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Fairmont girls earn True Team state track bid, Cardinal boys 2nd

Brenna Cutler

MANKATO — Fairmont’s True Team state track & field drought finally came to an end in the rain at Thursday’s delayed Section 2AA Meet at Mankato East High School’s track complex.

The 4×400-meter relay team of Emma Koehler, Brooke Hunwardsen, Lexi Kaufman and Joni Becker capped the Cardinal girls’ cardiac comeback by capturing third place with a combined time of 4:16.95 during the sectional’s final race.

Fairmont transformed a 10 1/2-point deficit to Mankato East into a final 592-590 1/2 victory over the host Cougars to capture its first True Team Class AA state bid since 2003.

The sectional competition was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but heavy rain, lightning and hail forced the meet to be delayed two days.

“Every relay place was worth three points, so our 4×4 needed to beat East by four places to earn 12 points and that’s exactly what happened,” said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk. “Joni passed a girl during the last 100 meters of her anchor leg to put us into third, while East finished seventh in the 4×4.

“Obviously, there were numerous outstanding performances for us from the first race to the field events to the last race on the track. But the 3,200 (-meter) race was a pivotal point for us, too.”

Trailing by 15 points, Iliana Ramon and Tabitha Thatcher dug down deep to produce fifth- and seventh-place finishes in the 2-mile run to whittle the Cardinals’ deficit within striking distance with two events remaining.

“Tabitha passed a girl down the home stretch to run a 12:23.21, while Iliana ran a couple of honor-roll times in both the mile (5:33.96) and 2 mile (12:16.51) to score key points for us,” said Bonk.

“It just feels great to finally have won the True Team section. Our girls had won it 17 years in a row since its inception, but haven’t gone since 2003.”

While the Fairmont girls qualified for the True Team Class AA state meet at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Stillwater High School, the Cardinal boys track & field team will have to wait until this Saturday night to discover its stately fate.

Fairmont capped the Section 2AA Meet in the same style that it opened it — by winning both bookend relay races — to finish as the boys runner-up to champion Jordan, 592 1/2-575 1/2.

“There are 32 teams being considered for the four (True Team state) wild card spots, and I think our chances are fairly good to join our girls team at Stillwater,” said Bonk, whose boys program last qualified for the True Team state competition in 2006. “The True Team committee meets this Saturday and will have a paper meet to determine which four advance.”

Dayton Pasch, Dylan Kennedy, Andrew Moeller and Wyatt Quiring traded handoffs to post a first-place time of 3:29.1 in the final race of the meet — the 4×400 relay.

“That was a phenomenal finish on their part,” Bonk said in reference to his winning 4×4. “I believe that their time is one of the best in the state, if not THE best.”

Kennedy, Kaleb Hoye, Pasch and Kellen Rodriguez opened the sectional by exchanging the baton to a first-place time of 8:24.02 in the 4×800 relay.

Quiring topped the Cardinal boys’ individual performances by crossing the finish line first in the 400-meter dash (51.28) to complement his third-place showing in the open 200 (23.2).

Hayden Berhow and Conner Tordsen delivered multiple top-six efforts in the field events for Fairmont, while Devin Johnson did likewise in the hurdles.

Johnson captured fourth in the high hurdles (16.17) and added a sixth in the 300 hurdles (42.13), while Tordsen earned runner-up honors in the shot (45-5) and netted sixth in the discus (121-2).

Berhow joined forces with Josh Heinze and Lucas Simpson to produce valuable points for Fairmont in the field events. Berhow captured second in the triple jump (41-1), pocketed fourth in the long jump (19-7 1/4) and claimed sixth in the high jump by clearing 5-8.

Simpson netted fourth in the high jump (5-10), Heinze garnered fifth in the long jump (19-4 3/4), while Nick Thate chipped in a sixth-place pole vault of 11-6.

In the girls’ competition, Lizzy Subbert became only the 12th female athlete in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point career scoring mark by producing a pair of top-five performances for the Cardinals.

Subbert pocketed third place in the high hurdles (16.39) and cleared 5-0 to capture fifth place behind teammate Bethany Linse in the high jump. Linse cleared a career-best 5-0 in the sectional meet.

Emma Koehler contributed solid scoring by placing third in the 300 hurdles (49.3) and seventh in the high hurdles (17.2) for Fairmont.

While Joni Becker and Grace Higgins sprinted to a pair of fourth-place finishes in the open 400 (61.54) and 100-meter dash (13.39), the Cardinals’ throwing trio of Brenna Cutler, Allison Lardy and Claire Cutler delivered dominating field performances once again.

Lardy heaved the shot to a first-place mark of 41-0, while Brenna Cutler nailed down runner-up accolades with a toss of 36-7 1/4. Brenna Cutler then outdistanced twin sister Claire Cutler in the discus competition, 100-9 to 95-2, to finish third and fifth, respectively.

“It was an incredible meet right down to the final race tonight. I just hope we have something left in the tank for the conference meet,” Bonk said with a smile.

Fairmont competes in the Big South Conference Meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Pipestone.

Section 2AA True Team

Girls Division

Team results: 1. Fairmont 592; 2. Mankato East 590.50; 3. Mankato West 575.50; 4. Waseca 572; 5. Belle Plaine 518; 6. Luverne 492.50; 7. St. Peter 393; 8. New Ulm 369; 9. Jordan 357; 10. Tri-City United 331; 11. Worthington 251; 12. Marshal 51.50.

100: 1. Odell Frye, Waseca 12.83; 2. Grace Rodriguez, Mankato East 13.12; 3. Lizzy Schmidt, Belle Plaine 13.31; 4. Grace Higgins, Fairmont 13.39; 18. Karalyn Closs, Fairmont 14.53.

200: 1. Megan Garaets, Mankato East 26.08; 2. Odell Frye, Waseca 26.55; 3. Lizzy Schmidt, Belle Plaine 26.63; 10. Grace Higgins, Fairmont 28.50; 13. Jenna Gustafson, Fairmont 29.16.

400: 1. Megan Garaets, Mankato East 58.91; 2. Lizzy Schmidt, Belle Plaine 59.39; 3. Brooklyn VerSteeg, Luverne 61.28; 4. Joni Becker, Fairmont 61.54; 11. Megan Hawkins, Fmt 65.83.

800: 1. Lexi Herman, Waseca 2:27.42; 2. McKenna Herrmann, Belle Plaine 2:28.33; 3. Gabby Robinson, Tri-City United 2:28.55; 9. Lexi Kaufman, Fairmont 2:34.41; 11. Laura Thompson, Fmt 2:35.75.

1600: 1. Liz Mitchell, St. Peter 5:21.31; 2. Ana McCabe, Waseca 5:26.05; 3. Abbe Dufault, Waseca 5:29.11; 7. Iliana Ramon, Fairmont 5:33.96; 11. Sarah Krumholz, Fairmont 5:50.94.

3200: 1. Ella Dufault, Waseca 11:45.69; 2. Ana McCabe, Waseca 11:55.76; 3. Eve Anderson, Mankato East 11:56.67; 5. Iliana Ramon, Fairmont 12:16.51; 7. Tabitha Thatcher, Fairmont 12:23.21.

100 Hurdles: 1. Jaylen Struck-Schmitz, Belle Plaine, 15.97; 2. Aliyah Dawkins, Mankato West 16.32; 3. Lizzy Subbert, Fairmont 16.39; 7. Emma Koehler, Fairmont 17.20.

300 Hurdles: 1. Jaylen Struck-Schmitz, Belle Plaine 46.71; 2. Amelia Carlson, St. Peter 49.20; 3. Emma Koehler, Fairmont 49.30; 9. Lizzy Subbert, Fairmont 52.07.

4×100 Relay: 1. Mankato East 51.38; 2. Luverne 52.07; 3. Mankato West 52.70; 4. Fairmont (Jenna Gustafson, McKayla Chambers, Brooke Hunwardsen, Savanah Baker) 53.26.

4×200 Relay: 1. Luverne 1:49.34; 2. Waseca 1:49.94; 3. Mankato East 1:50.42; 4. Fairmont (Jenna Gustafson, Joni Becker, Savanah Baker, Grace Higgins) 1:50.74.

4×400: 1. Luverne 4:14.92; 2. Waseca 4:15.72; 3. Fairmont (Emma Koehler, Brooke Hunwardsen, Lexi Kaufman, Joni Becker) 4:16.95.

4×800: 1. Luverne 10:05.34; 2. Mankato West 10:05.76; 3. Waseca 10:08.71; 5. Fairmont (Lexi Kaufman, Sarah Krumholz, Tabitha Thatcher, Laura Thompson) 10:24.14.

Discus: 1. Carissa Shank, Mankato East 119-01; 2. Jordan Keeley, St. Peter 108-07; 3. Brenna Cutler, Fairmont 100-09; 5. Claire Cutler, Fairmont 95-02.

Shot Put: 1. Allison Lardy, Fairmont 41-00.00; 2. Brenna Cutler, Fairmont 36-07.25; 3. Carissa Shank, Mankato East 34-03.50.

Triple Jump: 1. Amelia Carlson, St. Peter 34-01.50; 2. Mallory Thorson, Luverne 33-06.50; 3. Madi Kes, Jordan 33-01.00; 6. Lizzy Subbert, Fairmont 32-07.50; 7. Savanah Baker, Fmt 32-02.25.

High Jump: 1. Aliyah Dawkins, Mankato West 5-02.00; 2. Claire Nuessmeier, St. Peter 5-00.00; 3. Madison Gehloff, Waseca 5-00.00; 4. Bethany Linse, Fairmont 5-00.00; 5. Lizzy Subbert, Fairmont 5-00.00.

Long Jump: 1. Jaylen Struck-Schmitz, Belle Plaine 15-10.50; 2. Jenny Vetter, Mankato East 15-09.25; 3. Aliyah Dawkins, Mankato West 15-07.00; 10. Brooke Hunwardsen, Fairmont 15-00.50; 16. Savanah Baker, Fairmont 14-02.75.

Pole Vault: 1. Emma Gauert, New Ulm 10-00.00; 2. Abby Olenius, Mankato West 9-06.00; 3. Jenna Sikel, Mankato West 9-00.00.

Boys Division

Team results: 1. Jordan 592.50; 2. Fairmont 575.50; 3. West 520.50; 4. East 514.50; 5. Waseca 512.50; 6. Marshall 461.50; 7. Worthington 414; 8. Belle Plaine 364.50; 9. New Ulm 327.50; 10. Luverne 294; 11. St. Peter 279; 12. TCU 251.

100: 1. Marlon Wiley, Jordan 11.20; 2. Melik Davis, Mankato West 11.37; 3. Jonathan Sikel, Mankato West 11.41; 9. Seth Carlmark, Fairmont 12.08; 18. Josh Heinze, Fairmont 12.39.

200: 1. Marlon Wiley, Jordan 22.93; 2. Melik Davis, Mankato West 23.18; 3. Wyatt Quiring, Fairmont 23.20; 15. Brandon Williams, Fairmont 25.01.

400: 1. Wyatt Quiring, Fairmont 51.28; 2. Garret Hoff, Marshall 51.55; 3. Max Ceplecha, Jordan 52.69; 13. Hudson Artz, Fairmont 55.08.

800: 1. Ben Hunsader, Belle Plaine 2:04.48; 2. Cole Halla, Waseca 2:05.08; 3. Symon Keiser, Jordan 2:06.04; 9. Andrew Moeller, Fairmont 2:08.20; 10. Dylan Kennedy, Fairmont 2:08.67.

1600: 1. Owen Keiser, Jordan, 4:33.70; 2. Jett Oachs, Mankato West 4:36.89; 3. Hugo Ruiz, Tri-City United 4:37.30; 9. Andrew Moeller, Fairmont 4:42.31; 20. Connor Artner, Fairmont 5:06.78.

3200: 1. Owen Keiser, Jordan 10:00.38; 2. Jett Oachs, Mankato East 10:04.74; 3. Adam Koller, Worthington 10:12.40; 9. Nathan Willett, Fairmont 10:44.10; 12. Kellen Rodriguez, Fairmont 10:50.50.

110 Hurdles: 1. Jack Vetsch, Waseca 15.36; 2. Obang Ojulu, Worthington 15.81; 3. Tate Alfstad, Mankato West 15.96; 4. Devin Johnson, Fairmont 16.17; 9. Lucas Simpson, Fairmont 17.05.

300 Hurdles: 1. Jade Reicks, St. Peter 39.87; 2. Jack Vetsch, Waseca 40.82; 3. Dominique Sealy, Mankato West 41.38; 6. Devin Johnson, Fairmont 42.13; 17. Tony Nuss, Fairmont 47.03.

4×100 Relay: 1. Jordan 44.72; 2. Mankato East 45.53; 3. Fairmont (Nick Thate, Caden Baarts, Josh Heinze, Seth Carlmark) 45.84.

4×200 Relay: 1. Mankato West 1:34.15; 2. Worthington 1:35.68; 3. Fairmont (Brandon Williams, Caden Baarts, Dayton Pasch, Seth Carlmark) 1:35.81.

4×400 Relay: 1. Fairmont (Dayton Pasch, Dylan Kennedy, Andrew Moeller, Wyatt Quiring) 3:29.10; 2. St. Peter 3:33.18; 3. Waseca 3:35.06.

4×800 Relay: 1. Fairmont (Dylan Kennedy, Kaleb Hoye, Dayton Pasch, Kellen Rodriguez) 8:24.02; 2. St. Peter 8:36.86; 3. Marshall 8:37.03.

Long Jump: 1. Caden Bruzek, Jordan 20-00.75; 2. Thomas Dietel, Jordan 20-00.50; 3. Hayden Berhow, Fairmont 19-07.25; 4. Josh Heinze, Fairmont 19-04.75.

High Jump: 1. Ben Ziegler, Mankato East 6-04.00; 2. Jonathan Sikel, Mankato West 6-02.00; 3. Jack Vetsch, Waseca 5-10.00; 4. Lucas Simpson, Fairmont 5-10.00; 6. Hayden Berhow, Fairmont 5-08.00.

Triple Jump: 1. Jonathan Sikel, Mankato West 42-02.25; 2. Hayden Berhow, Fairmont 41-01.00; 3. Bryce Sievers, Jordan 40-07.00; 11. Josh Heinze, Fmt 37-11.00.

Discus: 1. Garrett Shumski, Mankato West, 158-00; 2. Bryce Olsen, Worthington 130-11; 3. Marcus Hansen, Waseca 129-00; 6. Conner Tordsen, Fairmont 121-02; 15. Jacob Rahn, Fmt 97-06.

Shot Put: 1. Garrett Shumski, Mankato West 49-11.50; 2. Conner Tordsen, Fairmont 45-05.00; 3. Marcus Hansen, Waseca 43-11.00; 16. Riley Chaffee, Fairmont 37-01.75.

Pole Vault: 1. Jack Brown, Mankato West 13-00.00; 2. Jackson Nesmoe, Tri-City United 13-00.00; 3. Alex Berg, Mankato East 13-00.00; 6. Nick Thate, Fairmont 11-06.00; 15. Matthew Anderson, Fairmont 9-00.00.

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