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Tribune file photo by Rand Middleton BOLD/BLHS junior Josie Lilja, shown here attempting 11-4, at the Section 3A meet in Redwood Falls on May 29, is the No. 1 seed in Class A with a vault of 11-1.

State Track & Field: Wubben, Lilja are area’s top seeds

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Central Minnesota Christian senior Dani Wubben posted the No. 1 long jump of the eight Class A section track and field meets and will be the one to beat in the state meet Friday-Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.

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Wubben, who also will compete in the 100-dash and the on the Bluejays’ 4x100 relay, placed fifth in long jump (16-10.75) last year after winning the event as a sophomore (17-04.50). She comes in with a 17-4 at the 3A meet in Redwood Falls last Thursday.

BOLD/BLHS junior Josie Lilja is the area’s other top seed. Lilja set a school and Section 3A record when she cleared 11-1 in the pole vault pit. That erased the former school record of 10-6 at BOLD set by Tiff Tersteeg in 2003 and matched at state in 2004. The 11-foot vault puts Lilja well out front of the 16-qualifiers. Hannah Coleman of Byron is next at 10-6 with three others at 10-2.

Class A girls long jump finals are on Friday while vault is on Saturday.

In addition to Wubben, seniors Kari Hoeft of Paynesville and Jacinta Roggenbuck of Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd plus Montevideo eighth-grader Molly Reeves qualified in three events. Hoeft, a hurdler and triple jumper, won three medals in 2013 and twice as a sophomore. She placed third in the 100 hurdles last year; this year she part of a congested field with times in the 15 second range. Twenty-four girls will compete on Friday for the nine slots in Saturday’s final. She’ll also need a good effort Friday in the 300 to advance.

Roggenbuck (13.10), and Wubben (13.16), are the last seeds among 24 State qualifiers in the 100 dash. Reeves (26.72) and Roggenbuck (26.38) each will run in the 200 prelims; Roggenbuck (1:00.10), Reeves (1:00.76) and Paynesville freshman Katelyn Spanier (58.72) are all in the 400-dash. Spanier is one of five qualifiers sub-59. It will likely take a sub-60 to reach the final nine on Saturday.

Alaysia Freetly of LQPV/DB played fifth in the 1600-run her sophomore year in 2013. She’s the two seed at 5:12.90 trailing only another 3A athlete, Kayla Huhnerkoch (5:09.35), a Redwood Valley junior.

The Montevideo 4x400 relay (4:09.70) has a shot at Saturday’s final. The 4x800 relay leads off Saturday’s running events at 3:30 p.m. Litchfield (9:50.97) is grouped among six foursome’s 7 to 11 seconds behind No. 1 Waseca (9:42.57) in the faster of the two heats in a timed final.

In field events, three area shot putters have a solid change at advancing out of the flights: Benson junior Hannah Ricard (36-9), Litchfield junior Meghan Nelson (37-0.50) and ACGC senior Bailey Erickson (37-11). Erickson placed ninth in discus last year and is seeded fifth (115-06) this time. Event leader Kaitlyn Weber (45-0) is back to defend. She’s also the top seed in discus at 135-04.

Also defending, is Staples-Motley senior Jaelin Beachy who will be out to win a third-consecutive gold medal in the 100 hurdles.

In Class AA girls, Willmar freshman Sophie Schmitz has a shot at the finals in the 400 dash. Seeded at 58.49, she will need a superb run to make Saturday’s final with eight entrants seeded sub 58.

Burgett in 800, 1600

Junior Ben Burgett of Community Christian in Willmar had two exceptional races at section. He ran a 1:58.94 in the 800 and a 4:26.02 in the 1600. Both times put him in line for a podium finish (he placed ninth in the 1600 in 2013). Shane Streich of Waseca is back to defend his titles in both events and is the top mile seed at 4:18.55. Section 3A champion Ryan Phillips of Redwood Falls is the rabbit in the 800 at 1:55.41.

Freshman Kurt TeBeest (4:32.94) of Montevideo will also run in Saturday’s final.

Central Minnesota Christian School will be represented in this division by freshman Matthew Van Eps in the 400-dash. His time of 50.47 is one of nine entries with a qualifying time under 51 seconds with no sub-50s.

The Montevideo 4x200 (1:32.28) returns Adam DeZeeuw and Casey Reeves from the quartet that placed sixth last June. The veteran pair is joined by Dazhown Coleman and Preston Herfurth in the quest for a second straight medallion.

Sophomore Niko Berge (12-7) of BOLD/BLHS joins teammate Lilja as the only area vaulters to reach state. The boys vault finals are Friday.

New London-Spicer’s Adam Essler and Shane Zylstra each will compete in two field events. Essler placed ninth in the triple jump last season.

Joey Lee of LQPV/DB reaches for the medal stand in both the triple jump and high jump.

Litchfield’s Mitch Danner qualified in both weights; best shot for a medal is shot where his section-best of 50-02.50 put him seventh.

Missing from the Class A field is YME senior Jacob Petersen, ninth in the 400 dash as a junior. After posting exceptional times in all three dashes early in the season, he came down with a hamstring pull. He still managed to qualify for sections but at Redwood Falls after taking only one long jump he pulled up lame early in the 100 dash. Still, he’ll get to run at the Hamline track next year with the Pipers’ track and field team.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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