|6/10/2022 2:38:00 PM|
New class leads to new state opportunities for CL and NB
The addition of a third class in track and field left North Branch and Chisago Lakes as a couple bigger schools in Class AA after routinely being some of the smaller schools in the previos two-class system.
In the newly formed Section 7AA tournament, which was held at North Branch Wednesday, June 1 and Saturday, June 4, both teams had multiple qualifiers for this week’s state tournament.
The Lady Vikings had the most success in the section meet, with multiple qualifiers and many very close calls as well.
The first qualifier came from one of the youngest competitors. Sophia Thorsen won the 200 yard dash finals in a personal record time and punched her ticket.
Ella Kuhlman ran her personal best by far in the 300 hurdles and grabbed a second place finish in the finals, with the top two going to state. The bittersweet part for her is she edged out teammate Shaeyna Andreotti, who had been the top seed after prelims, for the spot.
Two relay teams also won their races, getting a number of girls to state.
The 4x200 meter relay team of Avery Smith, Thorsen, Sophia Benedict and Dakota Esget finished in first place with a time of 1:47.48, and the 4x400 relay team also won their event. The team of Derrian Dick, Kuhlman, Esget and Thorsen finished in 4:10.19 to top the field.
In the field events, North Branch littered the top spots with finishers, and were able to move two on to the state tournament.
Asaysha Olson won the long jump event with a personal record 17’2.5” and she also came in second in the triple jump. Ella Dick finished second in the pole vault.
Esget just missed out on the 100 meter dash, coming in third, and Andreotti had a third and fourth place finish in the hurdle events. And Smith and Derrian Dick came in third and fourth in the 400 meter dash for NB’s other close calls.
The boys didn’t have as many qualifiers, but they had some surprise athletes see nice meets. Three of the qualifiers came in field events, and then a relay squad punched their ticket.
On the track side, the foursome of Zach Johnson, Austin Anderson, Carson Klein and Logan Murphy finished in second place in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:33.30.
Murphy then went on to finish second in the high jump to claim an individual spot at the state tournament.
North Branch teammates Justin Ramos and Nick Bovitz had a battle in the triple jump, but Ramos came in second and claimed the last state spot. Bovitz had to settle for third.
And Eric Flor rounded out NB competitors by finishing in second place in the pole vault with a personal best of 11’9”.
In the first year of the new class structure, Wildcat distance runner Kaia Osmundson made a huge splash at the Section 7AA championship.
Osmundson won the 1,600 meter run in 5:32.20, 0.42 seconds faster than Nora Stark of Rock Ridge to earn a trip to this coming weekend’s state tournament.
Osmundson, a freshman, will also represent the Wildcats at state in the 3200 meters. She won that race in 12:00.61, just 0.16 seconds ahead of Mileena Sladek of Hibbing.
Another freshman, Ava Bringgold, won a trip to state by winning the 300-meter hurdles in 48.09 seconds, finishing 0.11 seconds ahead of Kuhlman.
Osmundson and Bringgold will also represent the Wildcats at state in the 4x400 meter relay. The relay team of senior Mckenna Keene, Bringgold, sophomore Maddy Anderson and Osmundson raced to second place in a time of 4:13.86 to earn the trip to state. Hattie Killeen and Abby Zins will go to the state tournament as alternates for the 4x400 event.
For the boys, the speedy foursome of sophomore Simon Strand, junior Blake Schmidt, junior Joshua Byrne, and freshman Edmond Morris came in second n the 4x100 meter relay in 45.21 seconds to punch their ticket to state. Senior Sam Strand threw the discus 145’4” to take second place in the evemt and will head to the state tournament.
The state track tournament, which has typically been held at Hamline University, will take place at St. Michael Albertville High School this Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11.