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Track and field: A-B-E, Osakis, WCA and Parkers Prairie advance athletes to 6A meet from subsections

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville sophomore Lucea Wales set a program record, and the Osakis relays set a good tone for the Silverstreaks.

Lucea Wales
Lucea Wales
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A talented group of track and field programs took advantage of some ideal weather conditions at the 6A Subsection 21 meet on Thursday with spots at the Section 6A finals up for grabs.

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, Osakis, Parkers Prairie and West Central Area were all Douglas County area programs that competed.

“It was a great afternoon/evening for a meet and the kids sure didn't disappoint,” A-B-E head coach Zach Traphagen said. “We have to wait to see what the wildcard entries are officially for the section meet program, but it appears as though we'll have 12 athletes advance to sections. It was again another meet filled with personal records all over the place. Even the athletes whose seasons end tonight, they end on a very high note, which is what the goal should be every year.”

The top six individuals and top three relay teams from both of the 6A subsections qualify for sections. The next four best times in each individual event and next two best relays from both combined subsections also qualify.

A-B-E’s Lucea Wales continued her breakout sophomore season with four top-four finishes. Wales set a new program record by winning the 200-meter dash in 26.22 seconds. Wales’ time in the 200 dash was nearly 1.5 seconds faster than her seed time going into the day.

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Her win in the 200 was in addition to winning the long jump (16-04.50) and taking second in the triple jump (35-03) and 300-meter hurdles (48.89).

Automatic qualifiers to sections for the A-B-E boys were Logan Haburn (100 dash, third, 12.06), Micah Fuller (110 hurdles, fourth, 19.71), Logan Froemming (110 hurdles, sixth, 21.06), Nathan Anderson (300 hurdles, fifth, 46.54), and Dierk Goeden (pole vault, second, 10-06).

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In addition to Wales’ big day on the girls’ side, Skylar Bitzan (100 dash, second, 13.72), Ashley Paulsen (800 run, fourth, 2:33.62; 1600 run, fifth, 5:59.34), and Katrina Buchholz (discus, fourth, 102-10) were top-six qualifiers for A-B-E.

“We couldn't be more proud as a coaching staff of this team for their attitudes and efforts that they've shown all season long,” Traphagen said. “We'll take (Friday) off to rest up and heal, then get back to work again on Monday.”

Traphagen was confident that Logan Haburn (200), Logan Froemming (300H and PV), Micah Fuller (300H), Skylar Bitzan (200 and 4x100), Catherine Koefod (4x100), EmmaLee Brethorst (4x100), and Taylor Dingwall (4x100) had earned qualifying standards through the wildcard process as well. That process was expected to be completed sometime on Friday.

The Section 6A meet is June 2 in Pelican Rapids starting at 10 a.m.

Kranz, relays pace Osakis

Ally Boyer
Osakis' Ally Boyer runs a relay at the Silverstreaks' home meet on April 26, 2022. Boyer was part of the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams for Osakis that qualified from subsections on May 26 for the Section 6A meet on June 2.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Osakis will send a big contingent of athletes to the Section 6A meet, led by seven out of eight relays.

“This is new, having only two subsections after reclassification this past offseason,” Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “I thought that our subsection might be a little weaker than the other side, but after looking at both subsections' results, that wasn't necessarily the case. Things were very competitive. This time of year, it is all about advancing to the next meet. It was good to see us get a good amount of both boys and girls moving on. Whenever you get 7 out of 8 possible relays through, it is a good meet.”

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Hailey Walker, Kiana Kendall, Mara VanNyhuis and Tessa Stanek won the 4x100 in 51.78 seconds. Kaelyn Walker, Kendall, H. Walker and Stanek took the 4x200 in 1:50.46, while K. Walker, Bella Weisser, Ally Boyer and Kaia Fiskness won the 4x400 in 4:13.26.

Lexi Spychalla, Boyer, Fiskness and Weisser made it a clean sweep for the girls by winning the 4x800 in 10:30.43.

“It was nice to see the relays come together like they did,” VanNyhuis said. “We really haven't put these relays together yet because we were focused on spreading the girls out to maximize our team points. We thought they'd do pretty well, but the times we ran exceeded where we thought we'd be at. It's good to get back to where all the relays are competing for a shot to go to state. The 4x400 was really exciting. Those young girls (Kaia and Ally are 7th-graders, and Kaelyn and Bella are 8th-graders) have been playing important roles all year, but showed what they are capable of.”

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Junior Kiley Kranz continued her dominant season in the throws. She won both the shot put (36-11.25) and discus (113-06).

Three of the Osakis’ boys relay teams also earned automatic bids to sections with top-three finishes. Joe Aaser, Kale Drevlow, Jacob Taplin, and Zackery Bruder were second in the 4x800 (9:03.28), and the teams of McCarter Kirksey, Kaleb Helberg, Jack Petrich, and Brennen Gustafson (4x100, third, 48.09), and Helberg, Joe Aaser, Alessandro Bettiol, and Bruder (4x400, third, 3:46.14) also added qualifying times.

“Getting three relays to the section meet is a good milestone for a young team,” VanNyhuis said. “You can build around that. We need to make a few improvements before the section meet, but we saw some good things.”

Others earning automatic qualifying individual bids for the Osakis boys with top-six finishes were Brennen Gustafson (200 dash, fifth, 24.41), Bruder (400 dash, fourth, 53.75), Helberg (400 dash, fifth, 54.95), Aaser (800 run, fifth, 2:14.78), Taplin (1600 run, fifth, 5:03.11), Drevlow (1600 run, sixth, 5:22.14), Kirksey (shot put, third, 43-11; discus, fourth, 128-05), Noah Goodwin (high jump, sixth, 5-06) and Isaac Ruegemer (pole vault, fourth, 10-00).

On the girls’ side, Stanek (200 dash, third, 27.20), Kendall (200 dash, fourth, 27.90), Mara VanNyhuis (100 hurdles, second, 17.43; 300 hurdles, third, 51.15; discus, fifth, 101-09), Alexis Johanson (high jump, fourth, 4-08), Eva Van Acker (pole vault, fourth, 7-06) and Weisser (triple jump, third, 33-05.50) earned automatic qualifying marks.

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VanNyhuis also expects that Helberg (discus) and Gustafson (long jump) will receive qualifying marks after the wildcards to sections are announced.

VanNyhuis was impressed with the progress of pole-vaulters in Ruegemer and Van Acker, and the job that coach Courtney Gerads has been doing with that group.

“McCarter (Kirksey) had his best throwing day,” VanNyhuis said. “He's been good all season, but has struggled some lately with some technique stuff. We knew that he had it. We just had to see it, and we did. Kiley (Kranz), Mara (VanNyhuis), and Madi (Douvier) came through like they have all season in the throws.

“Our upperclassmen have been doing a great job all year of setting the tone of this team. That leadership has led to some young kids really emerging. We're focused solely on this year, but it's also nice to know that we have some really good years ahead. Along with those young girls running those relays, Zackery Bruder and Kaleb Helberg (both freshmen) have really been coming along this season.”

Stone, Bright grab wins for WCA

Tyler Stone
West Central Area's Tyler Stone throws the shot put at the West Central Conference championship on May 17, 2022. Stone qualified for the Section 6A meet on June 1 in both the shot put and discus after getting top-six finishes in those from the subsection meet on May 26.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Tyler Stone (discus, 132-10) and Lexi Bright (1600 run, 5:16.77) led West Central Area with individual wins. Stone added a fifth-place finish in the shot put (42-11), and Bright was second in the 800-meter run in 2:29.41.

Other automatic section qualifiers for the WCA boys were Anthony Sykora (100 dash, second, 11.92; 200 dash, second, 24.16; 400 dash, third, 53.63), Roman Mihailovschi (800 run, sixth, 2:15.76; high jump, fifth, 5-10), and Shad Swanson (3200 run, fourth, 10:56.76).

WCA girls’ automatic qualifiers in addition to Bright are Kiera Gehrke (100 dash, sixth, 14.07), Alexa Blume (400 dash, sixth, 1:06.67), Kyra Beyer (1600 run, fourth, 5:57.34), Taylor Bennett (3200 run, second, 12:40.39), Terina Blascyk (high jump, third, 4-10) and Jayden Styba (triple jump, sixth, 31-08.

Reiman, Ashbaugh pace Panthers

Ryder Ashbaugh
Parkers Prairie's Ryder Ashbaugh jumps at the Osakis meet on April 26, 2022. Ashbaugh qualified for the Section 6A meet in three events — 110 hurdles, high jump and long jump — after the subsection meet on May 26.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Sophomore Brayden Reiman (800 run, 2:09.70) and junior Ryder Ashbaugh (110 hurdles, 18.03) each earned wins for Parkers Prairie.

Ashbaugh also qualified for sections in the high jump (third, 5-10) and long jump (fourth, 18-08), and Reiman qualified in the long jump (fifth, 18-08.50) and triple jump (fifth, 39-07.50).

Ross Kortenbush (100 dash, sixth, 12.24; shot put, sixth, 42-00.50; discus, third, 130-00), Riley Kortenbush (800 run, fourth, 2:14), James Suchy (1600 run, second, 4:49.83; 3200 run, second, 10:48.48), Mason Arens (110 hurdles, fifth, 21.03), Ty Lenzen (300 hurdles, sixth, 46.84), Caden Deboer (discus, sixth, 119-03) and Dominic Reiman (triple jump, sixth, 39-06) added individual qualifying finishes.

The Panthers’ 4x800 relay team of Tyler Carstensen, B. Reiman, R. Kortenbush and Nathan Mohrman qualified for sections with a third-place finish in 9:04.95.

Sophomore Dakota Moske was second in the shot put (35-10.75) for the Parkers Prairie girls. Freshman Sarah Toyli added a third-place finish (15-08.50) to move on in the long jump.

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
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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