Girls roll to second section title in three years
The Ranger girls’ track and field team put an emphatic check next to its biggest goal of the 2012 season last week. Forest Lake eased to a 132-point victory at Wednesday’s 10-team Section 5AAA True Team meet in White Bear Lake.
“We had a good day with the type of effort that personifies this team as a group that works diligently on their events and expects to achieve their best each competition,” said coach Eric Kaluza. “I’m extremely proud of them and to see their smiling faces as they dumped water on the coaches after the official result was announced made the night complete.”
Forest Lake finished with 1,068 points to earn its second title in three years. Blaine took second and the host Bears third.
Seventh-grader Allie Bartlett ran to two first-place finishes. She won the mile in 5:15.33 and the 3200 meter in 11:32. Eighth-grader Emma Benner was close on her heels in both, finishing fourth in the mile (5:27.36) and second in the 3200 (11:52). Her two-mile effort was a personal best and qualified for the state honor roll. Seventh-grader Miranda Overland took fifth in the 1600 (11:56) and sixth in the 3200 (5:31.73).
The Rangers also placed three in the top seven of the 800, as seventh-grader Maria Valentin took third (2:26.77), senior Holly Winberg took fourth (2:27.36) and senior Cassie Thobe took seventh (2:29.92).
Sophomore Lara Steinhoff raced to fifth in the 100 with a time of 13.13.
Junior Jessica Dhaene won the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.83 and took third in the 100 hurdles with a personal best time of 16.56. Junior Adele Hanson joined Dhaene on the state honor roll with an effort of 16.84 in the 100 hurdles, good for fourth. Hanson was eighth in the 300 hurdles (50.75), while senior Elsa Litecky took seventh in both varieties (17.19 and 50.43).
Sophomore Katie Dison and ninth-grader Cassidy Baker each cleared 9-0 to take third and fifth in the pole vault, respectively.
Senior Sam Anderson was third in the discus (124-10) and fourth in the shot put (35-10 1/2). Sophomore Bailey Norby (35-5) took sixth in the shot put and junior Alex Howard finished one spot back with a toss of 33-10 1/2.
“The pole vault, disc and shot were spot on,” Kaluza said. “They collected a ton of points which put us over the top.”
Sophomore Caitlin Freer took fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 33-10 3/4.
Relays were also a strength for the team. Thobe, Winberg, Valentin and ninth-grader Abbie Van Bergen raced to second place in the 4×800 with a time of 9:54.57.
The other three relays each set season-best marks while qualifying for the state honor roll:
• Steinhoff, senior Krista Kirchner, junior Amanda Sievers and junior Liz Thordson placed third in the 4×100 with a time of 51.43
• Steinhoff, Thordson, junior Olivia Norman, and junior Amina Cheikh placed fourth in the 4×200 relay with a time of 1:33.02
• Thobe, Winberg, senior Sarah Hagen and junior Rachel Shumaker placed sixth in the 4×400 with a time of 4:14.25.
Forest Lake takes on the best teams in Minnesota at the State True Team meet set for 4 p.m. on Friday in Stillwater. Kaluza hopes the team gains more personal bests and state honor roll qualifiers and the next big hurdle is to send multiple participants to the MSHSL state meet.
“It’s time to improve upon that component,” he said. “It’s much more fun with multiple people in numerous events to be at Hamline in June.”