by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Even with their top scorer sidelined, the Elk River girls are close to capturing their third straight conference track championship.
After 16 of 18 events, the other two delayed to Friday due to rain Thursday, the Elks lead an extremely close Northwest Suburban race at Coon Rapids with 82.5 points. In striking distance are Osseo with 79.5 and Blaine and Armstrong with 76 each, with Armstrong also close at 68.
The title will be up for grabs Friday when triple jump and shot put are held, beginning 3 p.m.
Elk senior Alana Embury was a big spark Thursday as she won pole vault with a 10-0 leap and ran legs on relays that placed second, third and fifth.
“We know how important Dani Detlof is to our team,” said Embury after winning pole vault, “but we’re giving it all we’ve got, and before I came over here I heard on the loudspeaker we were ahead by a couple points.”
Detloff, senior sprinter and long jumper who’s led the Elks in scoring the last three years, tweaked a hamstring while long-jumping on Tuesday (she placed fourth). The Elks are hoping she’ll be back for sectionals next week.
“I thought Blaine might be running away with it,” said Elk coach Russ Gnan. “It’s really nice to be in the mix.”
Having just watched the 4-by-100 team of Molli Detloff, Embury, Josie Brown and Logan Daulton place second, he noted, “For them to find out Monday they won’t have Dani and then come here and place second, that’s pretty darn good.”
Elk junior Jordyn Sohns also gave the Elks a big boost, placing third in the 100 hurdles and fourth in the 300. The Elks were blanked in the three sprints (where Dani Detloff would have scored in the 100 and 200) but held their own in the longer runs as Rachel Ness took fourth in the 1600 and fifth in the 3200, Samantha Hendricks fifth in the 800 and Chelsea Schlegel eighth in the 3200.
Also scoring points Thursday were senior pole vaulter Laura Crepeau with a 9-3 effort (shattering her previous best of 8-6) for eighth place and Lindsey Lowe with seventh in the 100 hurdles.
Girls pole vault and boys high jump were held in the fieldhouse (the old gymnasium) due to the rain that delayed the meet by one hour.
Embury, who’s won in relays before, was elated to earn her first individual conference gold. In a duel with Champlin Park’s Carly Denler, each cleared 10 feet, but Embury made that height on her first try and Denler missed once. When they both failed at 10-3, that made Embury the winner.
“You have to do a lot of the little things right, just like in gymnastics,” said Embury, also an all-conference and state-qualifying gymnast, about what makes a good vault. She matched her personal best.
The Elks picked up crucial points in the last event of the day as the 4-by-400 team of Anna Haugen, Embury, Chelsey Petrich and Abigail McDonald won the “slow heat” by a wide margin and wound up placing third, ahead of all their top rivals for the team title. Haugen, Petich and McDonald all had PR splits and Embury was close.
“That was sweet,” said Gnan.
With 16 of 18 events completed
1. Elk River 82.5
2. Osseo 79.5
3. Blaine 76.0
Robbinsdale Armstrong 76.0
5. Champlin Park 68.0
6. Andover 64.5
7. Coon Rapids 41.5
8. Centennial 37.0
9. Park Center 27.0
10. Maple Grove 26.0
100 hurdles — (1) Michelle Ndely, Champlin Park, 15.54 … Elks: (3) Jordyn Sohns 15.69 (7) Lindsey Lowe 16.47
300 hurdles — (1) Amber Harris, Coon Rapids, 46.46 … Elks: (4) Sohns 48.08
100 dash — (1) Phillis Webb, Osseo, 12.18
200 dash — (1) Anuli Okonkwo, Osseo, 25.35
400 dash — (1) Raquel Thelen, Andover, 59.95
800 run — (1) Megan Kienholz, Centennial, 2:16.80 … Elks: (5) Samantha Hendricks 2:25.24
1600 run —(1) Katelyn Fritz, Anoka, 5:11.48 … Elks: (4) Rachel Ness 5:20.23
3200 run — (1) Melissa Cabak, Armstrong, 11:07.08 … Elks: (5) Ness 11:38.28 (8) Chelsea Schlegel 11:55.47
4-by-100 relay — (1) Andover 49.44 …. Elks: (2) Molli Detloff, Alana Embury, Kelly Edwards, Logan Daulton 50.49
4-by-200 relay — (1) Osseo 1:43.26 … Elks: (5) Embury, Josie Brown, Jenna Kivley, Daulton, 1:50.62
4-by-400 relay — (1) Osseo 4:06.15 … Elks: (3) Anna Haugen, Embury, Chelsey Petrich, Abigail McDonald 4:08.77
4-by-800 relay — (1) Centennial 9:48.03 … Elks: (3) Haugen, Gabrielle Jung, Kennedy Warner, 9:59.26
Long jump — (1) Brianna Puckett, Osseo, 19-1 3/4 … Elks: (4) Dani Detloff 17-1 1/2 (7) Edwards 16-8 1/2 (8) Daulton 16-6
Triple jump — will be held Friday
High jump — (1) Nicole Christenson, Coon Rapids, 5-4 … Elks: (6) Lindsay Madden 4-10
Pole vault — (1) Embury 10-0 … Other Elks: (8) Laura Crepeau 9-3
Shot put — will be held Friday
Discus — (1) M. Detloff 130-3