Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Southwest Star Concept’s Alyssa Post (center) wins her heat in the 100 meter dash Saturday morning as part of the Hershey’s Track Meet in Worthington. Post competed in the 11 to 12 year old division.
Top four in each event at Saturday's Hershey's meet qualify for Hershey’s state meet in Litchfield
WORTHINGTON — Nearly 200 area youth track and field meet athletes competed in six different age and gender divisions of the annual Hershey’s district track and field meet Saturday at Trojan Field.
Coordinated by YMCA program director C.J. Nelson and sponsored locally by Mick’s Repair, Slumberland, Pizza Ranch — Worthington, State Farm Insurance — Jessica Noble, and the Worthington YMCA, the event was a big success as many youngsters qualified to compete in the Hershey’s state meet at Litchfield June 25.
Several area young athletes were multiple-event qualifiers, as the top four in event earned advancement.
The three age group categories — for both girls and boys — were ages 9-10 (born in 2002 or 2001), ages 11-12 (born in 2000 or 1999) and ages 13-14 (born in 1998 or 1997).
Among the outstanding performers Saturday in the 9-10 age bracket were Ben Lopez (Worthington), Riley Siebenahler (Luverne), Hannah Rahn (Windom), Zoe Velde (Pipestone) and Autumn Nath (Luverne).
Micheal Suda, Will Cooper and Tyl Woelber (all from Pipestone), Gabi Stenzel (Heron Lake) and Shelby Nath, Madi Schandelmeier and Courtney Siebenahler (each from Luverne) were the top multiple-event performers in the 11-12 age group.
In the 13-14 age division, Luverne sprinters Jackson Winter and Quinton Siebenahler had outstanding days, as did Worthington athletes Oliver Wolyniec and Meredith Moore, along with Pipestone’s Claire Femrite and Slayton sprinter Averi Pankonen.
9-10 age division
Lopez won both the 50-meter dash (8.39) and 100-meter dash (15.76) in the boys’ division of the youngest age group. Lopez also teamed with Colin Smidt, Nicholas Weg and Blaine Doeden to win the 4x100-meter relay (1:08.6), as he qualifies for Litchfield in three events.
Riley Siebenahler won both the 200 (35.19) and 400 (1:17.56), advancing to the state meet in both of those events.
Rahn was a four-event qualifier, as she won the softball throw (91-3) and 200-meter dash (35.41), while placing second in the 400 and being part of a fourth-place 4x100 team.
Velde won both the girls’ 50 (8.54) and 100 (16.08), while placing second in the softball throw and being a member of Pipestone’s second-place 4x100-meter relay team.
Nath was impressive in running a stellar time of 1:19.04 to win the 9-10 girls’ 400-meter dash.
Okabena’s Nathaniel Post also qualified in four events, as he finished second in the 100, third in the 400, third in the standing long jump and was a member of a third-place 4x100 relay team (along with Dalton Henning, Eli Becker and Ethan Untiedt).
Doeden will compete in three events Saturday, as he won the standing long jump (6-0) and placed fourth in the 200, to go along with his part in Worthington’s winning relay effort.
Becker will also compete in Litchfield in the 50-meter dash after placing third overall in the event at Worthington, and both Henning (third) and Weg (fourth) earned a chance to throw the softball in the state meet.
On the track, Nath and Luverne’s Regon Feit went 2-3 in the 200, while Pipestone’s Mandi Miller placed fourth in both the 100 and 200.
Peyton Sauerbrei (Worthington) and Feit finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 400.
Sauerbrei, Gracie Barber (Worthington) and Reagan Elder (Windom) each qualified for the state meet by placing 2-3-4 in the standing long jump, while Worthington’s Madisyn Huisman and Windom’s Kayla Bretzman placed third and fourth, respectively, in the softball throw.
Marshall, which had the most total participants (77 in their whole program) involved in the meet, won the 9-10 girls’ 4x100 relay with a time of 1:09.67.
11-12 age division
Suda won the 400-meter dash in extremely impressive fashion, clocking a sensational time of 1:07.09 and also added a victory in the softball throw. He later ran with Cooper, Woelber and Carter Nesvold on Pipestone’s winning 4x100-meter relay (1:01.50) which crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of second place.
Cooper won both the 100 (14.93) and 200 (31.75) and placed third in the standing long jump.
Woelber was second in the 100 and third in both the 400 and SLJ, while Nesvold was second in the 400 and third in the 200.
Stenzel shined in the girls’ division, as she won the 100 (15.17), placed second in both the softball throw and 200 before anchoring the Heron Lake-Okabena 4x100 relay to a second-place finish. Alyssa Post, Kaylan Untiedt and Rachel Salentiny were the other three relay members.
Nath won both the 200 (30.93) and 400 (1:11.73) and also ran a leg on Luverne’s winning 4x100-meter relay team (1:02.5).
Schandelmeier ran an exceptional time of 2:47.11 to win the girls’ 800-meter run by a large margin and she also placed second in the 400 and third in the standing long jump.
Courtney Siebenahler advanced in three events, winning the SLJ and running a leg on the winning 4x100 (with Nath, Sierra Schmuck and Samantha Pierce). She also finished third in the 200.
Nath, Schandelmeier and Schmuck swept the 400 for Luverne, while Worthington’s Emma Thuringer also advanced to Litchfield by placing fourth.
Also on the track, in the girls’ races, Post qualified by finishing fourth in the 200, while Salentiny moved up with a strong second lap to earn a fourth-place finish in the 800.
Worthington’s Taylor Eggers placed fourth in the 100 and Mountain Lake’s Riley Schmitz finished third in the 800.
Melissa Baumgarn of Fulda won the softball throw, while Untiedt and Slayton’s Montana Beckmann finished third and fourth, respectively, qualifying for Litchfield in that event and both Pierce (second) and Pipestone’s Abigail Hollingsworth (fourth) each qualified in the standing long jump.
Worthington’s Davis Moore (6-7) and O.D. Othowo finished 1-2 in the boys’ standing long jump, while Fulda’s Leighton Gehl was fourth.
Heron Lake’s Wyatt Schumacher and Luverne’s Charlie Rops were third and fourth, respectively, in the softball throw.
On the track, Gehl won the 800-meter run (3:16.06), while Slayton’s Ponine Platt, Moore and Marcus Vander finished 2-3-4.
Pipestone’s Devin Tinklenberg will race twice Saturday after finishing second in the 200 and third in the 100, as will Luverne’s Hayden Kruse who was fourth in both the 200 and 400. Othowo placed fourth in the 100.
13-14 age division
Winter was fast, winning both the 100 (12.92) and 200 (26.04) by impressive margins.
While Quinton Siebenaheler finished second to his Luverne teammate in both dashes, he won the standing long jump with an amazing leap of eight feet, eight inches — which was nearly a full foot beyond the second-place jump.
Wolyneic won the softball throw, placed third in the SLJ and finished fourth in the 200.
Meredith Moore won the 1,600-meter run (6:24.30) and added state-qualifying performances in both the 800 (second) and standing long jump (fourth).
Femrite was a double winner, taking first in both the 200 (28.95) and standing long jump.
Pankonen won the 100 (14.29) and placed third in the 200.
Also on the track, Nicole Madison (Fulda), Darian Leddy (Pipestone) and Nikki Bounsavong (Fulda) qualified in the girls’ 100 by placing 2-3-4.
Slayton’s Ciarra Schmidt qualified twice for the state meet with third-place finishes in both the 800 and 1,600 and Pipestone’s Taylor Nesvold placed fourth in the 200, also earning a trip to Litchfield.
Pipestone’s Alyssa Griepentrog, a national qualifier last summer, repeated as the girls’ softball champion, while Madison and Bounsavang also qualified for Litchfield by placing third and fourth, respectively.
Leddy was second in the standing long jump and teamed with Femrite, Taylor Nesvold and Maria Spanier on Pipestone’s winning girls’ 4x100-meter relay team, clocking a fine time of 59.40 — which was slightly faster than Marshall’s winning time of 59.58 in the boys’ 4x100 relay race.
In boys’ competition, Pipestone athletes Daniel Larson (second softball throw, second SLJ, third 100) and Eli Stevens (third 200, fourth SLJ) both qualified in multiple events, while Fulda’s John Gehl and Luverne’s Cayel Denherder each advanced twice.
Gehl was third in both the 1,600-meter run and the 800, while Denherder took second place in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600.
Luverne’s Colby Denherder won the boys’ 800-meter run in the 13-14 age division, clocking a time of 2:47.46.