by Eric Oslund
Spectrum track and field completed a sweep of the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference titles for the boys and girls on May 16 in a meet held at Hastings High School.
The boys won their first conference title ever by a 60-point margin over last year’s champion, Trinity School at River Ridge. And the girls surged past Trinity in a thrilling finish by defeating the defending champions in the final event, the 4×400-meter relay.
Lorna Bechtel was individual champion in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and high jump. She was also the anchor on the first place girls 4×400-meter relay (with Adrienne Foell, Martha Bergley, and Hailey Johnson).
Other All-Conference winners for the girls were second-place finishers Chloe Bechtel in the pole vault, Adrienne Foell in the triple jump, and the winning 4×800-meter relay team of Martha Bergley, Bianna Bergren, Kayla Niedzielski and Elianna Aberra.
For the boys, Clay Jackson and Tyler Schwinghammer were each double individual event winners. Jackson took the 100- and 200-meter dash and Schwinghammer in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Caleb Rogers won the 400-meter run, while Adrian Peterson took top honors in the in the high jump, and Elias Aberra in the triple jump. Other All-Conference winners for the boys with second-place finishes were Connor Reed (400-meter dash), Zack Anderson (800- and 1600-meter run), Peterson (110-meter hurdles), and Elias Aberra (long jump). Relay team winners of the boys included the 4×400 (Rogers, Schwinghammer, Jackson and Anderson) and the 4×800 (Camden Sharp, Zach Foell, Desmond Orton and Anthony Medina).
All-Conference honorable mention recipients with third-place finishes were Morgan Novotny in the 1600-meter run, Maria Novotny in the 3200-meter run, Chloe Bechtel in the shot put, Earl Foster in the 110 hurdles, Connor Reed in the pole vault, and Zach Kopp in the discus. Honorable mention was also earned by the girls 4×200 relay team (Hailey Johnson, Betsy Chaffin, Haily Wallace and Davey Jackson).
“Our boys did not have a bad event,” head coach Rick Peterson said. “They came with determination to go home from this meet as champions. This is our first ever conference championship for the boys and the first in four years for the girls.
“The girls fought hard all meet, but could not close Trinity’s 10-point lead until the final two events. The ladies showed such resilience to keep working hard all meet. The final 4×400 was so exciting. Finishing ahead of a top track and field school like Trinity is a huge accomplishment for our team. I’m very proud of the boys and girls for an outstanding effort.”
Spectrum track and field will now move on to the Section 5A Subsection 17 meet to be held Tuesday, May 23, at Maple Lake High School.