Champions of the Minnesota River Conference emerged at the MRC Championship Track & Field meet in Belle Plaine on May 15.
The hosting Tigers swept both boys’ and girls’ divisions to take home the team title, pulling in many of the points to be had on the day. Tri-City United was second for the girls, while Jordan finished runners up for the boys.
Mayer Lutheran sent its best athletes to the MRC Championships and finished in the middle of the pack. The LHS girls’ team came home in fifth with 67.5 points, while the boys were sixth at 45.5 points.
Crusader head coach Tim Bierbaum was pleased with the Mayer Lutheran performances on May 15.
“We did a great job and had a bunch of personal and season bests, despite the cold and windy afternoon and the plague passing through our camp,” he said. “A bunch of people toughed it out and did very well.”
The sprint distances and hurdles ran preliminary and final heats to showcase the top eight sprinters in each race. LHS sophomore Whytnee Aurich qualified for the finals in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes, finishing sixth in the 100 and seventh in the 200.
Senior Sam Bartz was third in the 400 meter dash, before junior Maria Kuntz rounded out the shorter distances with a fifth place finish in the open 800.
Sophomore Hannah Truniger picked up the girls’ only event wins of the day, dominating both the one- and two-mile races. Truniger won the 1600 meters in 5:15.05, 11 seconds faster than Watertown-Mayer’s Liz Miller. In the 3200, Truniger led the field by 30 seconds, finishing in 11:21.34.
The Crusader girls’ top relay of the day came with a third place finish in the 4×800. Together Bartz, junior Klara Koch, freshman Lucy Koch, and Kuntz crossed the line in 10:39.52.
Kuntz went on to pick up points in the field, clearing 4 feet, 6 inches in the high jump, good enough for fourth place. Sophomore Kate Esser was third in the pole vault at 8 feet, 6 inches, while teammate and junior Christina Erdmann was seventh in the event.
Freshman Rebecca Manteuffel placed in the shot put, finishing seventh with a throw of 30 feet, 11 inches. Fellow freshman Taya Dammann grabbed points in the discus, finishing eighth at 81-06.
Points were harder to come by for the Mayer Lutheran boys, but still the Crusaders managed to gather 45.5 points with their performances.
Sophomore Rhett Kovar sprinted to a second place finish in the finals of the 100 meter dash, finishing in 11.45 seconds.
In the middle distances, junior Dain Aarrestad picked up two points by finishing seventh in the 400.
The 4×400 team of Aarrestad, senior Mitch Krause, senior Colin Hilk, and sophomore Charlie Menke, finished fourth in their race in 3:46.05, the highest LHS boys’ relay finish of the day.
Junior Jacob Carlson picked up six points for LHS with his third place, 11-foot clearance in the pole vault.
In the throws, senior Mason Diedrick was fourth in the shot put at 45-02.50 and sophomore Kaden Lilienthal was eighth. Senior Mark Esser wrapped up the points with a third place throw in the discus of 120-05.
Despite illnesses running rampant through the Mayer Lutheran roster, the LHS coaching staff was pleased with the teams’ performances.
“We thought that the athletes that competed did a great job,” Bierbaum said. “We sent five or six kids home that day or at the meet, this greatly impacted what we were able to do at the meet.”
The regular season wraps up tonight, May 22, for the Crusaders as they head to Rockford for a 4 p.m. meet. The Section 4A meet begins May 29 at Macalaster. Finals are May 31.
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