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July 17, 2019

6/14/2019 12:10:00 PM
Paige Bauer finishes seventh, Backes earns two medals

Paige Bauer is no stranger to state tournaments. She has participated in the gymnastics state tournament before, so the big stage wasn’t too much for her to handle.

It showed in her pole vaulting performance at the 2019 state track and field meet on a warm and muggy Saturday, June 8.

Bauer entered the meet with a seed height of 11’1”, which was tied with a host of other girls for the fourth best spot.

The sophomore nailed her first attempt at the 10 foot mark, coasting to the next height. At 10’6”, she missed her first jump before recovering to squeak over the bar on her second attempt.

She pushed it even further in the next round, and 11 foot jump. Bauer just barely missed her first attempt and she was one failure away from bowing out of the competition under her seed height, but she came through when it mattered most and hit the vault to move on to the next height, which was 11’6”.
She didn’t waste much time sticking that height, missing just one jump before clearing her personal best of 11’6”.

Only missing one at that height did pay off for her when she missed all three of her attemps at 11’9”, along with four other competitors. The tiebreaker reverts back to misses on previous height attempts, and that put her above North St. Paul’s Abby York, who missed twice at 11’6”. Both Isabelle Albers of Foley and Kenzi Kluge of Eden Prairie missed one at the 11’6” height, but because they cleared their 11 foot height faster, they were ahead of Bauer. Charis Lawson of Spring Lake Park hadn’t missed a height in two attempts, so she was the highest finisher of the 11’6” clearers in fourth place.

After all of the tiebreakers shook out, Bauer landed in seventh place, good for a podium finish.

With three of the girls in front of her graduating and two years of eligibility left, as long as Bauer stays on the right track, she has a chance to keep climbing the standings as her career develops.

Last Friday at the state track meet at Hamline, Wildcat thrower Beau Backes started the day seeded thirteenth in the Class AA shot put competition, with a qualifying throw of 50’.  Backes jumped up to a sixth-place finish with a Chisago Lakes High School record throw of 52’7.75”.  

He broke the record previously held by Erik Carlson, who threw 51’7.25” in 1994.  Backes, a junior, was the only state qualifier for the Wildcats this year.

On Saturday, Backes competed in the discus.  He was seeded sixth with a qualifying throw of 161’11”.  His first throw was 151’1” and he fouled on three of his next four attempts.  Backes finished seventh, making it to the podium in his second event.

During track season, Backes threw a personal best of 165’ in the discus, which also set a school record.  If Backes had thrown 165’ at state, he would have moved up to third place.  And the top two finishers in this year’s state competition, Maxwell Otterdahl of Rosemount and Yakob Ekoue of Hopkins, are both seniors.  So that makes Backes one of the favorites for a state championship in next year’s state meet.

Wildcat head boys’ track coach Tyler Stettler said “From what I have noticed, discus seems to be Beau’s main event.  He will come back bigger and stronger next year.  And coaches Steve Forseth and Ron Backes really know how to coach those throwers.  

It makes life easier as head coaches for me and girl’s coach Brandy Peterson.  It’s great working with both of them.”

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