By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia/Spring Grove track teams will send athletes in nine events to the MSHSL section 1A track and field championships next week at Paul Giel Field in Winona.
The Warriors took part in the sub-sections at Rushford-Peterson Thursday and finished with an even half-dozen first place finishes in both the boys and girls competitions.
A core of seasoned veterans will lead the team to Winona next week. On the girls side senior Emma Lange once again won the high jump, clearing 5’3” to advance to the section championship. Lange is looking for another trip to the state meet and is the top seed at next week’s sectional meet with Nicole Fokken of Pine Island, who is seeded #2 at 5’1”.
Joining Lange is fellow senior Hannah Russert, who won the 100 meter hurdles at R-P with a time of 16.34 and will be the #2 seed at Winona behind Kenyon-Wanamingo eighth grader Mara Quam. Russert also placed third in the 300 hurdles to advance in that event, as well as the triple jump where she also placed third Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest news of the day came from the girls shot put where junior Aly Folz uncorked a throw of 34’10.5” to win the event by 17 full inches over second place Rachael Nelson of La Crescent. Folz is the #2 seed behind Maddie Lindhart of Zumbrota-Mazeppa.
The C/SG 4×200 relay team of Maria Fruechte, Ally Beardmore, Josephine Wagner and Russert also advanced with a second place effort with a time of 1:52.91 and are seeded sixth at Winona.
For the boys Ryan Pitts continued his domination of the speed events when the junior won both the 100 and 200 and anchored the winning 4×100 relay team. Joining Pitts will be West Spier, who won the high jump at 6’1” and is seeded #2 behind Will Gisler of Stewartville, who comes in with a jump of 6’3” under his belt.
The 4×100 team of Sam Schulte, Alex Goetzinger, Adam Buttell and Pitts torched the field with a time of 44.70 seconds and just missed out on the meet record of 44.14 set in 1996 by Winona Cotter. The Byron team, with a qualifying time of 44.59, is the top seed in the event.
The section 1A championships will begin Tuesday in Winona and continue Thursday. The state track meet will be held June 7 through 8 at Hamline University in Saint Paul.