WHS girls were Region 2AA track queens in 1984
EDITOR’S NOTE: In June of 1984, the Worthington High School girls track and field squad won its first-ever Region 2AA championship. In 2020, spring sports are canceled, so The Globe is reprinting selected articles from great sports moments of the past. Today’s story (condensed), which first appeared in the Daily Globe in 1984, celebrates the Trojans girls’ historic track crown.
BY BILL BROWER
FAIRMONT -- There was a lot of hugging and well-wishing going on here Saturday afternoon among the black-clad Worthington Trojan girls track team, parents, fans and coaches.
There was Katy Suman being congratulated by her parents. There was Angie Koster near tears. Nearby was exchange student Birgit Otte, seemingly a bit embarrassed by all the attention. Then there was head track coach Larry Petersen, with a grin that ran nearly ear-to-ear.
All of this happiness, grinning, and tears of joy, came about as the Trojan girls captured the Region 2AA track championship. The regional team title is the first-ever won by a Worthington High squad. And the WHS team did it in convincing fashion, registering six first-place finishes and adding points in 10 of the 16 events held. When the final totals had been tabulated the Trojans stood atop the strong field with 68 points followed by Chaska in second with 61 and Eden Prairie in third with 49.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” said a delighted Coach Petersen. “We always hope to win, of course. But it’s very tough. We figured, with good performances from all the girls, that we would be in the running, possibly the top three.
“It was also important for us, in order to win, as to just how the points would be divided among the other schools. Every race in which I thought we would be in contention for, we won. Those six first-place finishes were a really pleasant surprise.”
Anytime a team wins a regional track title it has to be a team effort. And that’s just what it was as WHS took a first in the 800 meter relay event along with five individual firsts. A number of different girls contributed to the victory.
Pacing the Trojan effort was Katy Suman, who will be a junior next fall. Suman competed in four events winning two individual firsts (200M dash, long jump) and running a leg on the winning 800 team. The talented junior added a fourth-place finish in the high jump to round out a busy afternoon.
The 88M relay team of Anne Koppy, Karrie Jurgensen, Angie Koster and Suman, set a new school record in winning that event with a time of 1:46.4. It will be the second straight state appearance for Koppy, Koster and Suman on the 800 team with Jurgensen replacing the now-graduated Sue Molitor from last year’s foursome.
Two other school records were set, those by Birgit Otte in the 800M run (2:21.0) and by Koster in the 400M dash (58.9). Both are individual bests.
The sixth top finish came from Tracee Woitaszewski when she won the discus event with a toss of 113-11.
Rounding out the Worthington scoring was the 1600M relay team (fifth), the 3200M relay team (sixth) and Anne Koppy a sixth in the 100M low hurdles (17.3).
Second-place Chaska gave the Trojans a run with very strong placements in the dash events, finishing one-two in the 100M dash, two-three in the 200M dash and two-six in the 400M dash. …
In boys competition Saturday it was a case of being near but yet so far for the Worthington Trojan boys. None qualified for state competition.
“The boys competed hard and they were very determined,” said Petersen. “We thought we had a chance in a couple of events, mainly the medley and triple jump, but it was not to be.”
Try hard, the Trojans did.
In the 1600M relay, run by Jerry Rutgers, Ed Castle, James Honnerman and Don Caffee, a new Trojan school record was set with a time of 3:29.0. But it was good for only second behind winning Fairmont (3:24.3).
In the 1600M medley relay, the WHS team of Rutgers, Mark Hayenga, Caffee and Keith Newman were clocked at 3:36.7, just behind winning Shakopee (3:36.5). Only the first-place relay team qualifies for state from regional competition.
Other point-getters for the Trojan boys were Caffee in the triple jump (third), the 400M relay team (fifth), Hayenga in the 300M hurdles (fifth) and Kevin Newman in the 800M run (tied for sixth).