Track and field: Paschka, Duwenhoegger, Olson all finalists for top honor in the state
The Alexandria boys and girls track and field programs have put together one of their best combined seasons in recent history.
Both made state true team, both won Central Lakes Conference championships and both cemented themselves as top teams in the Section 8AA field as the girls won the title and the boys finished second in Willmar last Saturday. Combined, they will send 17 athletes to state this weekend in St. Paul, and more evidence of their accomplishments came earlier this week when the Minnesota Track and Field Coaches Association announced its 10 finalists for the 2019 Mr. and Mrs. Track and Field Awards. Alexandria had three athletes among those finalists as Drew Olson is up for the award for the boys and Kaye Paschka and McKenzie Duwenhoegger are both in the running for the girls.
Paschka qualified for state in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump. Her seed time of 14.43 is the fastest in the field for the 100 hurdles, and her 300 time of 44.03 is second fastest to Edina's Evelyn Adams (43.81). Her mark of 37-feet is the fifth best among Class AA competitors in the triple jump at state.
Duwenhoegger comes in to state this weekend with the third best mark in the shot put (41-07.50). Her Alexandria teammate, junior Mya Lesnar, has the top seed mark at 44-02.75, while Maya Cochrane of Woodbury has a throw of 41-10.75. Duwenhoegger's discus seed mark of 138-09 is second in the state field to Michaela Hawkins of Roseville Area (158-04), while Lesnar is third in the discus (136-01) entering the meet.
Olson set individual Section 8AA records in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes this past Saturday. His 100 dash time of 10.58 seconds is the fastest in the state field entering prelims on Friday, and his 200 time of 22.05 is tied for seventh with Samuel Amusan of Rochester Century. Joe Fahnbulleh of Hopkins has the fastest seed time in the 200 at 21.29.