Local athletes fill up spots at Section 6A meet through subsection 21 qualifier

Minnewaska, Osakis girls take top-two team finishes.

Osakis' Alexis Johanson clears the bar in the high jump during a meet on April 15, 2021. Johanson finished in the top five of the high jump at the subsection 21 meet in Wheaton on June 3, 2021 to be one of many Osakis athletes to qualify for the Section 6A meet on June 10 in Fergus Falls. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Osakis, Minnewaska and West Central Area will be well represented at the Section 6A meet on June 10 in Fergus Falls after many athletes qualified through the subsection 21 meet in Wheaton on June 3.

The top-five individuals from each event and top-two relays at subsections qualify for the section meet where athletes will compete for a spot at state. The next two best relay times from all three subsections also qualify for sections, and Osakis got the girls’ 4x100 (Addison Wildman, Hailey Walker, Makenzie Lien, Tessa Stanek, 53.16) and 4x800 (Bella Weisser, Lauren Anderson, Hatti Schmidtbauer, Lexi Spychalla, 10:54.04) teams in through that route.

“We are happy to get a couple relays qualified,” Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “Putting together strong relays has always been something we try to do. We knew that it would be tough with Minnewaska and Morris (girls), but the girls ran season-bests in the 4x100 and 4x800 when it counted.”

In team standings, the Minnewaska girls won the subsection 21 meet with 200 points, while Osakis was second (108) and WCA was fourth (62). Sauk Centre won the boys title with 145 points. Morris Area was second (141.5), Osakis third (77) and Minnewaska fourth (76).

“The meet was kind of like a snapshot of the season,” VanNyhuis said. “A lot of inconsistencies and unknowns. But just like the rest of the year, the kids who showed up worked hard and gave it their all. We had to shift around pretty much every single relay before the meet to try to make things work with what we had. The athletes that were asked to step in did a tremendous job. We try to prepare all of our kids for those types of situations, but doing it in a big meet with little experience was good to see.”


The Osakis girls qualified many individuals in multiple events. Stanek, a junior, had top-five finishes in the 100 dash ( third, 13.57), 200 dash (second, 27.18) and long jump (third, personal-record 16-feet).

osTK Paulson Stanek Jones.jpg
Osakis' Ben Paulson (left), Tessa Stanek and Stewart Jones hold up their MVP plaques from the Prairie Conference championship meet on May 26, 2021. All three athletes went on to qualify for the Section 6A meet in multiple events during the subsection 21 meet on June 3, 2021 in Wheaton. (Contributed photo)

Bella Weisser (800 run, third, 2:32.39), Addison Wildman (300 hurdles, third, 50.16), Mara VanNyhuis (300 hurdles, fourth, 52.24; discus, third, 90-09), Alexis Johanson (high jump, 4-08), Kaylee Thompson (high jump, 4-08), Eva Van Acker (pole vault, second, 7-00), Kiley Kranz (discus, second, 113-00; shot put, first, 37-00), Madison Douvier (shot put, second, 31-09) and Makenzie Lien (shot put, third, 31-05.75) had section-qualifying performances.

Senior sprinter Duncan Vandergon qualified in both the 100 (third, 12.06) and 200 (fourth, 24.20) dashes for the boys. Stewart Jones added qualifying finishes in the triple jump (third, 41-00.5) and 110-meter hurdles (16.61).

“Stewart fouled all three of his jumps in prelims by an inch or less in the long jump, but he rallied and ran well in the 110 hurdles and jumped really well in the triple,” VanNyhuis said. “Duncan has been nursing his hamstring for the past few weeks. He took a conservative approach to the 100 and 200 with the goal of just moving on. Glad to see him be able to compete when we weren't really sure of things up until race time.”

Jarron Kurth (800 run, third, 2:11.15), Zackery Bruder (3200 run, fifth, 11:20.36), Kale Drevlow (pole vault, third, 8-00), Isaac Ruegemer (pole vault, 8-00), Ben Paulson (discus, first, 142-09; shot put, third, 45-10) and Isaac Hetland (discus, third, 125-01; shot put, fourth, 42-03.50) also qualified for the Osakis boys.

Lakers continue impressive season

The Minnewaska girls were fresh off finishing second in Class A in the virtual true team state meet, and the Lakers showed that depth once again at subsections with section-qualifying finishes up and down the lineup.


MINNEWASKA GIRLS SECTION QUALIFIERS - 100 DASH - Emily Kaiser - second, 13.17; Masie Jordan - fifth, 13.89; 200 DASH - Kaiser - first, 26.92; Mya Lindeman - third, 27.79; 400 DASH - McKenzie Luetmer - first, 1:02.36; Kristen Glover - second, 1:02.72; Teagan Stark - fourth, 1:04.84; 800 RUN - Olivia Danielson - second, 2:24.87; Makena Thoen - fourth, 2:32.88; 1600 RUN - Lauryn Ankeny - fourth, 6:01.58; Sydnie Chevalier - fifth, 6:11.92; 3200 RUN - Kiearra Wilmes - second, 12:52.03; Sydney Hagen - fourth, 13:39.62; Elsey Hagen - fifth, 13:58.98; 100 HURDLES - Ava Chevalier - second, 17.28; Emma Kovarik - fourth, 17.72; 300 HURDLES - Emma Kovarik - second, 49.47; Ava Chevalier - fifth, 52.46; 4x100 RELAY - Masie Jordan, Mya Lindeman, A. Chevalier, Kaiser - first, 52.07; 4x200 RELAY - Lindeman, Jordan, E. Kovarik, Alannah Christensen - second, 1:55.34; 4x400 RELAY - Danielson, Thoen, Glover, Luetmer - first, 4:13; 4x800 RELAY - Luetmer, Danielson, Thoen, Glover - first, 10:20.81; HIGH JUMP - A. Chevalier - first, 4-10; POLE VAULT - Kendra Wilmes - t-second, 7-00; Phemie Oeltjen - fourth, 7-00; LONG JUMP - Kaiser - second, 16-02; TRIPLE JUMP - Kovarik - second, 32-11.5; Glover - third, 31-11; Luetmer - fifth, 31-03.5; DISCUS - Metaya Jergenson - first, 117-02; SHOT PUT - Jergenson - fourth, 31-00

MINNEWASKA BOYS SECTION QUALIFIERS - 100 DASH - DeShon Boyd - fourth, 12.14; 4x100 RELAY - Jacob Lien, Isaac Meyer, Gage Rogers, Boyd - second, 46.23; 4x200 RELAY - Noah Danielson, Rogers, Colby Sorenson, Boyd - first, 1:36.73; 4x400 RELAY - Danielson, Ike Koenig, Sorenson, Maeson Tank - first, 3:40.83; 4x800 RELAY - Danielson, Connor Nestor, Koenig, Tank - first, 9:07.24; HIGH JUMP - Peyton Johnsrud - first, 6-06; Danielson - third, 5-08; LONG JUMP - Connor Johnsrud - third, 19-11; TRIPLE JUMP - Connor Johnsrud - first, 43-08

Distance runners lead Knights

Junior Lexi Bright continued her big season as she won the 800 (2:24.54) and 1600 (5:59.71) runs, while also qualifying for sections in the long jump (fourth, 15-09.5).

It was part of a big day for the WCA distance runners as Taylor Bennett won the 3200 and Terina Blascyk was second in the 1600. For the boys, Kyle Schill won the 800 run and was second in the 1600, while Alex Salwasser and Shad Swanson had top-three finishes in the 3200.

WEST CENTRAL AREA GIRLS SECTION QUALIFIERS - 800 RUN - Lexi Bright - first, 2:24.54; 1600 RUN - Bright - first, 5:59.71; Terina Blascyk - second, 6:00.43; 3200 RUN - Taylor Bennett - first, 12:37.66; HIGH JUMP - Brynn Fernholz - second, 4-08; LONG JUMP - Bright - fourth, 15-09.5

WCA BOYS SECTION QUALIFIERS - 800 RUN - Kyle Schill - first, 2:05.96; 1600 RUN - Schill - second, 4:50.43; 3200 RUN - Alex Salwasser - second, 10:20.99; Shad Swanson - third, 11:11.03; DISCUS - Tyler Stone - fifth, 121-01

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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