Paschka finishes her Cardinals career with three top-four finishes
Alexandria’s Kaye Paschka wrapped up her record career with the Cardinals with three all-state finishes on Saturday in St. Paul.
Paschka ran in both the hurdle events, finishing fourth in the 100-meter race in 14.50 seconds and wrapping up her season in second place in the 300 hurdles (43.92) after breaking her own school record in that race during the prelims at 43.85. Around those races was also a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a long mark of 36-11.25.
“It definitely means a lot to me,” Paschka said. “I’ve been working really hard this year and just trusting the process, praying before every meet and giving it up to God. I think that’s why this year I’ve had the success that I’ve had.”
Paschka’s ability to excel in multiple events has benefitted the Cardinals over the years in racking up a lot of team points, but she admits that days like Saturday can be a bit stressful.
“I think the key is to just focus on one thing at a time,” she said. “When I’m jumping, I focus on that. Mind over matter if I’m tired. With this being my last high school meet, I just wanted to lay it all out there and keep pushing myself.”
Organizers moved her up in the triple jump lineup so she could jump and then race over to the track to run the 100-meter hurdles before returning for the finals of jumps. She was on the awards podium for the triple jump five minutes before the 300-hurdles started.
“It’s kind of stressful, but over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at using my nerves as energy,” Paschka said. “Even if I’m nervous, I know that’s a good thing because I’ll have more adrenaline. I was kind of stressed today, but I’m blessed to be able to do three events. I was happy to be there in all of them.”
It wraps up a standout career for the future Augustana University athlete. Paschka was one of three finalists for the Ms. Minnesota Track and Field Award, an honor that was won by Mounds View’s Julia Fixsen on Saturday.
Paschka heads to college in Sioux Falls this fall after leaving her mark on the Cardinals program as the school record-holder in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.
“I’m just so happy and blessed that I was given these talents by God and being able to use them for him is really satisfying,” Paschka said. “Not just doing this for myself, but doing it for something greater. It’s been a heck of a ride. I’m going to miss it a lot, but I know there’s bigger and better things out there for me.”