Royals sending 10 athletes to state meet

By Matt Bunke, Community Editor

The Watertown-Mayer track and field team broke two school records and qualified 10 athletes for the Class A state track and field meet during a highly successful Section 4A meet last Saturday at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Overall, Watertown-Mayer finished in fourth place out of 18 teams on the girls’ side, with Katie Heilman, Marissa Janning, Caitlin Duske, Liz Miller and Hannah Johnson all qualifying to compete in at least one event at this weekend’s state meet. On the boys’ side, the Royals finished in ninth place out of 23 teams and qualified Hunter Hulley, Nick Hix, Dan Raiter, Matt Scanlon and Drew Walstrom to compete at state. Athletes and relays needed to finish in the top 2 in order to advance.

Providence Academy won the girls’ title with 114 points, while Watertown-Mayer scored 91.5. St. Croix Lutheran won the boys’ section title with 139.5 points, while Watertown-Mayer scored 35 points.

Both Watertown-Mayer school records that were broken during the section finals came on the girls’ side. Marissa Janning broke the record in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 46.85 seconds, also qualifying her to compete at state. Janning was also part of the 4×800-meter relay team, along with Heilman, Johnson and Miller, that broke the school record with a time of 9;41.97 in advancing to the state meet with a first-place finish.

Other Royals to advance to the state meet in individual events included Hulley, Duske and Heilman. Duske won the triple jump with a distance of 36-feet-1/25 inches, the third best qualifying mark in the state heading into the state meet.

Heilman qualified in the 400 meters, finishing second with a time of 1:00.52. Hulley finished second in the boys’ high jump by clearing 5-feet-11-inches.

The Watertown-Mayer boys’ 4×200 relay team also qualified for state by virtue of its first-place finish at sections and time of 1:32.19. Hix, Raiter, Scanlon and Walstrom are all a part of that squad.

The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul, with most prelims and some field events being held Friday, and the finals being held Saturday. The session gets under way at 3 p.m. both days.

On Friday, the Watertown-Mayer boy’s 4×200 relay is scheduled to compete at 4:24 p.m. Heilman’s 400 meters will take place at 4:57 p.m. and Janning’s 300 hurdles will start at 5:18 p.m. On Saturday, Hulley will compete in the high jump, Duske will compete in the triple jump and the girls’ will compete in the 4×800 relay, all of which begin at 3:30 p.m. Single session tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students.

A number of other Watertown-Mayer athletes had strong showings at the section meet, but came up short of qualifying for state. Janning took third in the 110 hurdles, where Kate Theisen also placed seventh. Theisen was also fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Heilman finished fourth in the long jump and in the 200 meters, and Johnson was fourth in the triple jump and sixth in the 800 meters. Duske finished seventh in the 100 meters and eighth in the high jump.

On the boys’ side, Walstrom took fourth in the 200 meters and Jesse Bushman was ninth in the triple jump.