It’s state tournament time for six of Waconia High School’s top track and field athletes this Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, at Hamline University in St. Paul.
With a second place 83-point section finish behind team champion Chanhassen (137.50), the Waconia girls’ track and field team turned in its best section finish in team history and qualified two relays and three individual events to the Class AA state meet this weekend.
Waconia girls’ head coach Christian Gilbert said the team has never placed this high at a section meet, ever.
“Sections was absolutely amazing for Waconia girls’ track,” he said. “Our event/assistant coaches did a fantastic job prepping our athletes to be at the peak for sections and it worked nicely for our gals!”
Competing in the Section 2AAA meet at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter on May 29 and 31, the Wildcat girls’ brought home three event victories and three runner up finishes.
Junior Kirsten Wagener and senior Anna Pioske both qualified in three events last week, going 1-2 in the long and triple jumps.
Pioske took top honors in the long jump with a final jump of 17 feet, 1.25 inches over Wagener’s 16-08.75. Wagener won the triple jump at 35-11.50, 2.5 inches over Pioske’s 35-09.00 jump. She also snagged a state entry and a second place finish in the high jump at 5-02.00, just one inch shy of event champion Hannah Fox of Mankato West.
Pioske also ran the third leg of the event-winning and state-qualifying Waconia girls’ 4×200 meter relay team. In 1:45.26, Pioske, eighth grader Molly Reighard, senior Karlye Vallafskey, and junior Miranda Schultz, bolted their way to a state entry, three seconds faster than second place Chaska.
The 4×100 relay team also qualified for state after finishing second in Section 2AAA. Reighard, Vallafskey, and Schultz run the same opening, third, and anchor legs as they do in the 4×200, but this time the third leg is ran by seventh grader Danielle Pioske. The relay finished the race in 50.29 seconds, just one-half second shy of first place Chanhassen (49.86).
Other notable performances for the girls’ team include Reighard’s fourth place finish in the 100 meter dash, Schultz’ fifth place finish in the 200 meters, junior Lexi Willems eighth place finish in the 3200 meter run, freshman Paige Notch’s fourth place finish in the pole vault, sophomore Courtnie Stoddard’s eighth place finish in the triple jump, and freshman Makayla Williams’ seventh place finish in the shot put.
Both Pioske and Wagener received Triple State Honors for their performances at the section meet, and Gilbert said this girls’ team and coaching staff is the best Waconia has seen.
“Credit needs to go to the following coaches Cindy Shook for high jump, Nick Hackman for long and triple jumps, and Tom McDonald sprints/relays … all have athletes in their disciplines going to compete at state … makes it very easy for the head coach!” Gilbert said.
The Waconia boys’ team finished 14th of 16 teams at the Section 2AAA meet, pulling down just 13 points. Buffalo won the boys’ side with 147.50 points.
Notable performances from the boys’ included junior Mason Tuttle finishing seventh in the 100 meter dash. Tuttle also ran the second leg of the 4×200 meter relay team that finished fifth and also included juniors Cody Ellis and Marcel Montiel, and senior Tyler Thomas. Senior Mark Brose finished seventh in the pole vault at 12-05.00, and senior Jacob Fettig was eighth in the triple jump at 41-05.25.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]