Cardinals win 6th straight Relays girls AA crown

GOLDEN PERFORMANCE — Fairmont sprinter Joni Becker (middle) motors down the track to capture the gold medal in the 400-meter dash during the Sentinel Relays’ Class AA track & field competition Friday night at Bob Bonk Track in Fairmont. Blue Earth Area’s Amanda Jacobson (left) and Hutchinson’s Morgan Dean give chase. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Six consecutive Sentinel Relays’ Class AA girls track & field championships and counting.

Fairmont assembled an impressive display of speed, power and finesse to produce seven gold-medal performances, eight silver-medal efforts and four more of the bronze variety during Friday night’s 64th running of the Relays in Fairmont.

The hometown Cardinals piled up 192 points to coast by Hutchinson’s runner-up total of 107, with newcomer Minneapolis South capturing third place with 86 and Blue Earth Area squeezing by Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet for fourth place, 75.5-75.0 at Bob Bonk Track.

“The three girls I had mentioned in the Relays preview story turned in great days,” Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk said in reference to junior Joni Becker, freshman Ellie Hernes and freshman Laura Thompson, “but our team win tonight extended beyond their outstanding performances and demonstrated our depth.”

Joni Becker exited the Cardinals’ track & field facility with a gold in the 400-meter dash to complement a pair of silvers in the open 100 and 200 to help pack stellar scoring punch for Fairmont.

Becker kicked off her night with a personal-best time of 13.4 seconds behind 100-meter champion Shanise Cox of Minneapolis South (12.93) before avenging her second-place showing by besting Cox in the open 400, 1:01.35-1:04.35.

“That’s my race,” Becker said in reference to the quarter-mile sprint. “It was a season’s-best and I really wanted to come out of this meet with a time of 60 or 61 (seconds), so I’m happy.”

Despite her stellar time in the open 100, Becker was sarcastically pleased with her effort.

“Another 13.4. I’ve tied it three times and just can’t seem to get under it,” Becker said with a wry smile.

Becker and Cox battled again in the open 200, with the South freshman phenom edging Becker, 26.61-27.39, for top honors. The time for the Fairmont junior standout, however, proved a personal-best and a double honor-roll mark.

While Joni Becker generated points for the Cardinals in the sprints, Thompson utilized her long-distance running skills to produce a pair of second-place showings before anchoring Fairmont’s winning 4×400 relay team.

Thompson generated eight team points by placing second to Hutchinson’s Isabelle Schmitz in the 1,600-meter run, 5:26.02-5:35.7, before Schmitz set a Relays’ Class AA record in the 3,200 to deny Thompson (12:02.1) a gold medal for the second time in Friday’s competition. Schmitz posted a time of 11:04.89 to eclipse former LCWM standout Sho Kroeger’s previous mark of 11:12.1 set in 1993.

Thompson then anchored Fairmont’s first-place 4×400 relay’s time of 4:25.65. Karalyn Closs, Rayah Quiring and Carissa Saxton ran the respective first three legs ahead of Thompson.

“I guess the meet is called the Sentinel ‘Relays’ for a reason as we had a good day in the relays,” said Bonk.

Cadence Becker, McKayla Chambers, Brooklyn Meyer and Grace Higgins exchanged handoffs for a winning time of 53.7 in the 4×100 for the Cardinals, while Fairmont’s 4×800 and medley relay squads contributed a pair of second-place showings.

Tabitha Thatcher, Corene Moeller, Saxton and Quiring traded the batons for a silver-medal time of 10:59.71 in the 4×800, while Higgins, Jenna Gustafson, Closs and Thatcher handled the respective legs of 200, 200, 400 and 800 meters to earn a runner-up time of 4:44.71.

Hernes displayed her leaping skills to generate key points for Fairmont by outdueling Quiring for the triple jump crown, 35-4 3/4–33-7, while capturing second place in the 300 hurdles (49.72) and third in the long jump (15-7).

“Ellie came so close to breaking the Relays’ Class AA triple jump record,” Fairmont assistant coach Mat Mahoney said in reference to United South Central/Alden-Conger standout Becca Bryson’s distance of 35-5 1/2 set in 2004.

But the Cardinals’ point-scoring prowess did not stop there as Ellie Schultze outdueled Blue Earth Area’s Heidi Herrmann in fewer attempts to capture the pole vault crown at 7-9, Fairmont’s Bethany Linse cleared the high jump bar at 5-0 to strike gold, while Cadence Becker produced a first-place discus throw of 90 feet even to complement a bronze-medal effort in the shot (33-11 3/4).

Natalie Tonne chipped in a third-place discus toss of 83-7, while Chambers earned a bronze medal in the high hurdles with a time of 17.78 for Fairmont.

Hannah Johnson captured second place in the long jump by clearing 15-8 for Blue Earth Area, while Amanda Jacobson, Eloise Blair and Sophie Keister each supplied third-place performances. Jacobson posted a time of 1:04.75 in the open 400, Blair topped the 300 hurdles in 50.28, while Keister sailed over the high jump bar at 5 feet even.

Madelia/Truman/GHEC/Martin Luther’s Brooke Grathwohl placed second in the high hurdles with a time of 17.55.

Fairmont competes in the True Team Section Meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Marshall, while Blue Earth Area and Madelia/Truman/GHEC/ Martin Luther travel to Mapleton on Tuesday for their True Team Sub-Section Meet.

Girls Class AA

Team results

1. Fairmont 192; 2. Hutchinson 107; 3. Minneapolis South 86; 4. Blue Earth Area 75.50; 5. LCWM-Nicollet 75; 6. Jackson County Central 63; 7. Madelia/Truman/GHEC/Martin Luther 50; 8. St. James Area 45.

100

1. Shanise Cox, Minneapolis South 12.93; 2. Joni Becker, FMT 13.40; 3. Aleigha Henderson, JCC 13.50; 4. Myma Redd, Hutch 13.52; 5. Samantha Rist, LCWM-N 14.08; 6. Tea Armstrong, BEA 14.29; 7. Jenna Balcom, M/T/GHEC 15.31; 8. Jordyn Rodriguez, SJ 16.14.

200

1. Shanise Cox, South 26.61; 2. Joni Becker, FMT 27.39; 3. Myma Redd, Hutch 28.42; 4. Hailey Stoecker, LCWM-N 28.62; 5. Taylor Post, JCC 30.36; 6. Luci Kulseth, SJ 30.41; 7. Ayuka Tamura, M/T/GHEC 31.49; 8. Lacey Nietfeld, BEA 36.15.

400

1. Joni Becker, FMT, 1:01.35; 2. Shanise Cox, South 1:04.03; 3. Amanda Jacobson, BEA 1:04.75; 4. Morgan Dean, Hutch 1:05.75; 5. Korryn Karau, SJ 1:06.88; 6. Maci Farmer, JCC 1:07.50; 7. Johnnie Zaharia, M/T/GHEC 1:08.03; 8. Tayler Johnson, LCWM-N 1:12.47.

1600

1. Isabelle Schmitz, Hutch 5:26.02; 2. Laura Thompson, FMT 5:35.70; 3. Paolo Acevedo, SJ 5:57.99; 4. Hannah Neusch, FMT 6:20.68; 5. Betsy Warren, South 6:24.45; 6. Norely Sanchez, SJ 6:32.12; 7. CeCe Kaufmann, South 6:40.49; 8. Corina Powell, Hutch 6:56.10.

3200

1. Isabelle Schmitz, Hutch 11:04.89; 2. Laura Thompson, FMT 12:02.10; 3. Grace Moeller, LCWM-N 13:01.57; 4. Abi Reiter, Hutch 13:24.06; 5. Hannah Neusch, FMT 13.37.98; 6. Olivia Anderson, JCC 14:01.24; 7. Ella Bergeman, M/T/GHEC 14:13.60; 8. Norely Sanchez, SJ 14:19.91.

100 Hurdles

1. Lydia Gross, Hutch 16.98; 2. Brooke Grathwohl, M/T/GHEC 17.55; 3. McKayla Chambers, FMT 17.78; 4. Heidi Hermann, BEA 17.99; 5. Ellie Hernes, FMT 18.03; 6. Zoe Pohlman, JCC 18.07; 7. Ximena Johnson, Hutch 18.47; 8. Eloise Blair, BEA 18.67.

300 Hurdles

1. Lydia Gross, Hutch 48.14; 2. Ellie Hernes, FMT 49.72; 3. Eloise Blair, BEA 50.28; 4. Estelle Harsh, South 52.62; 5. Zoe Pohlman, JCC 52.66; 6. Brooke Grathwohl, M/T/GHEC 53.94; 7. Lauren Cooper, LCWM-N 57.93.

4×100

1. Fairmont 53.70; 2. South 54.00; 3. JCC 55.44; 4. Hutch 56.06; 5. BEA 56.35; 6. LCWM-N 59.28; 7. St. James 1:04.42.

4×200

1. South 1:53.25; 2. Hutch 1:53.59; 3. Fairmont 1:55.03; 4. BEA 1:58.50; 5. JCC 1:59.08; 6. LCWM-N 1:59.24; 7. St. James 2:12.06.

4×400

1. Fairmont 4:25.65; 2. BEA 4:32.68; 3. St. James 4:27.92; 4. M/T/GHEC 4:38.45; 5. JCC 4:39.71; 6. Hutch 4:45.05; 7. South 4:54.67; 8. LCWM-N 4:57.01.

4×800

1. LCWM-N 10:25.73; 2. Fairmont 10:59.71; 3. St. James 11:00.09; 4. South 11:24.38; 5. Hutch 11:28.19; 6. M/T/GHEC 11:41.59; 7. BEA 11:55.96; 8. JCC 12:38.51.

Medley Relay 1600

1. South 4:40.90; 2. Fairmont 4:44.71; 3. LCWM-N 4:45.92; 4. M/T/GHEC 5:00.54; 5. Hutch 5:03.55; 6. BEA 5:05.62.

Shot Put

1. Lakesha Cater, LCWM-N 36-02.75; 2. Kendell Kapplinger, JCC 35-00; 3. Cadee Becker, FMT 33-11.75; 4. Natalie Tonne, FMT 32-10.25; 5. Hannah Stuewe, Hutch 30-01.75; 6. Jaiden Uttley, South 28-08.50; 7. Tea Armstrong, BEA 28-08; 8. Alayna De La Cruz, M/T/GHEC, 28-03.50.

Discus

1. Cadee Becker, FMT 90-00; 2. Grace Rydeen, LCWM-N 89-00; 3. Natalie Tonne, FMT 83-07; 4. Alayna De La Cruz, M/T/GHEC 79-08; 5. Lakesha Carter, LCWM-N 79-07; 6. Alyssa Ripley, BEA 78-08; 7. Hannah Stuewe, Hutch 77-05; 8. Jordan Hawkins, Hutch 76-00.

High Jump

1. Bethany Linse, FMT 5-00; 2. Olivia Teske, South 5-00; 3. Sophie Keister, BEA 5-00; 4. Savanah Baker, FMT 5-00; 5. Rachel Schultz, M/T/GHEC 4-10; 6. Erin Tews, Hutch 4-10; 7. Caitlin Rorman, BEA 4-06; 8. Lily Kania, South 4-02.

Pole Vault

1. Ellie Schultz, FMT 7-09; 2. Heidi Hermann, BEA 7-09; 3. Andrea Kelley, LCWM-N 7-03; 4. Peyton Hanson, JCC 7-03; 5. Dani Tanley, LCWM-N 7-03; 6. Jazmyn Lunz, BEA 6-06; 6. MacKenzie Householder, FMT 6-06; 7. Addie Plath, Hutch 6-06; 8. Meredith Garber, South 6-06.

Long Jump

1. Korryn Karau, SJ 15-08; 2. Hannah Johnson, BEA 15-08; 3. Ellie Hernes, FMT 15-07; 4. Brooklyn Meyer, FMT 15-04; 5. Aleigha Henderson, JCC 15-00.75; 6. Lillian Maul, M/T/GHEC 14-11; 7. Hailey Stoecker, LCWM-N 14-06.75; 8. Luci Kulseth, SJ 14-04.25.

Triple Jump

1. Ellie Hernes, FMT 35-04.75; 2. Rayah Quiring, FMT 33-07; 3. Aleigha Henderson, JCC 33-06.25; 4. Kyla Moore, Hutch 30-07; 5. Makayla Hall, M/T/GHEC 29-09; 6. Ximena Johnson, Hutch 29-08.50; 7. Maci Farmer, JCC 28-10.25; 8. Johnnie Zaharia, M/T/GHEC 28-07.

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