Warrior athletes do well at state

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  The men’s 4x100-meter relay team of Zeke Ott, Mitchell Bechtel, Jack Beardmore and Ben McCabe finished third.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
The men’s 4×100-meter relay team of Zeke Ott, Mitchell Bechtel, Jack Beardmore and Ben McCabe finished third.

Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

Caledonia/Spring Grove thinclads competed in four events at last week’s Class A Minnesota State Track Meet.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Rounding out the third place men’s 4x100-meter relay team was Jack Beardmore who, as pictured, prepares to run his leg of the event (at left).
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Rounding out the third place men’s 4×100-meter relay team was Jack Beardmore who, as pictured, prepares to run his leg of the event (at left).

The Warrior men’s 4×100 relay squad of Ben McCabe, Zeke Ott, Mitchell Bechtel and Jack Beardmore qualified in heat one on Friday, June 9, finishing second behind Foley while turning in the third-best prelim time of the day (43.87). They improved on Saturday, taking third in the finals with a time of 43.75. Those were the team’s best two times of the season, with the second effort breaking a school record set in 2011 by 1/100th of a second.

“(I’m) just really proud of their effort,” C/SG boys track and field coach Carl Fruechte said. Warrior girls track and field coach Reese Wait said that the new school record was quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that it occurred “after losing our anchor leg and fastest kid, Sam Barthel,  Jack Beardmore stepped in and did the job. Our three senior boys, Ben McCabe, Zeke Ott and Mitchell Bechtel, led the group all season and state was no exception.”

In ladies events, senior Mariah Schroeder qualified for both the 100-meter and 200-meter finals on Friday. The following day, the Warrior standout sprinter took sixth place in both events.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Left, Ben McCabe hands the baton off to Zeke Ott.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Left, Ben McCabe hands the baton off to Zeke Ott.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Mitchell Bechtel set the pace.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Mitchell Bechtel set the pace.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Senior Mariah Schroeder finished 6th in both of her sprinting events, the 200-meter and 100-meter dash.

In a blazing-fast 100 final, winner T’Nia Riley of Minneapolis North and Jia Lewis (Minneapolis Edison) both broke the Minnesota Class A record. Riley also repeated as the 200 champ. Schroeder ran in both finals last year, too, finishing 6th in the 200 and 9th in the 100.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Senior Mariah Schroeder finished 6th in both of her sprinting events, the 200-meter and 100-meter dash.

This year, Schroeder competed in both finals in spite of sustaining a calf injury in the prelims of the 200. “It’s a miracle she was able to compete in the finals, but she did and gutted out 6th place in both races,” Wait noted. “She is the fastest girl to ever come out of Section 1 and we will miss her tremendously.  What an amazing season!”

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Kaitlin Conniff on the first exchange to Amber Conniff in the women’s 4x100 meter relay.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Kaitlin Conniff on the first exchange to Amber Conniff in the women’s 4×100 meter relay.

The C/SG 4×100 squad consisting of Schroeder, Kaitlin Conniff, Amber Conniff and Eliza Welscher finished fifth in heat three of Friday’s preliminaries, ending their season one step shy of the finals. But it’s worth noting that the talented group broke a school record at the Section 1A finals (50.06).

The top nine finishers at state earn both team points and medals.

The Warrior ladies and their male counterparts each finished with 8 team points. The girls tied for 36th place while the boys were 39th in team totals. There were 75 teams scoring points in women’s events and 81 programs earning points in men’s competitions.

The 2017 Class A men’s team champions hailed from the Three Rivers Conference (Plainview-Elgin-Millville).