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Card boys defend home track

Joe Gorghuber clears a hurdle in the 110-meter race that he won in a time of 15.97 on Tuesday night. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

It was a successful afternoon for the Alexandria boys’ track and field team as it grabbed first place at the Jefferson High School annual home triangular on Tuesday.

The boys’ team finished with 76 team points, which was six ahead of second place Willmar. Eight first place finishes led the Cardinals in the meet, with three individually coming from John Vogeler.

He grabbed first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.34, the high jump at 6-02.00 and in the long jump at 21-02.75. With this being his first season as part of the track and field team, head coach Mike Empting was impressed with Vogeler’s strong day.

“John is, for the first time being out as a senior, he’s a good athlete,” Empting said.

Other individuals who took first place for the Cardinals were Joe Gorghuber in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.97, Mitch Peck in the 300 meter hurdles in 40.29, Aaron Steidl in the shot put with a toss of 50-09.50 and Colin Guetter in the discus with a distance of 165-04.

The 4x100 meter relay team also grabbed the top spot for Alexandria with a time of 45.51.


After qualifying for the state track and field meet in the 300 meter hurdles in 2013, Peck was one of two Cardinals selected to compete at the Hamline Elite Meet last April.

Peck did not disappoint, taking fifth place among some of the state’s best 300 meter hurdles athletes with a time of 39.92. Empting is confident that the senior will have a good shot at returning to Hamline as a state qualifier again this June.

“Mitch works super hard, he’s a great athlete,” Empting said. “He’s picking up where he left off, and he’s going to finish strong, I know that. I hope he ends up back at the state meet at the 300 hurdles, for sure.”

At state in 2013, Peck ran a 41.61 in the preliminary event and did not qualify for the finals. On Tuesday, Peck’s 300 relay time of 40.29 was more than two seconds faster than the second place time of 42.46 from Derek Peterson of Willmar.

Peck said he is happy with where his times are right now in the middle of the season. He plans to feel even better once the training levels start to decrease in preparation for the conference and section meets.

“I’m doing pretty good for where we are at in the season for training,” Peck said. “We’re just getting off our peak, so legs are still a little tired. We’ll taper and be ready for the end of the season.”

As far as his goals for this season, Peck said he just hopes to reach his potential at the conference and section competitions. The Alexandria coaches have been working with Peck on his form this season, something he hopes will help him drop even more time.

“The coaches are really helping me out with stuff I’ve got to work on, and it’s going good,” Peck said. “I’ve got plenty of stuff to work on. There’s still plenty of time to drop.”


The Cardinals would like to send a relay team to the state competition this year after qualifying a 4x100 team in 2013.

The Alexandria team consisted of since graduated seniors James Holmquist, Nathan Huss and Donovan Chock, along with Peck, who was a junior. The team was unable to advance to the finals at the meet and finished with a time of 44.47.

This season the Cardinals are looking at options to fill a 4x100 or 4x200 relay team to make a trip to state. Empting said Gorghuber, Vogeler and Peck are likely candidates for a top relay, and Alec Wosepka and Elliot Jacobson are also possibilities to round out the team.

“Our section is tough, they’ve got some very good sprint relays,” Empting said. “Moorhead and Brainerd are running blazing fast right now, but if we can put these guys together and stick some handoffs, maybe we got a shot. We snuck in with a relay last year kind of the same way.”


TEAM – 1. ALEXANDRIA, 76; 2. Willmar, 70; 3. Sartell-St. Stephen, 40

ALEXANDRIA INDIVIDUALS – 100 METER DASH – 1. John Vogeler, 11.34

200 METER DASH – 2. Mitch Peck, 23.36

800 METER DASH – 2. Aaron Runge, 2:08.75; 3. John Kumorowicz, 2:18.73

1600 METER RUN – 3. Colton Sailor, 4:55.00; 4. Austin Thom, 4:58.85

3200 METER RUN – 3. James Pfeffer, 10:52.79; 4. Eric Branch, 11:00.33

110 METER HURDLES – 1. Joe Gorghuber, 15.97; 3. Mitch Meier, 17.54

300 METER HURDLES – 1. Mitch Peck, 40.29; 3. Mitch Meier, 43.19

4x100 METER RELAY – 1. Alexandria A, 45.51

HIGH JUMP – 1. John Vogeler, 6-02.00

POLE VAULT – 3. Alec Wosepka, J11-00.00

LONG JUMP – 1. John Vogeler, 21-02.75; 3. Joe Gorghuber, 19-04.50

TRIPLE JUMP – 2. Joe Gorghuber, 38-00.00; 3. Mitch Meier, 37-07.25

SHOT PUT – 1. Aaron Steidl, 50-09.50; 2. Logan Steidl, 46-04.00

DISCUS – 1. Colin Guetter, 165-04; 2. Brett Ludwig, 137-09; 3. Aaron Steidl, 127-10

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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