Belle Plaine sweeps MRC track championships

The Mayer Lutheran boys’ and girls’ track and field teams wrapped up the regular season last week during the Minnesota River Conference Championships on May 16, hosted by Sibley East.

“The conference championships was a great afternoon to race,” said LHS head coach Tim Bierbaum. “The girls had season bests in all four of their relays, with two of them (4×800 and 4×400) having outstanding performances. The boys’ 4×800 broke the old conference record.”

Both teams finished in the middle of the pack, with the girls placing slightly higher than the boys. The LHS girls’ team finished fifth with 62 points, behind team champion Belle Plaine (198). The Crusader boys were sixth with 72 points, also behind team champion Belle Plaine (148).

The girls started the day with a strong second place finish in the 4×800 meter relay. Run by junior Samantha Bartz, sophomore Maria Kuntz, senior Holly Johnson, and freshman Hannah Truniger, the Crusaders finished in 10 minutes, 12.71 seconds, four seconds shy of first place.

Senior Allie Erdmann qualified for the finals of the 100 meter hurdles and finished eighth in 18.18 seconds. Freshman Whytnee Aurich pulled off a sixth place finish in the 100 meter dash before running the opening leg of the girls’ 4×200 meter relay, which finished third. Aurich, along with junior Lauren Schroeder and seniors Ashlyn Hucky and Kristen Mielke, finished in 1:55.62. Aurich, Schroeder, and Mielke then combined with freshman Belle Flucas to finish third in the 4×100 meter relay (53.72 seconds).

Freshman Hannah Truniger continued her winning ways in the 1600 meter run, besting Watertown-Mayer’s Liz Miller by five seconds. Truniger’s final time was 5:16.71. In the 400 meter dash, Bartz finished fifth, while Kuntz was just behind her in sixth.

Seniors Sarah Ruschmeier and Erdmann were 7-8 in the 300 meter hurdles, while freshman Kate Esser finished 10th in the event. Johnson pulled off a top ten finish in the 800 meter run while Mielke was seventh in the 200 meter dash. Johnson went on the anchor the 4×400 relay, and along with Erdmann, Kuntz, and Bartz, finished second in 4:16.26, just one second behind first place Belle Plaine.

In the field events, senior Molly Michaletz was ninth in the long jump, while Hucky finished eighth in the triple jump. Kuntz was seventh in the high jump and senior Nico Schmidt finished in a four-way tie for ninth. Schmidt went on to finish fourth in the shot put. In the pole vault, Esser finished ninth while sophomores Christina Erdmann and Audrey Morschen tied for 10th.

In the MRC meet for the boys, the Crusaders posted some strong finishes that are sure to contend for state entries at the Section 4A meet next week. Event victories for LHS began in the 4×800 meter relay run by the all-senior threat of Alex and Kyle Fredrickson and Chase and Jesse Greenhagen. The group won the event in 8:24.81, besting second place Tri-City United by a whopping 22 seconds and setting a new MRC record by seven seconds. With their new time, the runners are just five seconds shy of the Mayer Lutheran school record as well. All four runners went on to individual top 10 finishes in various events. Kyle Fredrickson would later win the 800 meter run, while Alex Fredrickson finished second in the 400 meter dash. Jesse Greenhagen won the 3200 meter run in 10;21.98, over 25 seconds ahead of his second place competitor. Chase Greenhagen placed eighth in the 1600 meter run.

The Fredricksons went on to run the opening and anchor legs of the event-winning 4×400 meter relay, along with sophomore Dain Aarrestad and junior Colin Hilk. The team finished the race in 3:36.07.

The 4×100 team of seniors Jeremy Price and Matt Carlson, along with sophomore Jacob Carlson and Seth Boehlke finished sixth.

Senior Nathan Schneewind was 10th in the 300 meter hurdles. Schneewind and fellow senior Jacob Daniels would finished 8-9 in the long jump. Schneewind would also pull off a second place finished in the pole vault, while Matt Carlson was third. Sophomore Taylor Otterstatter finished ninth in the triple jump.

In the shot put and discus events, senior Neal Kroells finished 10th in both to add points.

Early in the week, the Crusaders also competed at Belle Plaine in a triangular meet against the host team and conference competitor LeSueur-Henderson. Both LHS teams finished second.

“The Belle Plaine meet we used as a practice,” Bierbaum said, “but had lots of good things happen there.”

Mayer Lutheran will next be in action on May 30 and June 1 at Macalaster College for the Section 4A meet. Those that qualify will then compete at the state tournament, held at Hamline University on June 7-8.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]