Cardinals flock to Class A track honor roll

ON A ROLL — Members of the Fairmont Cardinal track & field teams earning spots on the Raceberry Jam honor roll competing in Friday’s 64th annual Sentinel Relays in Fairmont include, front row (l-r): Natalie Tonne, Brooklyn Meyer, Rayah Quiring, Ellie Hernes, Laura Thompson, Savanah Baker and Joni Becker. Middle row: Andrew Moeller, Hudson Artz, Caden Baarts, Dylan Kennedy and Josh Heinze. Back row: Jordan Wolter, Nick Thate, Hayden Berhow and Brandon Williams. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — A group comprised of all grades has joined the Minnesota State High School League track & field honor roll midway through the 2019 season.

The Fairmont Cardinals have a group of 14 individuals across 17 events and three relay teams who have outperformed the honor roll times and distances.

Seniors Andrew Moeller and Hayden Berhow are experienced competitors who head coach Bob Bonk expected to have high levels of success early in the year, while freshmen Ellie Hernes and Rayah Quiring were a bit of a surprise. Bonk said Fairmont has a large number of honor roll times and distances to this point in the season.

“I think from the experienced ones, generally they continue to get better,” Bonk said. “I didn’t expect Ellie (Hernes) to be doing what she’s doing or Brooklyn Meyer, Rayah Quiring. Some of those girls have been nice surprises and of course, I didn’t even know Jordan Wolter.

“Usually by the end of the year, there might be about 40 names (overall) in the individual events,” Bonk said. “I’d say less than five percent of the athletes make it in any one event, so it’s a pretty big deal. It seems like we’ve got more on there right now than we usually do. A lot of times, at the end of the year we’ll have this many or maybe a few more.”

Joni Becker beat the honor roll standard in the 400-meter dash of 62.5 seconds when she ran 62.2 at the Jackson County Central triangular on April 25. Laura Thompson made the honor roll with her 1,600-meter time of 5:32.4 at the Fairmont triangular on April 16, beating the standard of 5:35, while she bested the 3,200-meter run standard of 12:20 when she ran 12:11.2 at the JCC triangular.

Two Fairmont jumpers passed the honor roll standard of 15 feet, 7 inches in the long jump. Hernes jumped 15-9 at the JCC triangular, while Meyer made it 16-3 at the Worthington quad on April 23. Hernes and Quiring each passed the honor roll distance of 32-9 in the triple jump, with Hernes jumping 34-4.5 at the JCC triangular and Quiring leaping 33-2 at the Worthington quad.

Natalie Tonne reached the honor roll distance of 34-0 when she heaved the shot 34-1.5 at the JCC triangular.

Savanah Baker cleared the honor roll standard bar at 5-0 in the high jump at the Mankato East triangular on April 5 to tie for fourth on the list.

Any athlete around the state can be listed on the honor roll if their coach submits their time or distance. Bonk said the honor roll is a good way to measure success midway through the year against the top competition in the state.

“It’s just kind of a mid-season measuring stick of where things are at for some of the kids, but I think it’s something they always get excited to shoot for,” Bonk said. “Like this year, when we have a person make it for the first time like Brooklyn, like Ellie, like Josh (Heinze), that’s kind of special. It’s a good motivator, I think, for the kids to see that and see what’s going on all around the state. It’s a good way to keep tabs on how the top performers are doing.”

In the boys events, Caden Baarts made the list in both the 100- and 200-meter dash. In the 100, Baarts ran a time of 11.7 at the Fairmont triangular on April 16 to place him eighth out of the entered times, while he ran 23.59 in the 200 at the same meet to place sixth thus far.

Dylan Kennedy passed the 400-meter dash standard time of 53 seconds when he ran 52.4 at the Worthington quad, while Moeller ran an 800-meter run time of 2:00.37 at the same meet to pass the standard time of 2:06.

Bonk said having experienced athletes like Moeller is a big help to younger and less experienced athletes.

“A guy like Andrew, Hudson (Artz) kind of follows him around and does what he does, and to a lesser extent Dylan, too,” Bonk said. “What he’s learning from those guys this year will be so valuable to him down the road.

“Laura is only a freshman, but she’s been at the state level for three years now, so even though she’s younger, she knows what’s going on. It’s really helpful for them to do that and to practice with people who are among the best in the state, it kind of rubs off.”

Josh Heinze made the list in both the long jump and triple jump. His long jump distance of 20-2 at the JCC triangular beat the standard distance of 19-8, while his leap of 40-7 at the same meet beat the honor roll triple jump distance of 40-2.

Berhow joined Heinze on the long jump list with a jump of 19-11 at the Mankato East triangular.

Three Cardinal boys relay team combined to pass the honor roll times. The 4×100 team of Brandon Williams, Nick Thate, Wolter and Heinze beat the standard time of 47 seconds when they ran 46.5 at the JCC triangular, while the 4×200 team of Kennedy, Artz, Moeller and Baarts beat the standard time of 1:38 when they ran 1:35 at the Worthington quad.

Fairmont’s final entrants came in the 4×400 relay when the squad of Wolter, Moeller, Artz and Kennedy ran a time of 3:33.09 at the Worthington quad to beat the standard time of 3:40.

Bonk said though much of the season is left, he doesn’t expect the list of Fairmont athletes on the honor roll to get much larger because entrants who improve their times are only listed with their best time.

“Once you’re on there, you’re on there,” Bonk said. “I’d say … most of the guys who are going to make it are all ready on there, the only thing that will change is hopefully their performance will still improve.

“Girls, I think we have potential to get more as the season goes on, simply because it’s such a young team.”