The field for Section 6A in track and field features 29 programs. Securing spots at the state meet is challenging because of that depth, but Minnewaska overcame that to send six boys and six girls to Hamline University in St. Paul for the June 7-8 state meet.
The top two individuals and top two relays automatically qualify for state, and there are also time and distance standards that can qualify an athlete or relay team.
The Minnewaska girls had Emily Kaiser set a new school record in winning the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.54. She qualified for two events at state by also taking second in the 200-meter dash to take second in 26.14.
Ellie Danielson won the high jump (5-02) to earn her spot at state, while Emma Kovarik qualified in the 300-meter hurdles by winning the 6A title in 48.44. The 4x800 relay team of Bailey Schoen, Makena Thoen, Kristen Glover and Danielson will also head to Hamline after taking second in the 6A meet in a time of 9:42.48.
The Minnewaska boys will also be well represented.
Peyton and Connor Johnsrud both jumped their way to St. Paul. Peyton set a new school record and also a new Section 6A record that had stood since 1988 in the high jump. He won that event by clearing 6-feet, 8-inches. Connor qualified in the triple jump as he won by almost two feet with a mark of 43-06.
The 4x100 relay team for the Lakers of Aiden Tank, Tyson Meyer, John Helander and Jackson Meyer also qualified with a school-record time of 44.30 to take first in that event.
West Central Area, Parkers Prairie and Ashby-Brandon-Evansville also competed in the Section 6A field, with junior Jayden Gylsen earning the lone spot at state among those programs.
Gylsen finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 41-10.50. Mason Schroeder of the Panthers also had a good finish in the 200-meter dash as he took fourth in 23.49 seconds.
In distance events, Luke Geiser was eighth in the 3,200-meter run (10:46.71) and 12th in the 1,600 (4:56.31). Olivia Long represented the Parkers Prairie girls by taking 14th in the shot put (28-11).
For the WCA girls, Teagan Nelson had a top-10 finish by taking ninth in the 3,200-meter run (13:04.55). The 4x800 relay team took seventh in 10:53.02 and Brynn Fernholz tied for eighth in the high jump by clearing 4-08 and took 10th in the triple jump (30-11). Sydney Ulrich was 10th in the long jump (14-03.25) and Taylah Schroeder was ninth in the shot put (31-06).
Three WCA boys distance runners just missed qualifying for state. Jack Van Kempen was third in the 1,600-meter run in 4:39.36, while Kyle Schill was eighth in that race (4:45.10). Van Kempen also took fifth in the 800-meter run (2:08.41) and Schill was sixth (2:09.02).
Jacob Bright led the Knights in the 3,200-meter run by taking third in 9:50.69, while Alex Sawasser was ninth (10:48.41). Gage Staples rounded out WCA’s top-10 finishers at the section meet by tying for sixth in the high jump (5-7) and taking seventh in the triple jump (39-10).
The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville team got an eighth-place finish from Aanika Anderson in the 400-meter dash (1:02.95), while Cailey Schlosser was 15th in the discus (80-04).
For the boys, Cade Carlson ran a prelims time of 11.75 in the 100-meter dash. Senior Eli Anderson finished in 17.49 in the 110-meter hurdles, good for 11th place, and Jake Rein qualified for the section meet from subsections but did not register a height in the high jump.