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Track and field: Minnewaska, West Central Area get in outdoor meet at Benson

The Minnewaska girls ran away with a team win, while the boys took second. West Central Area head coach Dave Schleicher also liked what he saw out of his athletes in their first meet of the season.

Emma Kovarik
Minnewaska's Emma Kovarik clears a hurdle at the Class A state meet during the 2021 season. Kovarik helped the Lakers to a win in Benson on April 21, 2022 by getting two individual wins in the triple jump and the 300-meter hurdles.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The Minnewaska and West Central Area track and field programs traveled a little ways south to get in an outdoor meet on April 21 as the Lakers and Knights went to Benson.

Minnewaska was second in the boys meet out of seven programs, while the girls won handily with 229 points. Morris Area was a distant second in that meet with 154 team points. West Central Area was fourth (85) in the girls’ meet and fifth (53) in the boys' meet.

“I was pleased overall with everyone's performances,” WCA head coach Dave Schleicher said. “For the first meet this late in April, I feel like we were kind of behind on things, but as usual the kids went out and competed hard. We did some of the bigger things well and some smaller things bad. Once we put them together, we will see some special things from this group by season's end.”

Tyler Stone led the way for the Knights in that boys meet as he won the discus by almost six feet with a finals mark of 131-05. Stone also took second in the shot put at 40-07.50.

Shad Swanson had a second-place finish in the 3200-meter run in 12:43.17.

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“He has put in a lot of miles in his personal mission to get to state,” Schleicher said.

Schleicher was excited about first-year track and field athlete Isaac Kreft and his fourth-place finish in the shot put and sixth-place finish in the triple jump.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from Isaac’s first attempt in the triple jump,” Schleicher said. “I knew he would be explosive, but to go out and jump 33 feet was pretty amazing.”

Schleicher also lauded the impact junior Anthony Sykora had in the 100-meter dash and relays. Sykora tied for sixth in the 100 and was part of the third-place 4x100 team of Stone, Roman Mihailovschi and Parker Stach.

Senior Lexi Bright led the WCA girls’ charge as she finished first in the 1600-meter run in 5:32.70. Bright added a third-place finish in the long jump and in the 800-meter run.

Jayden Styba had a fifth-place finish in the shot put, and Terina Blascyk tied for third in the high jump. The WCA 4x800 relay team of Blascyk, Macy Grosz, Taylor Bennett and Alexa Blume were second behind Minnewaska in a time of 11:10.44.

Kiera Gehrke added a fifth-place finish in the 100 dash, while Keyenna Gehrke was fifth in the 200. Vicky Junker finished right in front of Bright in the 800 in second place, and Taylor Bennett added a runner-up finish in the 3200.

Lakers fill the leaderboard

The Minnewaska girls ran away with the team win by packing the top-eight point scorers in each event.

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The Lakers went 1-2-3 in the 200-meter dash with Emily Kaiser (28.91), Alannah Christensen (29.53) and Mya Lindemann (29.59).

The Minnewaska girls had 12 first-place finishes in all. Jayda Kolstoe won the shot put, and Brooklyn Meyer tied for first in the long jump. Other wins came from Emma Kovarik (triple jump, 300 hurdles), Ava Chevalier (high jump), McKenzie Luetmer (400 dash), Olivia Danielson (800 run), and all four relay teams.

The Minnewaska boys had two first-place finishes. Noah Danielson won the high jump after clearing 5-feet, 8-inches. Danielson, Jayce Kovarik, Nick Ankeny, and Maeson Tank also won the 4x800 relay in 8:49.95.

BENSON INVITE GIRLS TEAM SCORES - Minnewaska - 229; Morris Area - 154; Benson-KMS - 102; WCA - 85; Ortonville - 50; BBE - 32; Hancock - 28

BOYS TEAM SCORES - Morris Area - 185; Minnewaska - 158; Benson-KMS - 105; Ortonville - fourth, 69; WCA - 53; Hancock - 51; BBE - 33

WCA GIRLS POINT SCORERS - SHOT PUT - Jayden Styba - fifth, 28-08.50; DISCUS - Olivia Schmidt - eighth, 71-06; LONG JUMP - Lexi Bright - third, 14-02.75; Kaitlyn Hanson - sixth, 13-02.50; TRIPLE JUMP - Jayden Styba - eighth, 28-01.50; HIGH JUMP - Terina Blascyk -t-third, 4-04; 4X800 RELAY - Terina Blascyk, Macy Grosz, Taylor Bennett, Alexa Blume - second, 11:10.44; 100 DASH - Kiera Gehrke - fifth, 13.26; 4x200 RELAY - Maci Robinson, Brooklyn Strobel, Liz Rustan, Kiera Gehrke - fifth, 2:04.24; 1600 RUN - Lexi Bright - first, 5:32.70; 4x100 RELAY - Kiera Gehrke, Maci Robinson, Kaitlyn Hanson, Keyenna Gehrke - fourth, 56.30; 800 RUN - Vicky Junker - second, 2:33.09; Lexi Bright - third, 2:33.12; 200 DASH - Keyenna Gehrke - fifth, 30.30; Liz Rustan - sixth, 31.22; Macy Grosz - eighth, 31.54; 3200 RUN - Taylor Bennett - second, 14:02.55; 4x400 RELAY - Macy Grosz, Vicky Junker, Maci Robinson, Kyra Beyer - fourth, 5:05.93

WCA BOYS POINT SCORERS - SHOT PUT - Tyler Stone - second, 40-07.50; Isaac Kreft - fourth, 36-05.25; DISCUS - Stone - first, 131-05; Ben Nyreen - eighth, 90-02; TRIPLE JUMP - Isaac Kreft - sixth, 33-04.50; HIGH JUMP - Roman Mihailovschi - t-sixth, 5-02; 100 DASH - Anthony Sykora - sixth, 11.69; 4x100 RELAY - Tyler Stone, Roman Mihailovschi, Parker Stach, Anthony Sykora - third, 49.50; 200 DASH - Roman Mihailovschi - sixth, 25.36; 3200 RUN - Shad Swanson - second, 12:43.17; 4x400 RELAY - Mihailovschi, Kreft, Swanson, Ean Jones - fifth, 4:01.85

MINNEWASKA BOYS POINT SCORERS - SHOT PUT - Andrew Mrnak - eighth, 34-06.50; DISCUS - Andrew Mrnak - fourth, 107-07.50; LONG JUMP - DeShon Boyd - second, 18-10; Isaac Meyer - fifth, 17-02.25; Cade Olson - seventh, 16-10; TRIPLE JUMP - Kaiden Harvey - fourth, 35-08; Nick Ankeny - seventh, 33-00; HIGH JUMP - Noah Danielson - first, 5-08; Gage Rogers - third, 5-04; POLE VAULT - Jacob Lien - t-fourth, 9-00; 4X800 RELAY - Noah Danielson, Jayce Kovarik, Nick Ankeny, Maeson Tank - first, 8:49.95; 110-METER HURDLES - Hunter Stadsvold - second, 20.12; Cade Olson - third, 20.49; 100-METER DASH - DeShon Boyd - second, 11.18; Isaac Meyer - fourth, 11.45; Jacob Lien - t-sixth, 11.69; Gage Rogers - eighth, 11.74; 4x200 RELAY - Kaiden Harvey, Carter Meyer, Joshua Hippe, Ryan Kaiser - third, 1:46.50; 1600 RUN - Maeson Tank - third, 5:41.30; 400 DASH - Noah Danielson - second, 54.82; Ike Koenig - sixth, 58.52; 300 HURDLES - Cade Olson - third, 52.49; Hunter Stadsvold - seventh, 53.87; 200 DASH - Isaac Meyer - second, 23.82; Gage Rogers - third, 24.26; DeShon Boydt - fourth, 24.39; Jacob Lien - seventh, 25.46; 3200 RUN - Nick Ankeny - third, 13:06.20; Jayce Kovarik - fourth, 13:11.92; 4X400 RELAY - Cade Olson, Noah Danielson, Ike Koenig, Maeson Tank - second, 3:47.05

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MINNEWASKA GIRLS POINT SCORERS - SHOT PUT - Jayda Kolstoe - second, 32-07; DISCUS - Kolstoe - first, 93-10; Olivia Danielson - sixth, 75-11.50; LONG JUMP - Brooklyn Meyer - t-first, 14-06.50; Mya Lindemann - fifth, 13-07.50; Emily Kaiser - eighth, 12-08.50; TRIPLE JUMP - Emma Kovarik - first, 32-08.75; Dacia Fleury - fourth, 28-11.25; HIGH JUMP - Ava Chevalier - first, 4-08; Brooke Kolstoe - t-third, 4-04; POLE VAULT - Lyla Stadtherr - eighth, 5-06; 4X800 RELAY - first, 10:37.46; 100 HURDLES - Emma Kovarik - fifth, 17.94; Ava Chevalier - sixth, 18.51; 100 DASH - Emily Kaiser - third, 13.22; Elle Wiegand - t-sixth, 13.30; Alannah Christensen - t-sixth, 13.30; Mya Lindemann - t-sixth, 13.30; 4x200 RELAY - Ava Chevalier, Dacia Fleury, Mikalyn Andreas, Brooklyn Meyer - first, 2:00.54; 1600 RUN - Aubrey Stark - second, 5:37.10; Sydnie Chevalier - seventh, 6:13.60; 4x100 RELAY - Alannah Christensen, Mya Lindemann, Emma Kovarik, Emily Kaiser - first, 52.70; 400 DASH - McKenzie Luetmer - first, 1:02.30; Teagan Stark - third, 1:06.60; Serena Mellgren - fifth, 1:11.50; Sydney Perry - eighth, 1:12; 300 HURDLES - Emma Kovarik - first, 51.02; Ava Chevalier - fourth, 55.28; Dacia Fleury - fifth, 55.30; 800 RUN - Olivia Danielson - first, 2:24.20; Makena Thoen - sixth, 2:47.71; 200 DASH - Emily Kaiser - first, 28.91; Alannah Christensen - second, 29.53; Mya Linedemann - third, 29.59; Sydney Perry - seventh, 31.40; 3200 RUN - Isabelle Bautista - third, 15:23.83; Elsey Hagen - fourth, 15:57.83; Kiearra Wilmes - fifth, 16:33.88; 4x400 RELAY - Teagan Stark, Lauryn Ankeny, Olivia Danielson, McKenzie Luetmer - first, 4:24.24

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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