FL girls track takes first handily at St. Francis

The Ranger girls track team was back on top in St. Francis over the weekend with a commanding first-place finish out of 10 teams. Forest Lake earned 210 points, followed by Mahtomedi with 147 and the host team with 99 points.

“We went into the meet trying to fine tune some issues, and it was a perfect time for it, and we came out with some very positive results,” head coach Eric Kaluza said. “We were very benevolent between all things. We are going to do our darndest to win the conference title.”

The Rangers scored 140 points in the track events alone on the day, led again by a one-two-three performance in the 1,600-meter run. Eighth-grader Allison Bartlett was the front runner and set a new meet record with a time of 5:10.09, followed by seventh-grader Caroline Schoessow in 5:19.03 and ninth-grader Emma Benner with a time of 5:20.56.

Ninth-grader Maria Valentin also set a meet record and took first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:20.67, followed by sophomore Rocci Wohlk (2:24.05). Ninth-grader Amanda Forliti took fourth in the event in 2:32.01.

With new meet records set by Bartlett (1,600 meter) and Valentin (800 meter), the Rangers now hold records at St. Francis in three events, including the 3,200-meter run broken by both Bartlett (11:26) and Wohlk (11:27) at last year’s meet, despite a thunderstorm. The previous record holder in the 800 and 1,600 meter runs was Emma Bates from Elk River, who is now a Division I runner for Boise State.

Kaluza said Bartlett and Valentin are well on their way to success themselves.

“It is undeniable how much they train and how much they want to achieve more,” Kaluza said. “They are so coachable. They listen intently and perform admirably. They are just two very remarkable athletes that will contrive to progress into something greater, and only time will tell how great those things will be.”

Ranger relays also performed to standard for the day with the senior squad of Olivia Norman, Cheikh, Sievers and Thordson taking first in the 4×100-meter relay (51.69) while the team of Norman, Thordson, junior Kristy Dellwo and senior Jessica Dhaene also claimed the top spot in the 4×200-meter relay (1:50.20). The 4×400-meter relay squad of Valentin, Dellwo, Nyquist and Bartlett finished second with a time of 4:25.37, while a team of ninth-graders Amanda Forliti, Isabel Leininger, Madilyn Anderson and Mikayla Niederkorn grabbed another runner-up spot in the 4×800-meter relay.

In the 100-meter dash, seniors Amina Cheikh and Amanda Sievers earned team points by taking third and fourth, respectively, with times of 13.53 and 13.71. Senior Liz Thordson took third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.07.

Other notable track performances included ninth-grader Jolynn Nyquist in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:05.35, good for fourth. Classmate Emily Peterson took sixth in 1:06.20, while Neiderkorn took fifth in the 3,200-meter run in 31:02.70.

Senior Jess Dhaene took off again in the 100-meter hurdles with a first-place finish with a time of 16.17. Senior Adele Hanson took fourth in 16.89, while sophomore Elli Jacobson took sixth with a time of 18.25. Hanson came back in the 300-meter hurdles to clinch third with a time of 51.04, followed again by Jacobson in 52.82, good for fifth place.

In the field events, sophomore Cassidy Baker excelled in the pole vault by clearing 10-6. Baker is currently No. 3 in state. Junior Katie Dison took second for the Rangers at 9-06.

For the jumpers, senior Taylor Moore, ninth-grader Abby Jungwirth and junior Caitlin Freer went two, three, four in the high jump, with Moore clearing 4-10 and Jungwirth and Freer jumping 4-08. Freer also took first in the triple jump with a distance of 35-02 on her final attempt. Senior Merina Lenz took fifth at 32-10 in the event. Dellwo placed third in the long jump after leaping for a distance of 14-07.50, while ninth-grader Abby Buesseler earned points for sixth place at 4-03.50.

Lastly, ninth-grader Gena Baklund represented the throwers with a fourth-place finish in the discus throw with a distance of 111-06, and fifth in the shot put at 30-06.50.

The Rangers competed in the Suburban East Conference preliminaries on Tuesday at East Ridge and travel to East Ridge again Thursday, May 23, for the conference finals beginning at 4:15 p.m.