meter run. He won the 3,200 on Saturday at the Big South Conference big team meet, but he took a break from that race on Tuesday.
What’s his secret for staying fresh in a meet?
“After I finish a race, I, of course, take it easy,” he said. “I try to drink some pre-workout stuff. It helps my muscles recover and replenishes my energy. Mentally, it’s tough, but that’s what you gotta do physically to prepare.”
The 67th running of the Trojan Relays began on a warm, calm and sunny Tuesday, which took a turn at about 7 p.m. as a thunderstorm hit and the second half of the competition was canceled.
Because it’s late in the track and field season, many competitors were gunning for impressive performances in Worthington. The Luverne Cardinal girls, however, pulled back a bit by keeping some of their top athletes from heavy workloads. That’s because the state True Team meet is coming up on Saturday, and the Cards are aiming high.
One of their top point scorers, junior Mallory Thorson, competed in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump at the Relays, but she was held out of the long jump competition. She finished seventh in the Class AA 100-meter hurdles in a clocking of 18.59, behind winner Zoe Polman of Jackson County Central (17.29), but the triple jump was not completed.
This 2019 season, she believes, is her best season ever. Perhaps that’s partially due to the fact that she’s scoring points in the hurdles -- her first season ever at the event.
Coaches wanted her to try it because of her flexibility and speed.
“I was pretty skeptical at first. But I’ve been doing pretty good. So I enjoy it,” she said.
She enjoys it even more, she admitted, because she’s adding to Luverne’s points total with her finishes. She’s not always a threat to place first as a hurdler, but it’s all about helping the team.
The good weather seemed to lift everybody’s spirits late Tuesday afternoon. Sommer Schaap of Southwest Christian/Edgerton, who competed in the long jump, triple jump and 100-meter hurdles, was one of those.
“Now that it’s getting warmer I’m hoping it’ll go a little better than it has,” she said. “Not that it’s about the weather. But it helps my mood.”
The mood turned after suppertime, as a storm rolled in, cancelling the rest of the meet.
The 2019 Trojan Relays was, as usual, divided into big schools and small schools. Adrian, Fulda, Hills-Beaver Creek, Murray County Central, Southwest Christian/Edgerton, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central and Worthington JV were Division A. Worthington varsity, Jackson County Central, Luverne, Marshall, New Ulm, Pipestone Area, St. Peter and Windom Area were Division AA.
Here’s an overview of the partial results in girls and boys Class A and AA categories. For the complete results, go online at www.athletic.net.Girls
Schaap captured the Class A 100-meter hurdles in 16.40.
Windom Area’s Delaney Smith was a double winner in the AA shot put (41-7.5) and discus (123-10.75). Maddie Schumacher of Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda won the A 100-meter dash in 13.76. Jackson County Central’s Aleigha Henderson won the AA 100-meter dash (13.13).
The A 1,600- meter race went to Savannah Schultz of Southwest Christian/Edgerton in 5:46.83. Jersey Leysen of Marshall won the AA 1,600 meters in 5:40.00.
Taryn Rauk went 15-6 to win the A long jump, and Paige Kalis of New Ulm won the AA long jump in 16-10.5. Sidney Fick of H-BC threw 31-5 to win the A shot put.
Relay wins went to Hills-Beaver Creek in the Class A 4x100 (52.86) and 4x200 (1:52.26). In Class AA, Luverne won the 4x100-meter relay (52.02), 4x200-meter relay (1:50.78). The 4x800-meter relay went to Southwest Christian/Edgerton in A (10:08.09) and to Marshall in AA (9:38.79).Boys
Cody Willard of Westbrook-Walnut Grove captured the 100-meter hurdles in Class A (11.64) and Jade Reicks of St. Peter won it in Class AA (11.30). Worthington’s Mikele Walu was first in the A 1,600 meters (4:50.66) and Marshall’s Eli Salisbury took it in AA (4:43.01).
In the 110-meter hurdles, Aaron Johnson of Murray County Central was the A winner (15.99) and Marshall’s Bryce Paulsen won it in Class AA (15.99). Yahya Black of Marshall won the AA shot put (50-0).
The discus events went to Worthington’s Bryce Olsen (142-3) and SWC/E’s Mike Moss (130-3).
Sam Cheadle of HL-O/F (5-8) and Jason Steenstra of Pipestone Area (6-1) earned high jump titles. Micah Schaap of SWC/E (41-4) and Sean Souksavath of Worthington (41-5.5) won triple jump firsts.
Hills-Beaver Creek (46.47) and Pipestone Area (45.06) won 4x100-meter relay races. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (1:37.04) and Luverne (1:33.32) were first in the 4x200-meter relay events. SWC/E in the Class A 4x800 (8:23.96) was also a winner.
Adrian’s Scot Edwards threw the shot put 44-6.