Anderson, Dhaene medal at state

Baker, Bartlett also compete at track and field meet

Junior Jessica Dhaene had a career day at the state meet, placing fourth in a personal-best time in the 100-meter hurdles. (Photo by Rick Orndorf/Thisweek Newspapers)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

Two members of the Forest Lake girls’ track and field team brought medals home from the state tournament held last Friday and Saturday at Hamline University. Both Sam Anderson and Jessica Dhaene competed in two events, and each earned made the state podium for the first time.

For Anderson, it marked her fourth and fifth state entries spanning three seasons. She took part in the shot put and discus as a sophomore and returned in the shot put last year. She qualified for both events this year and came away with her best state performance in each.

Anderson threw the discus 134-01 to earn an eighth-place medal. She reached 38-3 3/4 in the shot put to finish 12th out of 18 competitors.

Coach Eric Kaluza feels the effort cements Anderson’s place in program history.

“She’s the best thrower we’ve ever had in Forest Lake, and deserves every accolade,” he said.

St. Francis junior Maggie Ewen set a new state record in the discus with a distance of 171-09 and she also won the shot put with a throw of 48-4.

Dhaene competed in both hurdles events and had the meet of her career. In the 100-meter preliminaries, she crushed her previous best time of 15.51 by over four-tenths of a second. She took another big cut out of her time in the finals, where she finished fourth in 14.89. That time also marks an improvement of 0.35 on the previous school record.

Seventh-grader Allie Bartlett took 13th in the two-mile run. (Photo by Rick Orndorf/Thisweek Newspapers)

Richfield junior Jessica January set the state record of 14.32 in the preliminaries but took second to Farmington junior Nadia Lorencz in the finals.

Dhaene did not make the finals of the 300 hurdles after finishing in 46.35 in the preliminaries.

Dhaene’s success comes in just her second year of hurdling. To demonstrate how far she has come, Kaluza noted that she was running the 100 variety in about 18.5 seconds at the beginning of the 2011 season.

“She’s dynamic and a ball to coach,” he said. “When kids come out for track and field, they’re going to see improvement, and she’s the epitome of what we’re trying to do.”

Two other underclassmen made their first state appearance. Seventh-grader Allie Bartlett took 13th out of 17 in the 3200-meter run. She moved up a couple of spots from her seeding and finished in 11:20.

Kaluza expects Bartlett to take motivation from the fact that she was less than five seconds away from reaching the podium. Bartlett will have plenty of chances to reach it, as Kaluza believes she was the only seventh-grader in the entire state meet.

Cassidy Baker capped a year of improvement in the pole vault by clearing 10-0 and finishing 18th in an especially tough state field. It was the ninth-grader’s second year in the event, and she improved by a foot from her 2011 best of 9-3.

Lakeville South edged Alexandria for the Class AA team title. With just a handful of seniors leaving, Kaluza says next season has the potential to be special, but the girls must work hard this offseason to maximize their potential.

“I really feel we have to improve throughout the year rather than just the three months we are together,” he said.