Keeping TRACK

June 4

Section 8AA Track Championship

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[Yeah, I know I ask every year – how do the Alex girls do it?  Yesterday, in weather befitting the day before Christmas, they stormed through the field at the section track finals overcoming 15 other schools, including such behemoths as Moorhead, Brainerd, Bemidji, St. Cloud Tech, with 153 points to 2nd place Willmar’s 90?]

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Women – Team Rankings – 18 Events Scored ==========================================================================11) Alexandria 153 2) Willmar 90.33 3) Moorhead 76 4) Thief River Falls 66 5) Rocori 54 6) StCloud Tech 53 6) Brainerd 53 8) Bemidji 43 9) Monticello 31.33 10) Becker 24 11) Fergus Falls 19 12) Detroit Lakes 15 13) Sartell-StStephen 10.33 14) Sauk Rapids-Rice 7 15) Little Falls 5 16) StCloud Apollo 2 ==========================================================================Men – Team Rankings – 18 Events Scored ========================================================================== 1) Bemidji 97.50 2) Moorhead 87.50 3) Willmar 84 4) Sartell-StStephen 83 5) Alexandria 62 6) Rocori 55 7) Monticello 53.50 8) Brainerd 42 9) Becker 35 10) Little Falls 32 11) Detroit Lakes 24 12) StCloud Apollo 17 13) StCloud Tech 14 14) Fergus Falls 9 15) Sauk Rapids-Rice 5 16) Thief River Falls 1.50

[As a retiree, I’m strictly a fair weather fan.  It was cold, windy, and rainy to begin the meet so I stayed home watching the sky.  I finally arrived about an hour and a half after it started, and shortly thereafter made my way to the far (east) side of the field where I thought I saw some Cardinals in action.  And there were.  We had three girls in the finals of the triple jump, an event I cannot comprehend.  This is freshman Sydney Gray landing a jump.  I took a series of photos but again was frustrated by having to shoot through a chain link fence . . . ]

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[Meanwhile, back on the track, a Cardinal runner was going by so fast she was just a blur.]

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[And the Amazing Mr. Ripley was there for school coverage.  Either he, or the other “Mark” (Nelsen, the retired cross country coach who somehow still manages to be “helping” at every meet) invited me inside the fence for photo shooting purposes.  I thanked him but it said it was likely I couldn’t pass  the security screening!  (I’m on TSA’s “No Inside the Fence” list.)]

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[A quick glance to my right, and I noticed the girl shot putters were going at it.  Hey, no fence to shoot through!  This is senior Nora Merk.]

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[And this is freshman McKenzie Duwenhoegger, also of volleyball and basketball fame.]

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[Into the finals, Nora first.  If I may be so bold, she is quite “undersized” compared to her competitors, but she took 5th place in both the shot and the discus.]

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[Then McKenzie, who set a PR by TWO FEET, took 2nd place.  As some wag once noted, “She has her whole future in front of her.”]

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[Oooops, she may have fouled on this attempt?]

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[The Hasz sisters had just finished 1 – 2 in the 1600. I was shooting the girls’ shot put and lost track of what lap they were on. When I heard the cheers I was too late to catch the finish – fortunately Papa Hasz did. This was their last meet ever on “home turf.” They will compete at state in both the 1600 and 3200. Next fall they will be Gophers. What a legacy they leave behind!]

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[And here’s Doug Hasz’s coverage . . . ]

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[Bethany and Megan also qualified for state in the 3200 on Wednesday going 1 – 2 in Sauk Rapids.]

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[Here’s Sydney again, shooting through the fence.  Unfortunately, this is the only one of a series that came out . . . ]

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[Then with freshman Kaye Paschka, also of soccer and basketball fame – she was the only one I got the whole series down the track from the “end zone.”  Kaye finished 5th in this event, but also seemed to compete in about a dozen others?]

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[I then decided to move to the side so I didn’t have to shoot through a fence.  Here’s junior JeAnna Miller, who finished 8th in this event, 5th in the long jump, 2nd in the high jump (though she tied for 1st in height), and sold popcorn between events.  Quite a busy day!]

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[Here’s Sydney again, who also finished 9th in the 300 hurdles.]

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[Ms Paschka again . . . ]

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[past Tim Ellison . . . ]

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[sticks the landing . . . ]

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[and receives congrats from Coach Empting.]

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[Meanwhile, taking place simultaneously at the far end of the field, boys’ long jump . . . ]

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[And here’s junior Josh Molden who finished 3rd.]

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[Meanwhile, back at the triple jump, the girls are discussing the basic tenets of string theory while awaiting their next attempt . . . ]

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[And here’s Kaye again.]

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[Meanwhile, back at the long jump pit, junior Jaran Roste, of football and basketball fame, finished 5th – and the boys’ team finished a respectable 5th overall.]

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[You have 16 teams, 18 events (some simultaneously) – what do you do?  Well, field events are easiest to cover – they’re right in front of you.  So that’s what I did – mostly.  But you have to cover running too, even though it involves vast distances.  Why here comes a runner now in the far turn . . . ]

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[It’s the girls’ 4 x 100 relay, a Cardinal strength all season . . . ]

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[As we come to the first baton pass, our team includes freshman Hannah Quitmeyer, junior Syri Williams, senior Sara Wegner, and junior Kelby Olson-Rodell . . . ]

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[Pass number 2 . . . ]

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[And now there they go down the farside . . . ]

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[Very close, but the Cards got 2nd place.]

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[Obviously boys, obviously a relay, but that’s all I got?]

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[Podium standing around.]

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[And my final piece of coverage . . . ]

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[Girls’ 400  . . . ]

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[At the end of the race, a member of our Fat Boys’ Walking Club (the skinny one) came by and said that was his 8th grade granddaughter who finished 5th for the Spuds!]

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[And the Cards Sara Wegner took 2nd.]

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[And the podium for the 400 meters.]

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[And then I went home.  The meet wasn’t over but I had been there for 2 hours, standing and moving the whole time.  Thank goodness it was cool!]

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[Later that an afternoon – a graduation party.  Can you guess whose?]

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[And a final shot by Doug Hasz.  Good luck at state, everyone!!]

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Whenever I go running, I meet new people . . . like paramedics!  ~  Anon

Up Next:  Josie?

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