Section 5A True Team title highlights another big season for Minnewaska girls so far

The Minnewaska girls produced nine first-place finishes at their May 18 qualifying meet, and the Lakers had plenty of depth behind those throughout their lineup to produce another section true team championship after winning the Class A state true team meet in 2019.

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Minnewaska's Kristen Glover (right) takes the baton from teammate Ava Chevalier during a relay at a home meet earlier this season. Glover had a hand in four top-three finishes during the Lakers' section true team qualifying meet on May 18, and Chevalier had a win in the 100-meter hurdles and a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles to help the Minnewaska girls secure a Section 5A true team championship. (Photo by Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

The Minnewaska girls track and field program proved to be the deepest team in the Section 5A field after a little bit of a wait.

This year’s section true team meets all over the state are conducted with programs competing at smaller competitions from May 17-21 and then entering those results into a virtual meet against other section teams with every athlete’s finish counting toward a team total. Minnewaska used the scores from its home meet on May 18 where the girls won with a score of 145. Litchfield was second at 79. Final scores were tallied over this past weekend where the Lakers’ finish in that May 18 meet topped the rest of the field to earn another chance to compete virtually, this time against the top teams in Class A all over Minnesota.

“Our girls team is similar to our team two years ago, with the exception of getting off to a little slower start,” Minnewaska girls’ coach Jennifer Johnsrud said. “The area teams we have competed against I am sure would agree. You just cannot replace losing a season even if you do offseason work. Everyone seems a little behind where we would normally be at this point of the season. It has taken a little longer to see our times, distances, and heights come down and look closer to where we were two years ago.”

The Lakers had nine first-place finishes in their section true team meet. Olivia Danielson was part of three of those as she won the 800 run and was part of the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams that also finished first. Ava Chevalier (100 hurdles), Emma Kovarik (300 hurdles), Metaya Jergenson (discus), Kristen Glover (high jump), Stephanie Langman (pole vault) and Emily Kaiser (long jump) also had individual wins.

“As far as grit and determination, our girls this year continue to show toughness,” Johnsrud said. “They step up when they need to and consider what is best for the team, not just for individuals. That is the whole concept of true team, using the strength of your entire team, not just having a few individuals score all the points.”


The Lakers have been able to show the depth of their program by following up a great 2019 season that included a Class A state true team championship with another section title.

“We had holes to fill this year from the graduation of seniors,” Johnsrud said. “Kids had to step up and learn new events and we had some new faces that have certainly helped us out. I think our girls will take away from this season the feeling of really being a team. Hard work, determination, selflessness and trying to only worry about the things you have control over is what we have focused on this season.”

State true team this year is run virtually like the section meet where programs who qualified will enter their scores from a meet between May 24-29 to determine a champion. Minnewaska will use the scores from its West Central Conference meet in Melrose on May 25. Final results should be available by the end of the weekend.


1st- Minnewaska 145, 2nd- Litchfield 79, 3rd- New London-Spicer, 4th- Staples-Motley, 5th- Albany 35


1st- Litchfield 96.5, 2nd- Staples-Motley 86.25, 3rd- Albany 75.25, 4th- Minnewaska 60, 5th- New London-Spicer 56



100M DASH- 3rd- Emily Kaiser 13.40; 200M DASH- 2nd- Kaiser 28.22, 3rd- Mya Lindemann 29.50; 400M DASH- 2nd- McKenzie Luetmer 1:03.43, 3rd- Kristen Glover 1:03.62; 800M RUN- 1st- Olivia Danielson 2:27.06; 3200M RUN- 2nd- Kierra Wilmes 12:45.11; 100M HURDLES- 1st- Ava Chevalier 16.73, 2nd- Emma Kovarik 17.46; 300M HURDLES- 1st- Kovarik 49.83, 2nd- Chevalier 50.61; 4X100M RELAY- 3rd- Mya Lindemann, Madie Jordan, Alannah Christensen, A. Chevalier 54.50; 4X200M RELAY- 3rd- Kovarik, Jordan, Brooklun Meyer, Christensen 1:58.19; 4X400M RELAY- 1st- Kaiser, Danielson, Makena Thoen, Luetmer 4:12.53; 4X800M RELAY- 1st- Luetmer, Danielson, Thoen, Kristen Glover 9:49.01; DISCUS- 1st- Metaya Jergenson 97-11; HIGH JUMP- 1st- Glover 4-10; POLE VAULT- 1st- Stephanie Langman 8-00, T2- Phemie Oeltjen 7-06; LONG JUMP- 1st- Kaiser 14-08.25; TRIPLE JUMP- 2nd- Glover 32-03.75, 3rd- Kovarik 30-06;


200M DASH- 3rd- Deshon Boyd 25.29; 800M RUN- 3rd- Noah Danielson 2:23.14; 4X200M RELAY- Zach Morton, Gage Rogers, Isaac Meyer, Boyd 1:42.98; 4X400M RELAY- 1st- Danielson,Colby Sorenson, Ike Koenig, Maeson Tank 3:47.08; 4X800M RELAY- Danielson, Connor Nestor, Koenig, Sorenson 9:08.81; HIGH JUMP- 1st- Peyton Johnsrud 6-02; LONG JUMP- 1st- Connor Johnsrud 19-03.5; TRIPLE JUMP- 1st- Connor Johnsrud 43-03.5, 2nd- Peyton Johnsrud 38-01.5

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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