Three earn All-Conference honors at Polar League track meet

Coach Chris Hegg


Peter Warren’s leap of 17’ 5” wasn’t quite good enough to place in the long jump, but Warren did manage to win the 200 meters and finished 2nd in the 100 meter dash at conference. 
Photos courtesy of the team Peter Warren’s leap of 17’ 5” wasn’t quite good enough to place in the long jump, but Warren did manage to win the 200 meters and finished 2nd in the 100 meter dash at conference. Photos courtesy of the team Fresh from our girls’ team victory at the Barnum Sap Run Invitational, we headed back to Barnum for the Polar League Championships. With the addition of state track power Esko and the very good Two Harbors team to the roster, there was no chance to contend for team titles. But we do have some very good individual competitors and relay teams. All conference honors (top two individuals and top relay team) were on the line, and this was our last chance before sub-section playoffs to pick the best events for our 40+ athletes. In addition, everyone was aiming for personal records (PRs) with the toughest competition of the year.

As is customary, the 4x800 relay opened the meet. Cross-country teammates Shelby Ahrendt, Audrey Summers, Matea Acero and Kara Ramey had a nice duel with Two Harbors – finishing 6th in 11:50. Our boys’ team of Levi Axtell, Daniel Ahrendt, Joey Chmelik and Kieran Scannell also had a good solid run of 10:00, good for 5th. The time would have been about 15 seconds faster, but with no one in catching distance, anchor Kieran put it on cruise control, saving it for a later 2 mile race which was going to be a real challenge.


Above: Rachel Todd has had an outstanding track season for the Vikings. Here Todd runs a leg of the 4x100 relay, which finished 4th place at conference. Right: Adrianna Berglund shows off her sprinting form for the Vikings. Above: Rachel Todd has had an outstanding track season for the Vikings. Here Todd runs a leg of the 4x100 relay, which finished 4th place at conference. Right: Adrianna Berglund shows off her sprinting form for the Vikings. Amber Todd, who has been improving steadily, was excited to see where she stood in the tough 100-hurdle competition. She got off to a good start and got through the first 9 hurdles in great shape. Unfortunately, she hit the final hurdle, staggered a few steps, and fell just before the finish. She quickly crawled across the finish line, finishing in 2nd place in the heat, just off of her PR. The girl that came up to win the heat finished 4th overall in a time over ½ second better than Amber’s best. Subsection should be exciting.

Mara MacDonell broke a minute in the 300 hurdles, while Mel Stoddard made the plunge, successfully getting over all hurdles in her first try in a solid 1:13 time. Kyle Martinson, still new to hurdling, improved to 21.8 in the boys’ 110.

Peter Warren, our big sprinting gun, got our first All Conference title in the 100 dash. In a stacked field where he was only the 7th seed, he got out quickly, caught a couple guys and finished 2nd in 12.1. All the sprinters faced a stiff headwind, so times were a little slow. He came back a little later to win the 200 in 24.28. It was an exciting race, as he got out a little slow, and was still 3rd less than 20 yards from the finish. A strong finish gave him the win. First time racer, eighth-grader Andy Farley had a nice 100/200 double of 14.0/29.3, almost identical to teammate Cy Fortunato. Jessica Collman had a breakthrough for the girl sprinters, finishing 5th in the 100 at 14.6, while Ava McMillan ran 15.2 and Elizabeth O’Phelan had a 16.6. Rachel Todd had a PR 30.8 7th place finish in the 200, while Ava came back with a 31.6 and Adrianna Berglund ran 33.6.

It is hard to tell how fast 3-time state meet runner Ailee Larson can run the ½ mile this season. She won handily again, running 2:26. Shelby just missed placing, in 2:48, while Katrina Axtell PR’d in 3:23. Molly Zafft just missed all conference, placing 3rd in the 400 in 63.8. Emma Olfson and Lily Gruber-Schulz pushed each other to 1:19 in their heat. Bjorn Johnson ran 64.4 in the boys’ 400, while Nate Carlson had a 2:37 in the 800, and Alex Smith ran 2:56.

As 3-time state meet runner Kieran toed the line, he knew he would be in for a tough 2-mile race, his first hard 2-mile of the season. Many-time state meet runner Jackson Lindquist of Esko had one of the top times in the state this year, and he always takes it out hard and puts tough surges in the second mile. True to form, Jackson took it out with steady 75-77 second quarter miles. The 2nd mile was even quicker. But Kieran held on, and then dropped the hammer with a 69 second last lap, good for a 10:03 win.

Freshman Joey Chmelik ran a very good 12:05 PR. Ben Seaton, back from over a month off, got out-leaned by young teammate Daniel Ahrendt in a 5:49 mile, while younger brother Will Seaton kept them in sight with a 6:12.

Audrey had a great 2 mile for the girls. Picking off other girls throughout the race, she finished 5th in 13:58. Matea led the milers with a 6:19 7th place finish, while Cheyenne Sorlie ran 6:30.

We loaded up our 4x200 relay with Molly, Ailee, Amber and Jessica, and they responded by finishing 2nd to Esko’s defending section champion team. Amber, Rachel, Ava and Jessica were 4th in the 4x100, while Molly, Shelby, Ailee and Kara were 3rd in the 4x400. Sebastian and Roman Schnobrich teamed with Kyle and Andy to place 7th in the 4x100, while Kyle, Seb, Bjorn and Nate were also 7th in the 4x200. Peter, Bjorn, Levi and Nate finished our relays with a 4:10 in the 4x400.

Our long jumpers led our field event athletes. Amber was 7th in 13’ 7”. Jessica jumped 13’ 4” and Peter just missed placing in 17’ 5”. Mara had our best triple jump, placing 12th in 25’ 1”, while Nate had a good 27’ 3” jump in his first try, and Mel went 20’ 3” in her first meet. Levi had a good 83’7” throw in unfavorable winds, while Abby Sutton threw 22’ 10” in the shot.


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