by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Rachel Ness placed sixth in the 1600 meters at the state track meet Saturday for Elk River’s best finish among nine entrants in the two-day meet at Hamline.
Jordyn Sohns placed eighth in 100 hurdles and Morris Dennis was ninth in the 400 for the Elks. The boys 4×400 team took eighth.
Ness, a freshman, clipped over five seconds off her personal best to finish in 5:05.30, second-best all-time for the Elks. She was hemmed into the inside lane in a race so tightly-bunched that one girl tripped another in the third lap. The winner was Bemidji sophomore Jenna Truedson in 4:59.75.
“It was really crowded, the whole way,” said Ness. “I just tried to stay with the whole group.”
Ness was conference cross country champion last fall and placed 57th at state, but also loves soccer and might switch her fall sport. “I haven’t decided yet,” said Ness, who will be busy mainly with soccer in the summer.
She said would continue in track regardless. Asked about goals, she said, “I would like to get that school record, sometime in my high school career.”
Ness moved up to No 2 on the Elk 1600 list past of Sara Fredrickson (5:06 in 2003). The record-holder is Emma Bates with 5:00.13 in 2010. Bates is currently an All-America runner for Boise State in longer distances.
Sohns closed a distinguished two-sport career placing eighth in the 100 hurdles with 15.54. Sohns, who notched her personal best 15.28 in the prelims Friday, placed ninth at state last year. She will play college basketball at Jamestown (N.D.) College. Winning that event was Rosemount’s Rachel Snow in 14.60.
The Elks boys 4×400 team of Logan Grace, Riley Filipovich, Fanaka Ndege and Ryan Trapp placed eighth with 3:24.26. The Elks had 3:22.10 at sectionals but used an all-senior quartet for the final race of the season at state.
Dennis, a junior, placed ninth among nine in the 400 dash finals with 50.41 after running 49.24 in prelims. East Ridge’s Nathan Roese set a blistering pace in the finals, breaking a 20-year-old state record with 47.56.
The Elks didn’t score in their other events. The boys 4×800 placed 15th on Saturday. Not advancing to finals Friday were Molli Detloff (100), the girls 4×100 team, and the boys 4×200 team. Detloff had three scratches in the discus finals Friday.