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Kalis has high hopes at state meet

File photo by Fritz Busch Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Treay Taylor (right) qualified for the Class A State Track and Field meet in the 100-meter dash on Saturday. Taylor is one of several area athletes who will be competing at the Class A state meet this week. The Class A boys will compete at 10 a.m. on Friday and the Class A girls will compete at 3:30 p.m. Friday, while the Class AA girls will compete at 3:30 p.m. Friday, all at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

NEW ULM — In what will be her second appearance at the Class AA Girls Track and Field State Meet, New Ulm senior Paige Kalis has her sights set on one thing: a state championship.

Kalis will be competing in the Long Jump for the Eagles in the Class A Girls’ meet, which begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

Kalis placed ninth overall at the state meet in 2019 with a mark of 16-feet-10 1/4 inches. This year, she beat that mark and set a school record with a jump of 18-5.5 at a home meet on April 22.

Kalis has been working on where she takes off. Even being off by a couple of inches on the jump can make the biggest difference when competing with the best jumpers in the state.

“Paige has a good chance of placing well at the state meet,” her coach Megan Asleson said. “Recently we have been working on getting consistently on the board, when she jumped 17-6.5 at sections, her take off foot was well behind the board. They measure from the front of the board, not where you take off, so you lose some distance when you’re not on the board.

“The heat did play a role in the jumper’s approaches at sections as you could see slower approaches and being fatigued by heat and humidity, looking at the forecast, we are hoping to have a little reprieve from what we experienced last week.”

Kalis, who will continue her Track and Field career at UW-Eau Claire next year, is still working on some minor details for Saturday’s jump.

“We will do some fine tuning this week and she will be ready come Saturday,” Asleson said. “Paige is a smart competitor, she can typically identify things that went well and things that need to be changed in her jump. It also helps that she has been to this meet previously and has that experience.”

Kalis’ Section 2AA mark of 17-5 has her seeded seventh for the state meet. Her mark of 18-5.5 tied for the second-best mark in the state. However, the girl who recorded the best mark (19-0.25) earlier this year didn’t qualify for the state meet, so anything is possible for Kalis come Saturday.

Class A meet

Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Treay Taylor will compete in the Class A state meet on Friday when he will represent the Thunderbirds in the 100-meter dash. Taylor finished second at the Section 2A meet. He will also join the GFW 4×100 relay team, which finished with a season-best time of 45.35 on Saturday. The relay team is made up of Taylor, Johnnie Ambrose, Valdimire Ambrose and Dominic Henrichs.

The relay team will compete at 11:34 a.m. on Friday and the 100-meter dash is scheduled for 10:42 a.m.

Another GFW athlete, Olivia Schwarzrock, will compete in the state discus competition and that begins at 5 p.m.

River Valley’s 4×800 relay team of Lily McCone, Marissa Pabst, Skyla Dauer and Emmaline McCone finished with a season-best time of 10:19.26 on Saturday at the Section 2A meet and they will compete at 3:30 p.m.

The Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial-Nicollet track and field team will send Emily Lorentz, who will compete in the discus and shot put, and Grace Klockziem, who will compete in the 1,600-meter run. The 4×400-relay team of Savannah Klockziem, Katelyn Flack, Avery Voges and Ella Voges will also compete on Friday.

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