May 7, 2009 at 8:31 a.m.
With Chisago Lakes' new track and field area a plush facility for the sport, the North Branch track and field team hasn't had to travel very far for a good chunk of their invitationals this year.
The Vikings took another jaunt down County Road 14 to take on the Wildcats, plus six other teams at the Chisago Lakes Invitational.
Although the girls struggled again in the field events, they were able to take home the championship, besting host Chisago Lakes, who finished in second place.
In the first six events, the Vikings got a top three finisher out of their competitors. Onalee Yousey got two of those, finishing in first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.69 seconds, and gathering another second place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 54.11 seconds.
The Vikings only recorded three other first places on the day, but their consistency among the top three was what put them over the top. Other champions at the invite for North Branch were Teagan Anderson in the pole vault, with a vault of 9'.
Sophomore Ali Zimmerman toughed her way through the 1,600-meter run to earn a first place in that event with a time of 5:37.55.
The other first place earned was from a relay team. Carly Hinschberger, Becky Ramberg, Shayna Gray and Maria Gozzi teamed up to win the 4x400 meter relay in 4:23.95.
Junior Bradi Herdina had a hand in numerous points on the day, finishing second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.56, third in the 200-meter dash in 28.23 seconds, and was the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay that took second place in 54.14 seconds. Also part of Herdina's team in the relay were Sophia Kneen, Kristin Slaughter and Anderson.
Two other relay teams earned some points for the Vikings in their quest for first place. In the opening race of the meet, Miranda Charley, Dani Privratsky, Briana Berthiaume and Haley Hasleiet finished in third place in the 4x800-meter relay.
In the 4x200-meter relay, Anderson, Ramberg, Sydney Swanson and Gozzi teamed up to finish in second place for eight points in the meet. The foursome's combined time of 1:56.45 was less than three seconds behind the first place finisher.
The meet also featured the rarely used 1,600-meter sprint medley relay. In the event, the first two runners go for 200 meters each, the third runner goes for 400 meters, and the anchor runner goes for 800 meters. Although the Vikings held the lead for most of the race, Chisago Lakes took the lead over with only a few meters left.
The second place finish still earned the quartet eight points in the meet.
The Vikings even earned some points in the always-grueling distance runs. Haley Hasleiet finished in second place in the 800-meter run, and Megan Zimmerman notched a third place finish in the 3,200-meter run.
Besides Anderson's first place in pole vault, the Vikings only earned two other top three finishes in the field events. Ashley Kroschel earned second place in the vault, a full foot beneath Anderson.
In the long jump, Sophia Kneen finished in third place with a jump of 14'3".
"We had some very good performances Friday night," Head Coach Brian Hasleiet said. "This meet was a very good meet to help us prepare for our meet coming up on Tuesday when we go back to Chisago to compete in the Section True Team meet."
The true team is a true test of the best of the best for these area track and field teams.
The Vikings ran away with the meet in the team portion. North Branch scored 180.5 points, and second place Chisago Lakes finished with 154 points. The Frederic Vikings rounded out the top three with 132 points.
Chisago Lakes Invitational - Boys
The guys had a tougher time with a more challenging field, but they still got some top performances from guys who had yet to step up this year.
Although they have been struggling in the field events this year on the guys and girls side, the boys field team got three first places and two second places in their events.
Winning field events were Zack Smith, who went 12' in the pole vault event, Anthony Ceroll, who leapt 18'11" in the long jump, and John Morrison, who tossed the shot 46'8".
Bryce Hutchings finished second in the shot put, throwing it 43'10", and Good earned a second place in the high jump with a leap of 6'.
Much like the girls side of the meet, a lot of the Vikings' points came from relays. Zach Good, Mike Heidelberger, Colin Charpentier and Tyler Ertl teamed up in the 4x800-meter relay to finish in 8:48.53, good enough for second place.
Both the 4x200-meter relay team and the 4x400-meter relay team earned 10 points with first place finishes. Chad Anderson, Ceroll, Joe Klun and David Leason finished the 4x200-meter relay in 1:37.35 to finish in first. In the 4x400, Good, Ceroll, Ryan Norman and Ken Broden secured the first place finish with a 3:37.12.
Chad Anderson, Ceroll, Ryan Klatt and Smith rounded out the relay scoring with a third place finish in the 4x100-meter relay.
Broden earned the last first place of the day for the Vikings when he blasted through the 400-meter dash in a time of 53.37 seconds. The win earned the Vikings 10 huge points.
Two other top three finishes were by Ryan Norman, who finished the 1,600-meter run in 4:48.07 for third place, and Vincent Kleidon earned a third place finish with a 17.28 in the 110-meter hurdles.
"I really like how both of the girls and boys are shaping up heading into the big meet portion of our season," Hasleiet said, noting his team has had most of their personal bests in the last two weeks of the season.
With the team totals tallied up, the Vikings finished in third place, but it was a tight logjam at the top of the standings. Minnehaha Academy won the invite with 148 points. Behind them was host Chisago Lakes, scoring 140 points. The Vikings dropped to third place with 136 points. Only 12 points separated them from the top spot.
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