When the Section 7A Track and Field Meet in Cloquet is complete today, local teams are confident there will be a good Iron Range contingent heading to the State Meet next week at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Several area teams sent competitors to today’s Section 7A finals and believe the State Meet is within reach for them. The top two places in each event today will advance to the State Meet.
Rock Ridge boys co-coach Jon Wagner said Josh Creer-Oberstar and Cameron Stocke are looking especially good.
Creer-Oberstar is hoping to return to state in the high jump and the 200 meter dash. He has jumped 6 feet, 5 inches, while the next highest in the section is 5 feet, 10 inches, Wagner said. He is also one of the top guys in the 200 meters, as well. The senior won both events last week at subsections.
As far as Stocke’s chances, Wagner said he has two of the best times in the state in the 800 meters and the 1600 meters and is looking to win today after winning both last week.
In the 4x200 relay, Rock Ridge came out on top at subsections with a time of 1:33.80 and is the top seed for today’s meet. The unit consists of Ethan Zlimen, Karson Sortedahl, Jacob Burress and Creer-Oberstar.
Zlimen also comes in after a first-place finish in the 100 meter dash with a best time of 12.01. Wagner believes there are “probably six guys that are really close to each other’’ and who makes state could depend on the wind and other factors. “We’ll see what luck brings him.’’
The RR 4x100 relay of (Zlimen, Sortedahl, Burress and Creer-Oberstar) were also second at subsections (45.32) and are now the No. 2 seed today. Wagner is again confident. “We think we can do better than what we’ve done there.’’
The Wolverines’ 4x400 relay of Owen Engel, Burress, Ryan Herberg and Stocke should be in the “thick of it,’’ as well, the coach said. Regarding the jumpers, he added, Zlimen and Sortedahl have been two of RR’s top jumpers all year and could get a high place at sections.
Rock Ridge Girls
The subsection champion Wolverines coach Deanna Kerzie is looking for Ava Fink to do well in the 100 meters (13.36) and the 200 meters (27.85) after winning both at subsections. Fink is ranked third in the 100 and third or fourth in the 200. Teammate Jennie Krause is right up there with her after getting a 13.92 at subsections.
Elli Jankila is coming off a runner-up finish in the triple jump (32 feet, 7.75 inches) and third in the long jump (15 feet, 2.75 inches). Ella Lamppa, meanwhile, took third in triple with a leap of 31 feet, 10.5 inches.
Both still haven’t done their best jumps, Kerzie said, and that could happen at any time.
Maggie Landwer took second in the pole vault (8 feet, 0 inches), while the highest seeded jumper at sections comes in at 8 feet, 6 inches. Kerzie said Landwer has jumped 9 feet, 0 inches and she thinks “Maggie can go higher than 9.’’
The RR 4x100 relay (Landwer, Jankila, Krause and Fink) and the 4x400 relay (Landwer, Jankila, Abby Crum, Lamppa) were both third and sections could get interesting, Kerzie said. “It’s coming down to those handoffs.’’
Mesabi East Boys
Gavin Skelton is on the top of the Giants heap, according to coach Steve Ekman. Skelton won the 300 meter hurdles in 41.34 last week and is “right there to be winning it’’ at sections. Skelton also finished second in the discus throw (146 feet, two inches), as well as the 110 meter hurdles (17.37). Ekman believes the senior has a chance to win the discus too.
Mesabi East’s 4x200 relay (Hunter Hannuksela, Jamie Hill, Jack Ribich, Cooper Levander) has the best shot at advancing with a time of 1:38.11 at subsections, according to the coach.
Mesabi East Girls
Ekman knows all his relays are strong but the 4x800 relay (Kiarra Moehlenbrock, Lydia Skelton, Lindsey Baribeau, Kora Forsline, 10:24.00) and 4x100 relay (Hannah Hannuksela, Forsline, Kailey Fossell, Elli Theel, 51.63) have the best shot at state. “It’s not going to be easy by any means.’’
Lindsey Baribeau and Aubree Skelton “have a really good shot at state,’’ said Ekman. Baribeau won the 400 meter dash in 1:03.49 and Skelton claimed the 800 meter crown in 2:28.14.
Mountain Iron-Buhl Girls
Twin sisters Liz and Kate Nelson lead the Rangers contingent after finishing first and second, respectively in both the 1600 and 3200 meters. Liz took the 1600 in 5:33.79, while Kate came in at 5:34.00. In the 3200, Liz won the race in 12:13.76 and Kate was the runner-up in 12:14.04.
Mountain Iron-Buhl Boys
Jeffrey Kayfes (1600 meters), Matt Morgan (110 hurdles) and Carols Hernandez (pole vault) all took fourth place last week and are the Rangers best chance at going to state.
The Titans were led by Emmalee Oviatt, who won the shot put with a mark of 35 feet, two inches. GNK will also look to the runner-up 4x800 meter relay team of Emma Williams, Lola Champlin, Claire Clusiau and Baylie Norris qualifying for sections with a time of 10:41.60.
The subsection champion Titans hope to send several athletes to state after last week’s team win.
Taevon Wells is coming off a 400 meter dash win (52.61), Geno Uhrbom won the 3200 meter run (10:08.20) and Jajuan Hall finished first in the 110 meter hurdles (16.64). The Titans will also look to Isaiah Austad, Bodie Jorgenson, Wells, Uhrbom, who won the 4x400 relay (3:36.54) and Weston Marx, Benjamin Plackner, Daniel Olson and Michael Butterfield, who took the top spot in the 4x800 relay (8:39.51)
The Bluestreaks are paced by Tresa Baumgard in the high jump. The freshman jumped an event-best five feet last week, beating out her closest competitor by two inches.
July Abernathy tied for second in the high jump at five feet, four inches and has his sights set on making it to state.
Ely is led by Emmett Faltesek, who took second in the 800 meter run in 2:06.54.