by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River’s bid for a fourth straight conference girls track title Thursday came down to the final race. The Elks had to beat Blaine in the 4×400 at Coon Rapids or the dynasty was over.
“There was definitely pressure,” said Chelsey Petrich, who ran the third leg, “but it’s really fun, too, to put the team on your backs like that.”
The foursome of Kennedy Warner, Rachel Ness, Petrich and anchor Anna Haugen got the job done, finishing second, two places ahead of Blaine’s quartet. Ness, already the 1600 and 3200 champion, opened a 12-meter lead in her leg.
The Elks beat the Bengals by the microscopic margin of 121 to 120.833 points in a two-horse race to rack up another Northwest Suburban Conference title.
Blaine had 5.5 points for a third-place tie in pole vault and .333 points for an eighth-place tie in pole vault, thus the .833 fraction.
(Note: the article on Saturday’s print edition of the Star News will say the margin was 1.67 points, but at deadline for the paper we did not have the official results in hand.)
Coach Steve Hamilton said eighth-grader Warner was his last-minute pick to spruce up the 1600 quartet after Lindsey Lowe, who’d just won a furious 300 hurdles race, begged off.
Petrich applauded the leadoff runner: “Kennedy is super young but she really came through and stepped up to the plate.”
The Elks had their usual leaders. Elk junior Molli Detloff won discus, took third in shot and fifth in the 100, and anchored a second-place 4×100.
Lowe, a senior, took 300 hurdles in a lifetime best 45.68 that’s just .07 off the school record, and placed third in 100 hurdles.
“I was pushing myself and visualizing being in first place. I was not going to let that girl beat me,” said Lowe. “No stuttering. Got to go hard over all of them.”
Hamilton, a former hurdler himself, took over as hurdles coach when he became the new head coach this year. But he didn’t want to take a whole lot of credit for the success of Lowe, Sohns, and Logan Grace and Mitch Peterzen on the boys team.
“Those hurdlers were really good before I got here,” he said. “Brenda Holmgren did a really good job with them through the years. Now we’ve got to work on finding new hurdlers. We’ll be losing a lot.”
Ness, a freshman, had the distance double, and Warner was third in both. Senior Jordyn Sohns was second in the 100 hurdles. Eighth-grader Sydney Wentland was second in shot with 37-9 3/4 and fourth in discus.
“Our distance and throws and hurdles are going to carry us,” said Hamilton, “but every little thing matters in a meet like this. Every point is important … I’m so proud of all of them. They are a fun group to work with.”
Shot coach Wayne Becklin praised the multiple talents of Detloff and Wentland (also a sprinter and triple jumper) after they finished behind Coon Rapids’ powerful Courtney Pasiowetz.
“These girls are running back and forth to their other events all the time, and nobody else over there is doing that, so you can see the kind of athletes we have.”
Next for the Elks is Section 7AA on Wednesday and Saturday at UM-Duluth.
1. Elk River 121
2. Blaine 120.833
3. Anoka 78.5
4. Maple Grove 69.333
5. Centennial 63
6. Coon Rapids 55.333
7. Robbinsdale Armstrong 49
8. Osseo 46.5
9. Andover 42
10. Champlin Park 38.5
11. Park Center 18
Champions, and Elk placers
100 hurdles — Alex Williams, Blaine, 15.49 … Elks: (3) Jordyn Sohns 16.10 (4) Lindsey Lowe 16.28
300 hurdles — Lowe 46.68 … Other Elks: (7) Sohns 49.68
100 dash — Morgan Taylor, Blaine, 12.28 … Elks: (5) Molli Detloff 13.31
200 dash — Phillis Webb, Osseo, 25.21
400 dash — Feyisayo Ayobamidele, Park Center, 1:00.11 … Elks: (5) Chelsey Petrich 1:03.28
800 run — Kelsey Sather, Armstrong, 2:21.41 … Elks: (4) Anna Haugen 2:26.26 (8) Samantha Hendricks 2:28.08
1600 run — Rachel Ness, Elks, 5:21.24 … Other Elks: (3) Kennedy Warner 5:23.76
3200 run — Ness 11:32.32 … Other Elks: (3) Warner 11:46.19
4×100 relay — Blaine 49.14 … Elks: (2) Hannah Van Eps, Shayne Schoenfelder, Ava Kramer, Detloff, 52.02
4×200 relay — Blaine 1:43.24 … Elks: (8) 1:52.14
4×400 relay — Maple Grove 4:09.96 .. (2) Elks: Warner, Ness, Petrich, Haugen, 4:10.80
4×800 relay — Centennial 9:45.58 … Elks: (5) 10:07.59
Triple jump — Katherine Roetering, Maple Grove, 36-3/4
Long jump — Roetering 16-3
High jump — Gabbi Guimont, Anoka, 5-2
Pole vault — Emily Delaney, Armstrong, 9-11
Discus — Detloff 123-6 … Other Elks: Sydney Wentland 107-0
Shot put — Courtney Pasiowetz, Coon Rapids, 43-1/2 … Elks: Wentland 37-9 3/4 (3) Detloff 37-7 3/4