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May 26, 2019

4/26/2019 10:27:00 AM
Track and field teams finding rhythm with cooperative weather

The Wildcat track team participated in a five-team meet at North Branch on Tuesday, April 16.  The boys finished second out of five teams, while the girls came in fourth.  In addition to the hosts, North Branch, other participating teams were Cambridge-Isanti, Buffalo and Princeton.

Wildcat head girls’ coach Brandy Peterson was pleased with the performance of both the boys’ and girls’ teams at this point in the season.  She said “The boys have been performing great.  Highlights for them have been Al Paulsen in the 110 hurdles, Beau Backes in the discus, and Nick Stone in the long jump.  The distance and sprints have been strong and relays have been running well.  All-around great meets on the boys side.  For the girls, the throwers continue to be consistently solid.  We have some injuries we're working to overcome in the sprints and jumps.  Allison Glenna turned in a good 400 time and Aliah Williams ran strong in the 100 meters.  Debbie Brunnette, Anna Johnson, Caroline Aili and Leah Dreckman have been running great in the distance events.”
Beau Backes was the only Wildcat boy to win an event at North Branch, coming in first in the discus with a fling of 153’0” – nearly 13 feet ahead of the second-place finisher.  The Wildcats took three of the five spots in the discus, with Zak Leverton finishing fourth and Andrew Leverton placing fifth.  Backes also performed well in the shot put, coming in second.

And in an exciting photo finish in the 110-meter hurdles, Alex Paulsen came in second, officially .01 seconds behind the winner, Levi Wilson of Cambridge-Isanti.  Braydon Burds nearly won the 800-meter run, finishing second by one-third of a second to Ryan Rusack of Buffalo.  His brother Bryce Burds finished second to Dylan Larson of Cambridge-Isanti by almost exactly the same margin in the 400-meter dash.  And Nick Stone finished second in the long jump, just eleven inches behind Levi Wilson of Cambridge-Isanti.

Other top-five individual finishes for the boys, which added to the team point total, include Dan Istvanovich, fourth in the 100-meter dash; Andrew Trandahl, fourth in the 200-meter dash, Samuel Hanson, fifth in the 200 meter dash; Zak Johnson, fourth in the 400-meter dash; Mason Vitalis, third in the 1600-meter run; Henry Johnson, fifth in the 3200-meter run; Dru Ellering, fifth in the 110-meter hurdles; Paulsen, third in the 300-meter hurdles; and Ellering, fifth in the 300 meter hurdles.

The Wildcat relay teams had a good day as well, coming in second in the four by 100, four by 200 and four by 800 races to pick up a lot of points, enabling the Wildcats to claim second place.
The girls didn’t have any event winners, but a number of second and third place finishes helped their team score.  The top finisher of the day was Debbie Brunnette, who came in second in the 1600 meter run and fourth in the 800-meter run.  In both of those races, running sensation Lexi Duscher of Princeton won by a wide margin.  Aliah Williams placed third in the 100-meter dash.  Leah Dreckman came in second in the 3200-meter run.  Mikala Bringgold placed third in the 100-meter hurdles.  Amber Zins came in third in the high jump.  And the duo of Lillian Pearson and Maddie Klun finished second and third, respectively, in the shot put.  The Wildcats had three of the top five finishers in the discus, with Olivia Stevermer, Pearson and Klun placing three-four-five, respectively.

Other top five finishes for the girls include Allison Glenna, fourth in the 400-meter dash; and Christina Brunnette, fourth in the 3200-meter run.  A special mention goes out to Julia Nelson, who came in sixth in three events – 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and triple jump.
Track Tidbits
The Hamline Elite Meet is this Friday at Hamline University at 4 p.m.  The meet brings together top track and field performers from around the state who have met qualifying standards.  The list of participants will be posted today at 1 p.m. on the Elite Meet Website (  https://hamlinetrack.com/elite-meet-entries/).  Check to see if your favorite Wildcat athlete will be at Hamline tomorrow.

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