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Track and field: Minnewaska girls take 7th at Class A State; A-B-E's Wales finishes highly in three events

Minnewaska takes seventh at MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet, while A-B-E, Osakis and West Central Area all put athletes on the podium during the finals.

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Minnewaska's McKenzie Luetmer earned a second-place finish in the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022, in the 400m dash. Minnewaska took seventh as a team.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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ST. MICHAEL - The Minnewaska girls track and field team built off of a strong showing in the prelims of the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet with a strong showing in the finals on Friday that earned it seventh place.

Minnewaska’s finish was led by McKenzie Luetmer, a junior, who finished second in the 400m dash (58.24 - personal record).

“I knew I could get second, and I didn't want to settle for anything less,” Luetmer said. “Honestly, I don't really have many thoughts when I’m running. I just run my hardest and don't leave any energy in the tank.”

Luetmer finished in second behind Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball’s Ellie Kuechel (55.86).

“We've been running together this season a lot, and we've just become really good friends,” Luetmer said. “I think we were just both blown away. I was just really happy for her.”

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Ellie Kuechle of Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball (in black) and McKenzie Luetmer of Minnewaska, hug after Kuechle wins the 400m dash and Luetmer finishes second in the 400m dash finals at the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Championships on June 10, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

In last year’s state meet, Luetmer finished 16th in the 400m.

“My main motivation for this race today was how it went last year,” Luetmer said. “I made it in this event last year, but I got 16th place. So I was like, ‘Okay, everything is up from here.’ And I just wanted to make top three.”

With the time of 58.24, she broke the school record of 58.62, which she set at the Section 5A Championships.

Luetmer ran in the 4x800m relay, along with Lauryn Ankeny, Makenna Thoen and Olivia Danielson and placed third (9:37.98).

“That definitely warmed me up for the day,” Luetmer said.

Luetmer, Ankeny, Danielson and Teagan Stark also ran in the 4x400 and placed fifth (4:07.71). The Lakers ran in one other relay, the girls 4x100 with Alannah Christensen, Mya Lindemann, Emma Kovarik and Emily Kaiser and placed eighth (51.20).

Kaiser also finished eighth in the 100m dash (12.79) and Danielson placed fifth in the 800m (2:19.22).

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Minnewaska's Emily Kaiser (right) finished eighth in the 100m dash finals at the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022.

Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball won the girls meet with 81 team points.

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A-B-E’s Wales finishes her sophomore season with top seven finishes in 200m dash and 300m hurdles

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A-B-E sophomore Lucea Wales jumps over the final hurdle in the 300m hurdles race that she placed third in at the MSHSL Class State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

After finishing in eighth place in the long jump on Thursday, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville’s Lucea Wales , a sophomore, added two top seven finishes on Friday.

Wales finished in third in the 300m hurdles with a personal record time of 46.58.

“Earlier this week, my coach (Zach Traphagen) introduced a new technique for me to do, where the race is split up into different parts,” Wales said. “It’s five different parts of how to go through the race. Really this week, we got me comfortable, going with my left leg and my right leg and that really helped because I was able to attack the hurdle with each leg.”

Wales finished seventh in the 200m dash with a time of 26.68.

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A-B-E sophomore Lucea Wales earned three top eight finishes as the 2022 MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The 200m dash and 300m hurdles were both won by Concordia Academy-Roseville’s Shaina Zinter.

“Hopefully, I’m at the top next year, that’s my goal,” Wales said. “My goal for the state meet was to get to the finals and place in all three of my events, which I did do, which is pretty nice.”

Wales said she’s satisfied with the way the season ended but is hungry for more come next season.

Wales’ three finishes gave the A-B-E girls 13 meet points and a tie for 23rd finish.

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Osakis’ Kiley Kranz posts a personal record in shot put finals

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Osakis junior Kiley Kranz gets ready to throw a shot put attempt at the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022. Kranz earned a fourth place finish in the event because of a personal record throw.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Osakis junior Kiley Kranz saved her best for last on Friday in the girls shot put as she earned a personal record throw of 39-03.25 on her final throw of the event. That throw earned her fourth place.

“It felt great,” Kranz said. “I wanted a PR at state and it was good to see that hard work pays off. I really want to throw my PR thanks to my coach [Lee VanNyhuis]; he's helped me a lot. He reminded me to stay calm, not overthink, what positions I have to remember, as well as keeping my hopes high and keeping me in good spirits.”

Kranz also placed seventh in the discus throw on Thursday.

‘My mindset was just to have fun, don't overthink it and just do the best that I can,” Kranz said.

Kranz’s top seven finishes were two of the Silverstreaks' four top-nine finishes.

In the 4x100m relay final, Hailey Walker, Kiana Kendall, Mara VanNyhuis and Tessa Stanek ran a season-best 51.59 and finished ninth. Kendall, Stanek, Kaelyn Walker and Hailey Walker also posted a season-best time of 1:49.34 in the 4x200m relay finals and finished ninth.

The Silverstreaks had 11 meet points and finished in 30th place.

West Central Area’s Lexi Bright finishes fifth in girls 1600m run

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West Central Area senior Lexi Bright (gray) capped off her senior season with a fifth place finish in the 1600m run at the MSHSL Class A State Track and Field Meet on June 10, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

West Central Area’s lone state qualifier, senior Lexi Bright, had a strong showing in the 1600m run with a time of 5:20.83.

Coming down the home stretch of the race, Bright had been a couple of positions back of the top five. She made up some ground and passed a couple of runners to earn the fifth place finish.

Jade Rypkema of Nevis won the race with a time of 5:04.16.

Bright’s fifth place finish gave the Knights five meet points.

CLASS A FINALS RESULTS -

TEAM SCORES, 1. Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball, 81; 2. Concordia Academy-Roseville, 68; T3. Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 48; T3. GMLOKS, 48; 5. Luverne, 51; 6. St Cloud Cathedral, 36; Minnewaska, 32; T23. Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 13; 30. Osakis, 11; T44. West Central Area, 5

MINNEWASKA - GIRLS - 100m - Emily Kaiser, 8th, 12.79; 400m dash - McKenzie Luetmer, 2nd, 58.24; 800m - Olivia Danielson, 5th, 2:19.22; 4x100 - Alannah Christensen, Mya Lindemann, Emma Kovarik, Emily Kaiser, 8th, (51.20); 4x400 - Teagan Stark, Olivia Danielson, Lauryn Ankeny, McKenzie Luetmer, 5th, 4:07.71; 4x800 - Lauryn Ankeny, Makena Thoen, McKenzie Luetmer, Olivia Danielson, 3rd, 9:37.98;

ASHBY-BRANDON-EVANSVILLE- GIRLS - 300m hurdles - Lucea Wales, 3rd, 46.58; 200m dash, 7th, 26.68

OSAKIS - GIRLS - Shot Put - Kiley Kranz, 4th, 39-03.25; 4x100- Hailey Walker, Kiana Kendall, Mara VanNyhuis, Tessa Stanek, 9th, 51.58; 4x200 - Kaelyn Walker, Kiana Kendall, Hailey Walker, Tessa Stanek, 9th, 1:49.34

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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