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home : sports : sports
July 6, 2022

6/17/2022 12:25:00 PM
NB & CL show up on the big stage

A quartet of underclassmen highlighted multiple athletes who qualified for the state tournament for North Branch.

Freshman Avery Smith, Sophia Benedict and Dakota Esget teamed with seventh grader Sophia Thorsen to finish in fifth place in the finals of the 4x200 meter relay at the Class AA state tourney on Friday and Saturday, June 10-11 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

The foursome finished in 1:45.54, just narrowly beating Mahtomedi’s team and just behind Holy Angel’s group of runners.

All four teams in front of them had at least one senior runner, which signals NB should have a good chance of moving up the standings next year.

The Vikings qualified many other competitors to the meet, as well as some of that relay running more than one event.
Thorsen finished in 11th place in the 200 meter dash. With only one other middle schooler in the race, it’s another race that Thorsen should move up quickly in the standings as she grows and gets better.

Ella Kuhlman, a freshman, finished in 12th place in the 300 high hurdles with a time of 47.67, and she’ll have a lot of rom for improvement going forward.

Kuhlman, Esget and Thorsen were also a part of NB’s 4x400 relay team, along with freshman Derrian Dick. The four girls finished the grueling race in 4:11.84.

Ella Dick and Asaysha Olson highlighted the girls field events for the Vikings.

Dick, an eighth grader, came in seventh place in the pole vault event, clearing 10 feet.

And Olson, a freshman, finished in 12th place in the long jump and 15th in the triple jump.

For the North Branch boys, a majority of the events they qualified for were in the field portion of the meet. But, it was tough jumping conditions at STMA, and many missed their seed marks. Senior Logan Murphy was one of five athletes that didn’t register a height in the high jump event.

Justin Ramos, another senior, missed his seed distance by two feet in the triple jump, but still managed a 10th place finish in the event with a jump of 40’6.75”.

Eric Flor came in 14th place for the Vikings in the pole vault. The sophomore cleared 10’6” despite having a seed height of 11’9”. Only five of the 16 competitors matched their qualifying heights.

In track, the only North Branch boys qualifier was the 4x400 relay team. The quartet finished in 15th place with a time of 3:39.60.

The Wildcats had a decent day as well, with Sam Strand placing in the discus event, Kaia Osmundson with a nice showing in distance events and a few relay teams moving up the ladder a bit.

Strand was the highlight of the meet, finishing in eighth place in discus. The senior got on the podium with a toss of 142’8”.

The other boys to qualify for the Wildcats were the 4x100 team of Simon Strand, Black Schmidt, Josh Byrne and Edmond Morris.

They finished in 13th place at the meet with a time of 45.28 seconds.

On the girls side, Osmundson, a freshman who qualified for the state cross country meet in the fall as well, finished in 13th place in  both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.

Freshman Ava Bringgold was a double qualifier, finishing in 14th in the 300 meter hurdles, and she was also a part of the 4x400 relay team that went to St. Michael. She teamed up with McKenna Keene, Maddy Anderson and Osmundson to finish in 15th place.

With so many youngsters between the two teams that qualified, and the new three class system, there will be some high finishers in the future of track and field for North Branch and Chisago Lakes,

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