by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River girls track earned state berths in five events, three of them by Molli Detloff, while the team’s three-year reign atop Section 7AA ended with Forest Lake beating them by 11 points, Saturday at UM-Duluth.
Detloff, a junior, goes to state in the 100 dash, discus and 4×100 while just missing in the shot put. Rachel Ness in the 1600 and Jordyn Sohns in 100 hurdles also advanced.
“We had a good meet,” said coach Steve Hamilton. “We had some seniors in relays to let them achieve things because they’ve been so good for the program. In the section it’s more for individuals.”
About Detloff, the coach said, “Molli winning the 100 was a little surprise because of how little time she spends on sprints. She is just so strong and she doesn’t like losing.”
Forest Lake total 104 points, the Elks 93 and North Branch 77 in the 15-team meet that started Wednesday. Weather conditions were much better Wednesday than Saturday when it was cold, wet and windy so times were not as good Saturday.
Detloff, the Elks’ main muscle in the throws for the past four years, had her best day as a sprinter. She took the 100 in 12.68 seconds, edging Grand Rapids freshman Bailee Brazerol by .03, then anchored a first-place 4×100 team. She got her personal-best 12.53 Wednesday, fourth-best all-time for the Elks.
The quartet of seventh-grader Hannah Van Eps, senior Chelsey Petrich, eighth-grader Ava Kramer and Detloff won 51.33, just .07 in front of St. Francis.
“Molli passed about five schools in her leg,” said Hamilton. “It was real close when she got the baton and she just went past them. She just refuses to lose.”
Detloff was discus runner-up Wednesday (140-6) and took third in shot put with 37-6 Saturday, four inches behind the runner-up. Eighth-grader Sydney Wentland was fourth with 36-1.
Ness, a freshman, won the 1600 in 5:10.52, over three seconds ahead of the runner-up. Ness was also fourth in the 800 (2:21.90).
“Rachel has had a terrific season,” said Hamilton. “She is great to work with. She’s just a freshman and has so much potential if she wants to be a great runner.”
Sohns didn’t repeat as 100 hurdles champ but advanced to state with the silver medal in 15.80, behind Forest Lake’s Jessica Dhaene (15.37). Sohns, a senior who’ll play college basketball, was also seventh in 300H (50.67).
Lindsey Lowe, the Elks most versatile performer, came up just short in all three of her individual events Saturday while racking up a chunk of points in four events. The senior hurdler was fifth in her best event, the 300, with 47.62, after leading prelims Wednesday with 46.71 (when weather conditions were much better). She was fourth in 100H with 15.96, and third in triple jump with a personal-best 34-9, missing second by two inches.
“Lindsey in the 300, coming around the turn into the wind, she was a little tired,” said Hamilton. “She had a great triple jump and she led off the 4by400, too. She had a busy day.”
The Elks took fifth in the other three relays — the 4×200 with Wentland, Sohns, Anna Haugen and Petrich (1:50.78); the 4×400 with Haugen, Ness, Petrich and Lowe (4:11.22); and the 4×800 with Kennedy Warner, Gabriella Jung, Samantha Hendricks, and Haugen (9:46.67).
The champion Rangers had golds by Dhaen in 100 hurdles, Caitlyn Freer in triple jump, and the 4×800 relay, while finishing 1-2 in the triple and 2-3 in the pole vault.
The state Class AA meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Hamline, beginning 9 a.m. each day.
1. Forest Lake 104
2. Elk River 93
3. North Branch 77
4. St. Francis 68
5. Zimmerman 53
6. Grand Rapids 45
7. Chisago Lakes 42
8. Duluth East 38
9. Hibbing 34
10. Princeton 33
11. Andover 32.5
12. Cloquet 22
13. Big Lake 21
14. Cambridge-Isanti 20.5
15. Hermantown 19