Track: Thunder’s Ortberg leads 728 area athletes at state track prelims

Cassandra Ortberg of Zimmerman pulled away from the field on the way to winning her heat in the 300 hurdles prelims. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


Zimmerman hurdler Cassandra Ortberg had the second-best time in the 300 hurdles preliminaries Friday at the state track meet, the top performance among District 728 athletes there.

Ortberg, a junior competing in Class AA for the first time after qualifying twice in Class A, won her heat with a career-best 44.69 at Hamline, well under her 45.42 at section that was .02 behind a Forest Lake hurdler who did not make finals Friday.

Elk 4-by-100 relay anchor Logan Daulton accelerated after getting the baton from Kellu Edwards. The Elks had the fifth-best time and reached finals. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


Thief River Falls eighth-grader Meleah Biermaier won the other heat with a torrid 43.33 and Lakeville South’s Shaina Burns matched Ortberg’s time of 44.69.

Ortberg’s other event didn’t go as well, as her 15-10 long jump placed 12th and didn’t make the finals. She had gone 17-2 1/4 at sectionals.

Madeline Schaeffer of Rogers made finals in the 300 hurdles. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Also advancing to finals were  Elk River’s Jordyn Sohns in the 100 hurdles,  the Elks 4-by-100 girls relay, along with Rogers’ Madeline Schaeffer in the 300 hurdles.

Elk sophomore discus thrower Molli Detloff was not close to her best with a 125-4 that placed 13th. Her PR was 142-9 this year and she placed third at state last year with 132-0.

Sohns had the ninth-best prelim time in the 100 hurdles at 15.29 (beating her first-place section run of 15.38) to grab the last slot in the finals.

The Elk 400 quartet of Detloff, Alana Embury, Kelly Edwards and Logan  Daulton had the fifth-best prelim time, 49.70, beating their section qualifying time of  50.17. Hopkins had the best time, 48.56.

Schaeffer posted the eighth-best prelim time in 300 hurdles, 45.67, slightly behind her 45.46 that won her section.

Caleb LeClaire, Rogers senior, placed 16th in the 3200 meter finals with 9:58.28. He had run a PR of 9:43.18 in the section to qualify.

Logan Grace (right) of the Elks took fifth in his head and didn't advance to finals in 300 intermediates. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Logan Grace, Elk River junior, took fifth in his heat of the 300 intermediate hurdles with 39.82 and did not advance to the finals. He was slightly off  his qualifying time of 39.74.

Finals Saturday

Two Elk 4-by-800 relay teams that placed second at sectionals will compete in the first event of finals on Saturday, the girls at 9 a.m. and the boys at 9:13 a.m.
Sohns’ 100 hurdles final is set for 9:33 a.m., while the Elk 4-by-100 team will run at 11:13 a.m., and Ortberg and Schaeffer in the 300 hurdles final is set for 11:23 a.m.