Minnewaska wins 6A championship as Lakers send 16 girls and boys on to state meet

Lakers' depth shines in Fergus Falls on June 10, while West Central Area's Kyle Schill also qualifies for the Class A state meet in the 800-meter run.

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The Minnewaska girls track and field team gets together for a photo with their Section 6A championship trophy in Fergus Falls on June 10, 2021. The Lakers won the section championship with 93 team points, in front of second-place finisher Pequot Lakes at 75.5. (Contributed photo)

It’s been a standout season for the Minnewaska track and field programs, and the Lakers will finish it off with athletes all over the lineup at the Class A state meet on June 18.

The Minnewaska girls team won the Section 6A championship on June 10 in Fergus Falls, and did so in rather emphatic fashion. The Lakers scored 93 points. Pequot Lakes was second at 75.5, and Perham rounded out the top three with 60.5.

It takes a top-two finish in individual events and relays to qualify for the state meet, so just making state in a 6A field that features 19 girls programs and 22 boys programs is quite an accomplishment. The Lakers advanced 16 boys and girls between relays and individual events.

Mataya Jergenson (discus, 117-01), Connor Johnsrud (triple jump, 42-10), Peyton Johnsrud (high jump, 6-03), Olivia Danielson (800 run, 2:23.27) and Emily Kaiser (100 dash, 12.83) were all individual champions.

The Lakers had big relay performances too as the girls 4x800 (Makena Thoen, McKenzie Luetmer, Kristen Glover, Olivia Danielson, 9:46.66) won the section championship, and the girls 4x100 (Masie Jordan, Mya Lindemann, Ava Chevalier, Emily Kaiser, 52.34), girls 4x400 (McKenzie Luetmer, Makena Thoen, Kristen Glover, Olivia Danielson, 4:14.05) and boys 4x800 (Noah Danielson, Connor Nestor, Ike Koenig, Maeson Tank, 8:47.49) finished second to earn spots at state.


McKenzie Luetmer was second in the 400-meter dash (1:00.45), while Emma Kovarik (300-meter hurdles, 48.86) and Emily Kaiser (200-meter dash, 27.45) also added runner-up finishes to secure their spots at St. Michael-Albertville.

Minnewaska is led by a talented coaching staff that was also recognized after the section championship. Girls’ head coach Jennifer Johnsrud was named the 6A Girls’ Coach of the Year, while Jeremy Christensen is the 6A Girls’ Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Class A state meet will start with the boys at 10 a.m. on June 18 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. The girls meet will follow at 3:30 p.m.

Schill qualifies from West Central Area

West Central Area senior Kyle Schill will race at the state meet after he qualified in the 800-meter run.

Schill finished second in the Section 6A finals with a time of 2:01.11. Jacob McCleary of Perham won the event in 1:58.90.

West Central Area junior Alex Salwasser just missed qualifying for state as he took fourth in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:30.96. Emmet Anderson of Staples-Motley won in 9:44.32. WCA freshman Taylor Bennett added an eighth-place finish (13:33.32) in the girls 3200.

Novotny leads A-B-E, Schroeder, Grant pace Parkers Prairie

Junior Derick Novotny led the Ashby-Brandon-Evansville program at the section finals.

Novotny was sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.92 seconds. Freshman Sully Wales (3200, 10th, 11:10.03), senior Kobe Reiland (110-meter hurdles, eighth, 17.58; 300 hurdles, 10th, 45.58), Jake Rein (high jump, 15th, 5-03) and Cailey Schlosser (discus, 10th, 80-00) also qualified from subsections for the section finals for A-B-E in individual events.


The A-B-E 4x100 relay team of Cade Carlson, Nathan Baumann, Dierk Goeden and Novotny tied for fourth in the finals with the team of James Grant, Jesse LaManna, Ross Kortenbush and Mason Schroeder from Parkers Prairie. Both had times of 46.36 seconds.

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville’s 4x200 boys relay team (Novotny, Ryland Yeats, Carlson, Baumann, eighth, 1:37.32) and 4x800 team (Wesley Siira, Logan Froemming, Micah Fossell, Wales, seventh, 9:21.10) also competed in Fergus Falls.

Mason Schroeder had a top finish for Parkers Prairie by taking fourth in the 200-meter dash finals with a time of 23.71 seconds. Johnathan Suchy was seventh in the 1600 run (5:03.71) and 3200 run (10:43.05). Senior James Grant also had top-six finishes in the throws after he finished fourth in the discus (134-10) and sixth in the shot put (44-08.25).

Dakota Moske was seventh in the girls shot put (30-06.50), and 8th-grader Sarah Toyli was sixth in the girls’ long jump (15-05). Ryder Ashbaugh took eighth in the boys’ high jump to finish off the Panthers’ top-eight finishers.


GIRLS TOP-10 AND AREA TEAM SCORES - 1. Minnewaska - 93; 2. Pequot Lakes - 75.5; 3. Perham - 60.5; 4. Ottertail Central - 46; 5. Osakis - 45; 6. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta - 43; 6. Wadena-Deer Creek - 43; 8. Staples-Motley - 42; 9. Pillager - 20; 10. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 16; 19. Parkers Prairie - 1

BOYS TOP-10 TEAM SCORES - 1. Perham - 74.5; 2. Sauk Centre - 63; 3. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta - 58; 4. Pequot Lakes - 57; 5. Ottertail Central - 44; 6. Pillager - 40; 6. Minnewaska - 40; 8. Staples-Motley - 38; 9. United North Central - 37; 10. Breckenridge - 29; 11. Osakis - 19; 14. Parkers Prairie - 12; 14. West Central Area - 12; 19. Ashby-Brandon-Evansville - 4


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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