Alexandria boys confident going into CLC championship after taking second at home meet

Empting expects the Cardinals to compete for a conference championship as teams from the Central Lakes Conference gather in Sauk Rapids on June 3 at 4 p.m.

Alexandria's Christian Doumbia (right) races in the 100-meter dash at the Cardinals' home track and field meet on May 28, 2021. Doumbia finished third in the race in a time of 11.81 seconds. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria boys track and field team is ready for the Central Lakes Conference championship meet after taking second at its home invite on May 28.

The Cardinals got to test themselves in a five-team field on Friday that included a deep and talented Moorhead program. The Spuds won at AAHS, but Alexandria head coach Mike Empting likes what he saw out of his athletes after they had a total of 55 personal bests at the meet. They will try to carry that momentum into Sauk Rapids for the CLC championship now on June 3.

“I expect that this team will be competing for the CLC team title,” Empting said. “I believe we have enough top performers in enough events for the team to be near the top of the CLC. I am excited to see how Nolan Morical and Jack Theien compete in their individual events on the track. Myles Sansted, Jacob Kleven, Bennett Wirth and Joel Brault have emerged as top competitors in the mid distance and distance events in the conference.”

Alexandria senior Nolan Morical stretches across the finish line during the last leg of the 4x200 relay as he helped that group finish second in a time of 1:32.32. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)


Morical, Kleven, Sansted and Theien teamed up to win the 4x400 relay on Friday. The Cardinals added eight more second-place finishes.

“I believe we have enough depth across the board to put together relays that will be competing for championship and all-conference honors,” Empting said. “I am also excited to see how Joey Lanoux and Zander Homelvig continue their improvement in the throws on Thursday. Nic Huss and Bryr Homelvig continue to climb to the top of the pole vault competitions.”

Alexandria junior Zander Homelvig talks with throws coach Ty Granning in between throws in the shot put on May 28, 2021. Homelvig was fifth in the shot put with a throw of 43-2.5. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Alexandria had three pole vaulters finish in the top five on Friday. Huss and Homelvig took the second and third-place spots by clearing 11 feet, 6 inches and Jackson Jahnke was fifth after clearing 10 feet, 6 inches.

Empting said the strength of this team is how well-rounded this group has become through these regular season meets.

Alexandria's Kelly Johnson (left) hands the baton to teammate Nicholas Huss in the 4x200 relay during their second-place finish in the event on May 28, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)


“We are capable of scoring points in nearly every event and we have athletes that will be near the top of their events,” Empting said.

The meet in Alexandria had the feel of a normal track event with five teams in attendance and fans in the stands. It created a competitive atmosphere that athletes and coaches are glad to have after competing in smaller meets due to COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the season.

The Cardinals were originally scheduled to host one half of the CLC championship meet this Thursday. With the loosening of restrictions in the state, every team in the conference is now allowed to compete in Sauk Rapids in what should be an energized atmosphere.

Alexandria's Will Heydt competes in the long jump on May 28, 2021. Heydt was third in the event with a leap of 20-7.5. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

“It is great to have that ‘big meet’ feel again,” Empting said. “I think it is great for the kids to have that sense of competition back in track and field; to be able to be lined up against opponents directly I think is refreshing for the kids. It is nice for them to have friends, classmates and family back in the stands to cheer them on. These more ‘electric’ atmospheres inspire kids to dig a little deeper and provide them with a little extra boost of physical and emotional energy.”

ALEXANDRIA INVITE TEAM BOYS TEAM SCORES - Moorhead - 315.33; Alexandria - 123; Bemidji - 64; Rocori - 48.33; Detroit Lakes - 1.33

ALEXANDRIA TOP-FIVE FINISHERS - 100 DASH - Christian Doumbia - third, 11.81; 200 DASH - Jack Theien - second, 22.98; 1600 RUN - Joel Brault - second, 4:37.15; 110 HURDLES - Gavin Ashmore - second, 17.19; Samuel Williams - third, 17.20; Ashmore - second, 43.08; Bryr Homelvig, Erik Schabel, Joaquim Ramos, Andrew Flaten - fifth, 49.68; 4x200 RELAY - Doumbia, Kelly Johnson, Nicholas Huss, Nolan Morical - second, 1:32.32; 4x400 RELAY - Morical, Jacob Kleven, Myles Sansted, Jack Theien - first, 3:27.34; 4x800 RELAY - Kleven, Sansted, Bennett Wirth, Evan Moore - second, 8:37.27; Lance Jacobson, Nathan Klimek, Ben Borden, Owen Draper - fourth, 9:35.44; SHOT PUT - Zander Homelvig - fifth, 43-2.5; DISCUS - Ethan Hoppe - fifth, 123-6; HIGH JUMP - Dylan Frusciante - third, 5-6; POLE VAULT - Nicholas Huss - second, 11-6; Bryr Homelvig - third, 11-6; Jackson Jahnke - fifth, 10-6; LONG JUMP - Nolan Morical - second, 20-8; Will Heydt - third, 20-7.5; TRIPLE JUMP - Fequiere Becker - fifth, 36-8.5


Alexandria's Joseph Lanoux throws the shot put on May 28, 2021. Lanoux finished sixth in the meet with a throw of 43 feet. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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