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Track and field: Alexandria boys and girls win Section 8-3A True Team titles

The Cardinals held off Moorhead and Brainerd in both the boys and girls competitions.

Alex Track and field teams.jpg
The Alexandria boys and girls track and field athletes get together for a photo after both teams won the Section 8-3A True Team championship in Brainerd on May 10, 2022.
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BRAINERD — The Alexandria boys and girls track and field teams often operate in practice and meet days like one big program together. That’s why Tuesday in Brainerd was so significant for the Cardinals as both the boys and girls won the Section 8-3A True Team championship to secure their spot at the state true team meet.

“What I love most about True Team is the full team effort required to win the meet,” Alexandria girls head coach Meghan Orgeman said. “In every track meet, there are setbacks, and this was no different. But it was the events where athletes dug deep and gave of themselves for the team that made all the difference.”

The Alexandria girls finished with 788.5 points. That was in front of Moorhead (764) in second and Brainerd in third (722) in the 8-team field.

The Alexandria boys totaled 799.5 points. Moorhead was second with 775.5, and Brainerd took third in that meet as well with 710.5 points.

Both of the boys’ and girls’ competitions came down to the final events. That was especially true in the boys’ 4x400 relay where Otto Anderson, Christian Doumbia, Myles Sansted and Riley Wagner secured the team title for the Cardinals with a win in 3:32.64.

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Alexandria boys coach Mike Empting said the way his team competed throughout the entire meet is what impressed him most from the win.

"This grittiness was optimized by the way our 4x400 relay raced in the final event on the track," Empting said. "Without knowing for sure what they needed to accomplish in the relay or if there was even a chance for us to still win the meet, they laid it all on the line and emptied tank for the hope the team still had a shot of winning the meet. It paid off. Everyone did something throughout the course of the meet to put our team in the position to race for the top spot. Everyone did their part throughout the meet. We recorded 20 personal bests out of 27 possible races on the track and three out of four relays recorded season bests. It was a remarkable effort by everyone on the team."

Senior Emma Ecker led a 1-2 finish for the Alexandria girls in the 1600-meter run. Aleah Miller was right behind her in second place.

The same happened in the 800-meter run where Alexandria sophomore Jaelyn Miller was first and freshman Kasey Soderholm finished second. Aleah Miller added a win by more than five seconds in the 3200 run, and Ecker was third in that as well.

Hailie Kent
Alexandria's Hailie Kent jumps at a home meet on May 3, 2022. Kent won both the long jump and triple jump at the Section 8-3A True Team meet in Brainerd on May 10 to help the Cardinals to the team win.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Senior Hailie Kent led the jumpers for the girls with a first-place finish in the long jump and the triple jump. Ella Steussy was second in the triple jump, and Izzy Kent was third in the pole vault.

Those top finishes rack up big points, but depth is the key to winning true team competitions. The Cardinals featured multiple top-10 finishes in different events throughout the lineup.

“I couldn't be more proud of how our girls competed,” Orgeman said. “Our girls have shown so much grit and heart for both themselves and for each other this season. It's been exciting to see each athlete develop in their respective events, but even more so, it's been inspiring to see them develop the types of relationships that create a strong sense of family. We had to reach for this win this year. Moorhead and Brainerd have very talented programs, which made the victory even more special.”

Read more Alexandria Cardinals coverage
Alexandria earned a win over St. Cloud Tech on Thursday, while Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie earned a win over New York Mills and LPGE-Browerville

The Alexandria boys followed that same script with multiple top-10 efforts racking up big points.

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Senior Christian Doumbia was third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200 dash. Otto Anderson was third in the 300-meter hurdles, and fourth in the high jump.

Trey Negen
Alexandria's Trey Negen runs in a relay at a home meet on May 3, 2022. Negen was part of three top-8 finishes at the Section 8-3A True Team meet in Brainerd on May 10 in the 100 dash, 200 dash and long jump as he helped the Cardinals get the team win to advance to the state true team meet in Stillwater on May 20.

Joel Brault and Harrison Greathouse finished fourth and fifth in the 3200-meter run, while Will Heydt and Teagan Pfeffer were fourth and fifth in the long jump. Heydt also won the triple jump in 43-feet, 3.5 inches. Bryr Homelvig cleared 11-feet, 6-inches in the pole vault for fourth place.

The Alexandria throwers were instrumental in the boys winning as well. Joseph Lanoux was fifth in the shot put, and the Cardinals finished 3, 4 and 5 in the discus with Ethan Hoppe (138-00), Lanoux (125-05) and Zander Homelvig (119-04) all having big throws.

The Cardinals will head to Stillwater for the Class AAA state true team meet on May 20. Field events begin at 3:10 p.m. that day, and running events begin at 4.

SECTION 8-3A TRUE TEAM MEET

GIRLS TEAM SCORES - Alexandria - 788.5; Moorhead - 764; Brainerd - 722; Monticello - 667; Sartell - 535.5; Buffalo - 473.5; Sauk Rapids-Rice - 381.5; Bemidji - 377

BOYS TEAM SCORES - Alexandria - 799.5; Moorhead - 775; Brainerd - 710.5; Monticello - 654; Buffalo - 628; Sartell - 456.5; Sauk Rapids-Rice - 375.5; Bemidji - 342.5

ALEXANDRIA GIRLS RESULTS - 4X800 RELAY - fourth, 10:14.71; 100 HURDLES - Sophia Korynta - seventh, 17.28; Emma Paulson - 22nd, 19.76; Joanna Kietzmann - 23rd, 19.83; 100 DASH - Elena Fuglestad - ninth, 13.20; Hailie Kent - 11th, 13.23; Addison Fettig - 14th, 13.36; 4x200 RELAY - third, 1:49.63; 1600 RUN - Emma Ecker - first, 5:07.47; Aleah Miller - second, 5:08.37; Giselle Jahner - eighth, 5:33.14; 4x100 RELAY - third, 52.05; 400 DASH - Alison Krasky - sixth, 1:03.43; Elena Fuglestad - seventh, 1:04.14; Miah Wessel - eighth, 1:04.59; 300 HURDLES - Sophia Korynta - sixth, 50.32; Marisa Rousu - 16th, 54.28; Emma Paulson - 20th, 56.89; 800 RUN - Jaelyn Miller - first, 2:19.35; Kasey Soderholm - second, 2:24.06; Greta Oldenkamp - 10th, 2:31.65; 200 DASH - Miah Wessel - seventh, 27.42; Kaia Emter - 12th, 27.89; Addison Fettig - 16th, 28.14; 3200 RUN - Aleah Miller - first, 11:18.32; Emma Ecker - third, 11:34.18; Brynn Kosters - seventh, 12:05.01; 4x400 RELAY - third, 4:09.37; LONG JUMP - Hailie Kent - first, 16-02.5; Alison Krasky - fifth, 15-07.50; Elena Fuglestad - eighth, 15-02.50; TRIPLE JUMP - Hailie Kent - first, 35-00.75; Ella Steussy - second, 34-02; Marisa Rousu - seventh, 32-04.50; HIGH JUMP - J. Miller - fourth, 4-10; Miah Wessel - 12th, 4-08; Kiara Sowada - 16th, 4-04; POLE VAULT - Izzy Kent - third, 9-00; Bria Luepke - ninth, 8-00; Ailynn Fettig - 10th, 8-00; SHOT PUT - Amaria Sowada - third, 35-05.75; Sophia Vinje - 10th, 32-01.50; Sonja Schabel - 13th, 30-08.50; DISCUS - Vinje - sixth, 101-04; Gabriella Staples - 10th, 91-01; Sowada - 14th, 85-04

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ALEXANDRIA BOYS RESULTS - 4X800 RELAY - third, 8:39.81; 110 HURDLES - Logan Peterson - seventh, 16.43; Otto Anderson - eighth, 16.52; Samuel Williams - ninth, 16.55; 100 DASH - Christian Doumbia - third, 10.97; Venald Becker - sixth, 11.22; Trey Negen - eighth, 11.45; 4x200 RELAY - fourth, 1:36.34; 1600 RUN - Joel Brault - seventh, 4:32.86; Myles Sansted - ninth, 4:36.30; Payton Gessford - 22nd, 4:56.86; 4x100 RELAY - second, 44.67; 400 DASH - Owen Draper - seventh, 54.19; Elliott Kent - eighth, 54.96; Evan Kludt - 11th, 55.63; 300 HURDLES - Otto Anderson - third, 42.46; Gavin Ashmore - fifth, 42.72; Logan Peterson - 12th, 44.28; 800 RUN - Riley Wagner - seventh, 2:07.64; Hunter Mohr - 16th, 2:14.17; Thomas Klecker - 18th, 2:15.13; 200 DASH - Christian Doumbia - fourth, 22.57; Trey Negen - eighth, 23.36; 3200 RUN - Joel Brault - fourth, 10:05.77; Harrison Greathouse - fifth, 10:09.74; Landon Runge - 13th, 10:46.40; 4x400 RELAY - first, 3:32.64; LONG JUMP - Will Heydt - fourth, 20-02; Teagan Pfeffer - fifth, 19-10.50; Trey Negen - eighth, 19-03.50; TRIPLE JUMP - Will Heydt - first, 43-03.50; Elliott Kent - ninth, 37-01; Walker Hennen - 15th, 34-01.50; HIGH JUMP - Otto Anderson - fourth, 5-08; Dylan Frusciante - t-fifth, 5-08; Samson Hagstrom - t-10th, 5-06; POLE VAULT - Bryr Homelvig - fourth, 11-06; Erik Schabel - ninth, 10-00; Jasper McDaniels - 17th, 8-00; SHOT PUT - Joey Lanoux - fifth, 43-01.50; Ethan Hoppe - eighth, 41-01; Zander Homelvig - 12th, 39-06.50; DISCUS - Hoppe - third, 138-00; Lanoux - fourth, 125-05; Homelvig - fifth, 119-04

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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