T&F girls lap the field in St. Francis

Team defends Saints Invite title with ease

It’s always good when athletes achieve their best results. It’s even more encouraging when they do so despite obstacles.

So it went on Saturday in St. Francis, where the Ranger girls’ track and field team performed well in less-than-ideal conditions and defended its title at the Saints Invite in convincing fashion.

“We had fun on Saturday,” said coach Eric Kaluza. “The girls performed beautifully throughout and even though the weather was not conducive for personal bests, we had more than plenty.”

Forest Lake scored 176.12 points in the 12-team event, nearly 60 more than runner-up Elk River. The Rangers posted 18 top-three finishes.

“It is indicative that we are improving and the girls know we are capable of great things as the effort continues to improve,” Kaluza said.

The highlight of the day came in the 800-meter run, where seventh-grader Maria Valentin (2:27.44), senior Holly Winberg (2:28.28) and senior Cassie Thobe (2:28.83) swept the top three spots.

Eighth-grader Emma Benner (5:31) and seventh-grader Miranda Overland (5:33) went one-two in the 1600, as did seventh-grader Allie Bartlett (11:25) and ninth-grader Rocci Wohlk (11:26, personal best) in the 3200.

Sophomore Caitlin Freer set a personal best and won the triple jump with an effort of 34-6 1/2. Eighth-grader Abby Jungwirth took third with a distance of 32-10 1/2.

Junior Jessica Dhaene took second place in both the 100 hurdles (16.64, personal best) and the 300 hurdles (48.40). Senior Sam Anderson placed second in the discus (131-0 1/2, personal best) and third in the shot put (35-0).

More field success came in the high jump and pole vault. Juniors Taylor Moore and Merina Lenz cleared 4-10 to place second and third in the former, while sophomore Katie Dison and ninth-grader Cassidy Baker cleared 9-0 to do the same in the latter.

Winberg was instrumental in wrapping up the victory, as she competed in three of the final four track events. After the 800, she went right into the 200 dash (28.50, seventh place) and the 4×400 relay (4:24.85, fifth).

The Rangers competed in a varsity meet at Roseville this Tuesday. The invitation-only Hamline Elite Meet is on deck for Saturday.