Track and field: Three earn MVP honors for Alexandria girls

Seniors Emma Ecker and Aleah Miller shared that most-valuable honor among distance runners, and senior Hailie Kent was the most valuable sprinter/hurdler and named the most valuable field athlete.

Emma Ecker
Alexandria senior Emma Ecker, right, runs in the 3200-meter race at the Class AA state meet on June 10, 2022. Ecker earned the Cardinals' Most Valuable Distance Runner Award with senior teammate Aleah Miller after Ecker finished as an all-state athlete in both the 3200 run (fifth place) and 4x800 relay (first place). Miller was all state in the 1600-meter run after winning the Class AA championship in that event.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — Like the Alexandria boys’ team, the girls for the Cardinals track and field program put together another big season that included Central Lakes Conference and Section 8AA championships after earning a trip to the Class AAA state true team meet.

The Alexandria girls named four most valuable performers from different events who helped lead the way.

Seniors Emma Ecker and Aleah Miller shared that most-valuable honor among distance runners, and senior Hailie Kent was the most valuable sprinter/hurdler and the most valuable field athlete. Seniors Ailynn Fettig and Sonja Schabel also earned team honors by sharing the Coaches’ Award.

Ecker was part of the 4x800 relay team with junior Giselle Jahner, sophomore Jaelyn Miller and freshman Kasey Soderholm that won the Class AA state title. All four earned all-state honors by being top-nine finishers from the state meet, while Ecker also added that honor in the 3200-meter run where she finished fifth. That’s in addition to earning All-CLC honors from the conference championship in the 3200 and 4x800 relay.

With the addition of a third class in track and field in the Minnesota State High School League in 2022, winners from the Class AA state meet are new record holders. So the 4x800-relay time from Alexandria of 9:26.31 is the mark to beat, and so too is Aleah Miller’s 1600-meter state-winning time of 4:59.57. That’s in addition to also holding the Section 8AA record in the 1600 after winning that event in 4:56.16. Miller was also All-CLC in the 1600 and 4x400 relay.


Hailie Kent was a versatile athlete throughout her career in the jumps and sprints. She finished all state in the long jump (seventh), and triple jump (eighth) as a senior. She became the Section 8AA record holder by winning both those events, along with earning All-CLC honors in both jumps, and honorable-mention All-CLC honors in the 100-meter dash and 4x100 relay.

Other all-state athletes from the Cardinals’ season with top-nine finishes at the state meet included Jaelyn Miller in the 800-meter run (sixth), sophomore Amaria Sowada in the discus (eighth) and freshman Alison Krasky in the long jump (ninth).

The Alexandria girls added a big group of academic all-state athletes in 2022. Those award winners included Ecker, Hailie Kent, Aleah Miller, Elena Fuglestad, Emma Hochhalter, Jahner, Izzy Kent, Brynn Kosters, Ella Steussy, Kaia Emter, Addison Fettig, Elle Heydt, Sophia Korynta, Elise Magaard, Greta Oldenkamp, Marisa Rousu, Maya Wagner, and Alison Krasky.

The Cardinals named soon-to-be seniors Elena Fuglestad, Giselle Jahner, Izzy Kent, Brynn Kosters and Sophia Vinje as their 2023 team captains.

(Editor's note: The first version of this story listed junior Izzy Kent as the Cardinals’ Most Valuable Field Athlete Award winner. It was senior Hailie Kent who earned that honor.
Izzy Kent did help lead the Alexandria field athletes by earning honorable-mention All-CLC honors in the pole vault from the conference meet. She set a school record in the pole vault this spring by clearing 9-feet, 10-inches.)

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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