by Eric Oslund
Four track athletes will represent Spectrum High School in five individual events at the state track and field at Hamline University on June 9-10. The top two individuals and relay teams at the Section 5A meet held at St. Johns University on May 31 determined who qualified for the state meet. Section 5A is comprised of 32 schools.
Senior Clay Jackson led Sting track athletes by qualifying in two events: the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.3 seconds, and 200-meter dash with a time of 23.37. Other boy qualifiers were Senior Tyler Schwinghammer, who won the 300-meter hurdles (41.03), and Junior Zack Anderson with his win the 1,600-meter run (4:32.02).
Senior Lorna Bechtel was the only girl qualifier from Spectrum with her second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.40 seconds.
“This is the highest number of individual events that we have ever qualified for state,” said head coach Rick Peterson. “We came close in a couple relays this year, but they have still proved elusive. Clay is our first sprinter to make it to state. Tyler came close to qualifying in the 110 hurdles and that made even more determined in the 300 hurdles. Zack’s 1,600 meter win came after a 1:59 split for 800 meters in the 4×800 relay. Lorna is the most experienced state meet athlete in school history”.
Other top-5 finishers for the Sting at the Section 5A meet were the boys 4×800-meter relay team that placed third with a time of 8:29.32 (Desmond Orton, Joel Zimmerman, Cam Sharp and Anderson), Bechtel was third in the high jump (5-0), the girls 4×800-meter relay team placed fourth in 10:16.46 (Morgan Novotny, Martha Bergley, Hailey Johnson and Adrienne Foell), Schwinghammer was fourth in the 110 hurdles in 15.97, the girls 4×400-meter relay team placed fifth (Martha Bergley, Hailey Johnson, Adrienne Foell and Bechtel), and Freshman Caleb Rogers placed fifth in the 400-meter dash (53.10).
“This has been our strongest team competitively,” said Peterson. “We had good representation at the section meet with athletes in 20 individual events and five relays. We still don’t have quite the depth of a few larger schools and it showed in the final 4×400 relay, but we have closed the gap considerably this season. I couldn’t be more proud of the effort of our section meet participants and am grateful for the relay team alternates and fans who cheered for the team”.