Local youth qualify for regional track meets

The last two weekends have been very rewarding for three local athletes. Waconia Clearwater Middle School student Ben Hedtke, 14, from St. Bonifacius, competed at the USATF Minnesota Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Eagan High School on June 15-17.

In the youth division (13-14 year olds), Hedtke placed first in the javelin event with a personal record throw of 101 feet, 11 inches. In the 1K discus, Hedtke was second with a throw of 128-04.75. He was also second in the four kilogram shot-put at 42-08. Hedtke qualified for regionals in all three events.

He finishes his junior high career on the Milesplit US First Team Elite and is ranked fourth in the country with a best 1K discus throw of 144-04 and ninth for the eight pound shot at 46-06.

Waconia Bayview student Samantha Hedtke, 10, competed in the midget division (ages 10-11) and also qualified for regionals in all three of her events. She won the mini-javelin event with a throw of 65-09, missing the Minnesota state record by one foot. In the six pound shot-put, Hedtke was third with a personal record toss of 25-01. In her first appearance in the 1K discus competition, Hedtke took first with a throw of 57-05.25.

Zach Olsem, 15, another Clearwater Middle School athlete, took second in the pole vault with a height of 9-08. Olsem qualified for regionals in the intermediate division. Olsem is ranked tenth in the pole vault.

USATF track and field regionals will be held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 5-8. Zach Olsem will compete and represent Waconia. The Hedtke siblings are unable to attend.

The AAU District Qualifier meet was held at Brooklyn Center High School on June 23-24. In the youth division, Ben Hedtke won the javelin event with a new AAU Minnesota state record of 101-00. He was second in the discus (122-10) and the shot-put (43-11).

Samantha Hedtke again won the mini-javelin event with a throw of 62-10 and was also second in the shot-put (26-06, personal record) and the discus (52-02).

Athletes from Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska will attend the AAU regional meet in Indianola, Iowa on June 29-July 1. Both Hedtkes qualified to attend in all their events.