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Track and field: Alexandria dominates home relays

Alexandria earned a plethora of first-place finishes to win the team titles at the Alexandria Relays on Tuesday.

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Alexandria's Thomas Wieberdink leads the first leg of a relay during the Alexandria Relays on May 2, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA - The Alexandria track and field program defended its home turf in strong fashion in the Alexandria Relays on Tuesday by winning both team titles.

"It was wonderful to have the kids on the track at home for the first time this season," Alexandria boys head coach Mike Empting said. "The kids competed very well. It is always fun to host a track meet, but this unique relay-style meet makes it even more fun and exciting. This type of meet is a very good measure of the strength of our team heading into the True Team portion of our season."

The Alexandria boys earned 131.89 points, while the girls had 135.91.

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Alexandria's Sophia Korytna clears a hurdle en route to winning the 300m hurdles at the Alexandria Relays on May 2, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Alexandria recorded a total of 17 first-place finishes.

"As coaches, we hope that athletes not only find success but that they also have a great experience along the way," Alexandria girls head coach Meghan Orgeman said. "Our relay meet was a perfect example of both of those elements - success, and fun. It was even more meaningful to perform as well as we did in front of a home crowd. I was also proud of our girls for how they handled the wind. An important component of competing outdoors is an athlete's ability to mentally and physically manage the elements. It was clear that some teams were negatively influenced by the headwind, but our girls did not let that stop them, and as a result, they earned numerous personal and season bests despite the wind. We compete hard in our program, and we don't make excuses."

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On the boys side, Otto Anderson won the 300m hurdles (43.85), and the Cardinals won multiple relays.

Venald Becker, Dane Olson, Daniel Jackson, and Trey Negen won the 4x100 (44.50), Nicolas Wieberdink, Owen Draper, Hunter Mohr, and Riley Wagner won the 4x800 (8:43.16), and Becker, Negen, Isaiah Brown, and Elliott Kent won the sprint medley relay (1:40.17).

Alexandria shined in the 4x110m shuttle hurdles, with Samuel Williams, Dylan Frusciante, Anderson, and Jeremiah Oleson winning the event with a time of 1:10.72.

In addition to the strong performances in the relays, Alexandria dominated in the field.

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Alexandria's Jacob Balcome clears the bar on a high jump attempt at the Alexandria Relays on May 2, 2023. Balcome tied for first at the meet.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Negen won the pole vault (11-00.00), while Jacob Balcome tied for first place in the high jump (5-10.00), and Evan Kludt won both the triple jump (40-06.00) and long jump (20-03.35).

In the girls relays, Alexandria won the 4x100 with Payten Kor, Kaija Schneider, Addison Fettig and Elena Fuglestad clocking in at 51.50. Kor, Kaia Emter, Fettig, and Fuglestad added a win for Alexandria in the 4x200 with a time of 1:50.55.

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Alexandria's Jaelyn Miller (left) takes the baton from Evelyn Kuhnau (right) during a relay race at the Alexandria Relays on May 2, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Greta Oldenkamp, Isabella Nei, Evelyn Kuhnau, and Jaelyn Miller won the 4x800 (10:10.05), while Giselle Jahner, Miller, Quinn Hills, and Kasey Soderholm won the distance medley relay (13:18.54).

Lydia Oldenkamp, Korynta, Addison Gulbrandson, and Emma Paulson round out the Alexandria girls winners on the track with a win in the 4x100m shuttle hurdles (1:15.85).

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Elise Maagard won the discus (123-10) and Ella Steussy won the triple jump (35-04.00), which is just the tip of the top finishes Alexandria had in the field.

This meet was just one of the few opportunities has had to compete outside this season.

"This was only our third outdoor meet of the season, when typically we have had five at this point in the season," Orgeman said. "We have gotten creative with both indoor and outdoor practices given the weather, and we feel confident that we have found a way to get the training that we need to lead to a strong post-season showing. I believe we just need to focus on our preparation and know that we will compete in a way that is needed when it counts the most. The extended winter weather will not be an excuse for us."

Alexandriaโ€™s next meet is another big one, the section true team meet on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 3 p.m. in Brainerd.

"I feel like we have put in the work to be ready for True Team next week," Orgeman said. "With that said we will be competing against some incredibly talented teams; Brainerd and Moorhead will be strong teams. and we will need to be strategic with where we place athletes. We will also have to compete strongly with each other and for each other, rising to the competition in every event, to come away with a win. It will be exciting."

BOYS TEAM SCORES - 1. Alexandria, 131.89; 2. Little Falls, 87.89; 3. Pequot Lakes, 73.97; 4. Detroit Lakes, 66.96; 5. Willmar, 39.95; 6. Fergus Falls, 22

GIRLS TEAM SCORES - 1. Alexandria, 135.91; 2. Detroit Lakes, 89.89; 3. Pequot Lakes, 59.95; 4. Little Falls, 54.96; 5. Fergus Falls, 48.95; 6. Willmar, 32.94

ALEXANDRIA BOYS TOP-SIX FINISHES - 1600m - Thomas Wilmesmeier, 3rd, 5:02.88; 4. Landon Runge, 4th, 5:05.78; Payton Gessford, 5th, 5:10.24; 3200m - Erick Bergerson, 3rd, 11:26.75; Micah Walswick, 5th, 11:33.33; 300m hurdles - Otto Anderson, 1st, 43.85; Samuel Williams, 2nd, 44.57; Dylan Frusciante, 4th, 46.17; 4x100 - Venald Becker, Dane Olson, Daniel Jackson, Trey Negen, 1st, 44.50; 4x200 - Isaiah Brown, Kelly Johnson, Daniel Jackson, Venald Becker, 2nd, 1:34.33; 4x800 - Nicolas Wieberdink, Owen Draper, Hunter Mohr, Riley Wagner, 1st, 8:43.16; Sprint medley relay - Venald Becker, Trey Negen, Isaiah Brown, Elliott Kent, 1st, 1:40.17; Distance medley relay - Throck Lehmann, Hunter Mohr, Nicholae Meyers, Harrison Greathouse, 2nd, 11:53.03; 4x110m shuttle hurdles - Samuel Williams, Dylan Frusciante, Otto Anderson, Jeremiah Oleson, 1st, 1:10.72; Shot Put - Ashton Sayre, 5th, 46-00.00; High jump - Jacob Balcome, T1st, 5-10.00; Dean Lempka, 3rd, 5-08.00; Pole vault - Trey Negen, 1st, 11-00.00; Samuel Williams, 4th, 10-00.00; Long Jump - Evan Kludt, 1st, 20-03.35; Walker Hennen, 4th, 18-10.00; Macklen Heydt, 5th, 18-04.50; Triple jump - Evan Kludt, 1st, 40-06.00; Macklen Heydt, 2nd, 40-03.00; Kelly Johnson, 5th, 38-06.50; Walker Hennen, 6th, 36-07.00

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ALEXANDRIA GIRLS TOP-SIX FINISHES - 1600m - Citori Halbe, 2nd, 5:30.18; Bobbi Nichols, 4th, 5:43.50; 3200m - Brynn Cross, 2nd, 12:26.41; Brooklyn Jurchenko, 3rd, 12:53.32; Brynn Kosters, 4th, 12:57.88; 300m hurdles - Sophia Korynta, 1st, 49.80; Addison Gulbrandson, 3rd, 51.53; 4x100 - Payten Kor, Kaija Schneider, Addison Fettig, Elena Fuglestad, 1st, 51.50; 4x200 - Payten Kor, Kaia Emter, Addison Fettig, Elena Fuglestad, 1st, 1:50.55; 4x800 - Greta Oldenkamp, Isabella Nei, Evelyn Kuhnau, Jaelyn Miller, 1st, 10:10.05; Sprint medley relay - Payten Kor, Addison Fettig, Kaia Emter, Jisella Haskamp, 2nd, 2:00.89; distance medley relay - Giselle Jahner, Jaelyn Miller, Quinn Hills, Kasey Soderholm, 1st, 13:18.54; 4x100 shuttle hurdles - Lydia Oldenkamp, Sophia Korynta, Addison Gulbrandson, Emma Paulson, 1st, 1:15.85; Shot Put - Amaria Sowada, 3rd, 34-02.50; Elise Maagard, 4th, 33-05.50; Rayna Holm, 6th, 32-01.00; Discus - Elise Maagard, 1st, 123-10; Amaria Sowada, 3rd, 109-01; Maya Wagner, 5th, 103-00; High jump - Eloise Homelvig, T3rd, 4-10.00; Pole vault - Izzy Kent, 2nd, 10-00.00; Long jump - Alison Krasky, 2nd, 15-06.50; Ella Steussy, 6th, 15-01.00; Triple jump - Ella Steussy, 1st, 35-04.00; Sophia Korynta, T2nd, 33-01.00; Alison Krasky, T2nd, 33-01.00; Marisa Rousu, 4th, 32-08.00; Kaia Emter, T6th, 32-04.00

MIXED RELAY - Otto Anderson, Greta Oldenkamp, Jisella Haskamp, Riley Wagner, 2nd, 3:57.67; Alison Krasky, Elliott Kent, Elena Fuglestad, Owen Draper, 3rd, 3:57.92;

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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