Alexandria girls finding their midseason form in win over Apollo, Orgeman impressed with athlete development

Alexandria took care of business on Thursday night in its dual-meet win over St. Cloud Apollo.

Lexi Coles runs to a second-place time of 51.57 in the 300-meter hurdles on Thursday afternoon. Alexandria beat Apollo behind Cole's two second-place hurdle races and her top height of 8-feet, 1-inch in the pole vault. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Alexandria girls track and field athletes are regulars at the state meet, and the Cardinals are in the process of capping off another impressive spring.

Alexandria beat St. Cloud Apollo 119-26 on Thursday afternoon in a dual meet– one that showed just how deep head coach Meghan Orgeman's squad is again.

"It's remarkable how much these girls have grown already," Orgeman said. "I am so proud of this squad. It went from feeling like you have a big group of senior leaders, junior leaders and middle school athletes to having high school athletes. They're not just coming around in understanding what track and field is about; Their performances are following."

When the Cardinals square up with under-staffed teams like Apollo, many of the competitions are battles between Alexandria teammates.


Allie Randazzo runs in the 200-meter dash in Alexandria's 119-26 win over St. Cloud Apollo in May 6, 2021. Randazzo is running track for the first time this year and is hoping to push for a a state bid. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

"I was thrilled with what we saw today," Orgeman said. "In a lot of ways, because Apollo's quad is so small, it was like an inter-squad meet. We really used each other to pull ourselves to great performances. Our track and field program is a well-oiled wheel. I think we're coming around, but there's still much more in us."

Senior Lexi Cole has led the charge for Alexandria hurdlers this season. She placed second in the 100 (17.07) and 300-meter (51.15) races while taking first in the pole vault. Her efforts are not only seen on the scoresheet and where it counts in the aspect of leadership.

"Lexi has done a great job as a captain and a leader," Orgeman said. "She is like a momma bear on the team. She takes care of people and makes sure everything is organized. But as an athlete, you can see her confidence. When everything got shut down, she kept on working. She kept training and lifting, and her performances are stronger than ever. She has really taken on that top-dog type of athlete."

Alexandria's throwers are turning heads this season as well. Amaria Sowada and Sophia Vinje took first and second in the discus and shot put.

"I knew they were going to be great," Orgeman said. "They're strong, athletic and coachable. They're coming around in the throws right now. Our throwers, and all of our athletes, for that matter, should be tired. They're popping off big throws. I think you're going to see great things from Sophia Vinje and Amaria Sowada."

Track athletes often compete in other sports throughout the year. Senior Allie Randazzo was one of Alexandria's most prominent girls soccer players last fall and decided to challenge herself. Not only is she running high school track for the first time, but she's also near the front of the pack in several races.


Myah Kramer runs down the home stretch of the 800-meter race followed by Emma Ecker at Alexandria Area High School on May 6, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Randazzo took second in the 100-meter dash (13.28) and third in the 400 (1:06.05).

"Allie Came out for track for the first time and is coming around nicely," Orgeman said. "Everything is new for her. There's a group of soccer and basketball players on this team that is just shining and have been so impressive for us."

Orgeman's postseason hopes are high. With the established athletes starting to hit their stride along with impactful performances from newcomers, the Cardinals are well on their way to being ready for the championship meets.

"I feel like we're moving now," Orgeman said. "We are starting to understand the meet strategy. Before, it was about how we can get through a meet. Now, it's about fine-tuning and getting more specific in where we need to grow. I hope we have enough time to see what this group is capable of because it is a special group that is developing quickly."

Brynn Cross (back) hands the baton to Jaelyn Miller in Alexandria's first-place 4x400-meter relay on May 6, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)



4X800M RELAY- 1st- Hailey Kimek, Myah Kremer, Kamryn Coauette, Amya Hagen 11:18.33; 2nd- Lilly Arnquist, Emma Ecker, Brynn Cross, Kaileigh Schneider 11:23.14; 100M HURDLES- 2nd- Lexi Cole 17.07; 3rd- Sophia Korynta 18.25; 100M DASH- 2nd- Allie Randazzo 13.28; 3rd- Hallie Kent 13.33; 4X200M RELAY- 1st- Marissa Linow, Kelly Luce, Sara Eddy, Maddison O’Shea 2:01.84; 1600M RUN- 1st- Aleah Miller 5:19.26; 2nd- Jaelyn Miller 5:25.46; 3rd- Giselle Jahner 5:35.37; 4X100M RELAY- 1st- Kent, Jisella Haskamp, Payton olson, Kaia Enter 54.15; 400M DASH- 1st- Aleah Miller 1:02.80; 2nd- Marissa Rousu 1:05.73; 3rd- Randazzo 1:06.05; 300M HURDLES- 2nd- Cole 51.15; 3rd- Korynta 52.38; 800M RUN-1st- Myah Kremer 2:38.53; 2nd- Emma Ecker 2:39.50; 200M DASH- 1st- Elena Fuglestad 27.57; 2nd- Kent 28.53; 3rd- Enter 28.77; 3200M RUN- 1st- Taelor Dummer 12:25.22; 2nd- Emma Reineke 13:14.62; 3rd-Emma Hochhalter 13:38.11; 4X400M RELAY- 1st- Coauette, Cross, J. Miller, Jahner 4:29.31; HIGH JUMP- 1st- Marissa Linow 4-04; 3rd- Emma Ballou 4-02; POLE VAULT- 1st- Cole 8-01; 2nd- Bia Luepke 7-06; 3rd- Ailynn Fettig 7-00; LONG JUMP- 2nd- Fuglestad 15-05; 3rd- Elizabeth Heydt 14-10; TRIPLE JUMP- st- Kent 34-11; 2nd- Ella Steussy 31-09.5; SHOT PUT- 1st- Amaria Sowada 32-05; 2nd- Sophia Vinje 32-01; 3rd- Ella Sanden 29-09; DISCUS- 1st- Sowada 104-07; 2nd- Vinje 97-05; 3rd- Elsie Maagard 84-08

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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