Fairmont’s 4×400 relay places 2nd at state meet

MASTERS OF MEDAL — Fairmont’s Wyatt Quiring (front right) takes the baton from Andrew Moeller before sprinting the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay at Saturday’s Minnesota State High School League Class A state track & field meet at Hamline Univeristy in St. Paul. The Cardinals’ relay team went on to earn the silver medal. (Photo by Greg Abel)

ST. PAUL — The Fairmont Cardinals’ boys and girls track & field teams captured a medal in every event they competed in Saturday during Day 2 of the Minnesota State High School League Class A state meet at Hamline University.

The day began for Fairmont with the 4×800-meter relay. There were puddles on the track from morning rain and a light drizzle slowed many teams’ times. Fairmont’s team of Dylan Kennedy, Kellen Rodriguez, Dayton Pasch and Andrew Moeller placed fifth with their finals time of 8:09.45.

Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk said he was happy with the 4×800 squad’s performance, especially Rodriguez.

“The 4×800 was solid,” Bonk said. “Not quite as fast as sections, but I thought Kellen Rodriguez put in the best split of his life.”

Next up, Fairmont senior Lizzy Subbert took sixth place in the high hurdles. Subbert entered with the fifth-best time from preliminaries, 15.67, which she matched in the finals. A late surge from Crookston’s Aleece Durbin, who took .22 seconds off from her preliminary time, was enough to pass Subbert for fifth.

Most of the field events began at the start of the meet as well.

Allison Lardy represented the Cardinals in the shot put. Lardy placed sixth with her throw of 40 feet, 6.75 inches in the finals. Hills-Beaver Creeks’s Kourtney Rozeboom surpassed her from seeding to finals when Rozeboom added more than a foot to her seeding distance, 39-6 to 40-7.

Fairmont’s Hayden Berhow placed ninth in the high jump at the same time. Berhow cleared the bar set at 6 feet even in few enough attempts to pass other competitors who cleared the same height, and earn his spot on the podium.

The final Fairmont field event of the day was Conner Tordsen in the discus. Tordsen’s throw of 143-6 was good enough to earn a ninth-place spot on the podium.

Bonk said he was pleased with his team’s performance in the field events and pleasantly surprised with the amount of medals.

“That’s such a bridge to go from 10th to ninth on up because that’s two things,” Bonk said. “That’s all-state and it’s a medal, which they don’t give out for nothing. That part of it was just fantastic.

“Lizzy (Subbert) came through again with another medal, Hayden Berhow got his second state medal, and we were happy a week ago for Conner (Tordsen) just for making it (to the state meet). To come in and medal is fabulous. Everybody competed well.”

Back on the track, Cardinal senior sprinter Wyatt Quiring placed fourth in the 400-meter dash. Quiring moved up two spots from his sixth-place finish in preliminaries when he improved his time by .28 of a second and set the Fairmont school record with his finals time of 49.9.

After an hour break between scheduled competitors, Quiring anchored the 4×400 relay, which Pasch, Kennedy and Moeller led.

Fairmont entered with the third-best preliminary time, but ended in second place, missing first by only .12 of a second. Pasch got off to a good start, sticking with the pack before the runners separated in the second and third legs.

After the first handoff, Kennedy was able to cut to lane one during the second leg of the race and was in fifth place. Around the final turn, Kennedy pushed his way up to third place and handed to Moeller only a few meters behind the top two.

Moeller cruised past the eventual third-place team, Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball, and took second place coming into the final lap.

In second by a dozen meters, Quiring took the baton and did everything he could to pass the eventual winning team Wadena-Deer Creek, but he ran out of track. Quiring came around the third turn back by 10 meters, but kicked into a higher gear and began to make up ground.

Six meters behind with 50 meters to go. Three meters back with 15 to go. In the closing meters, Wadena-Deer Creek’s anchor, Bereket Loer, turned his head and gave a worried look as he saw Quiring closing.

But Loer crossed the finish line to win as Quiring raised his foot for his final step. Wadena-Deer Creek ended with a time of 3:24.26 with Fairmont close behind at 3:24.38 for second.

Bonk said Quiring did a lot to impress him in his final meet.

“I thought Wyatt had the day of his life,” Bonk said. “A school record in the 400 and his split in the 4×400 was fabulous. He just ran out of time. That was really an exciting and fun way to end. I thought he really had a chance with 50 meters to go with as fast as he was closing. I thought that was really the way to go out, with that much heart and effort.”

Watching the end of his incredible senior class’ career felt awful, Bonk said with a laugh.

“It doesn’t feel good at all,” Bonk said. “It’s terrible. This has been quite the crew and they ended these two days fantastically. I can’t say enough about how great this class has been.”

Blue Earth Area senior Nicole Lium cleared 10 feet even in the pole vault to place 10th overall during her final state competition.

Lium’s mark was high enough to place sixth overall with Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton’s Ashley Minor, but Lium needed more attempts to clear the height, therefore, finished four spots back.