Area athletes prepare for state track and field meet

File photo by Fritz Busch River Valley’s Katie Thram (left) races in the 300-meter hurdles during the Section 2A Track and Field Championship last week at Mankato West High School.

By Ari Selvey

Journal Sports Writer

ST. MICHAEL — Emily Pearson and James Osborne will take to the air for New Ulm High School on Saturday at the State Track and Field Meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School in the Class AA portion of the meet.

Osborne, a junior, competes in the Class AA state boys high jump event, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. He qualified with a top jump of 6 feet, 2 inches last week during the Section 2AA Track and Field Meet in Worthington.

The jump was also a personal best for him.

“He did great,” New Ulm head coach Andrea Hanson said. “He came out second. The qualifying height was 6 foot, 2 inches, and that’s what he got. Whether he got second place or just jumped 6-2, he did great. That was their focus today, to just go for the standard to get to state, and this is the day to pull out your best, and he did. We were all really excited for him.”

Pearson, who broke her own pole vault record twice this year after setting it last year, qualified for the Class AA girls pole vault with a top jump of 11 feet, 2 inches at last week’s section meet. The Class AA girls pole vault event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Pearson’s current record in the pole vault is 11 feet, 9 inches.

“I think she did awesome,” Hanson said. “She is a determined young lady, and she’s been eyeing this bar since last year when she didn’t make it. I’m just really happy for her that she’s been striding and getting better throughout the season and getting higher and higher. She came in today and made her goal, and that’s always good.”


Before Osborne and Pearson look to launch themselves to a state medal on Saturday, the Class A portion of the meet begins Thursday with preliminary events and some finals.

The girls 3,200-meter run finals takes place at 6:26 p.m. Thursday, with Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Madyson Steele competing. Steele, a freshman, qualified with a second-place finish at the Section 2A meet in Mankato last week, running a 12:24.97.

The 3,200 finals event will take place at 6:26 on Thursday.

GFW will also have Alex Johnson competing in the Class A boys shot put event, which takes place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Class A preliminary races begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Also from the area, River Valley has several athletes going to state this year, led by two relay teams.

The girls 4×800-meter relay team of sophomore Emmie McCone, sophomore Skyla Daur, eighth-grader Brynne Ibberson and sophomore Marissa Pabst qualified with a school-record time of 10:01.24. The girls 4×100-meter relay team of juniors Erica Wells, Hailey Hollar, Ellarie Blomeke and sophomore Yanellie Fernandez qualified with a personal-best time of 51.22.

The girls 4×800 event takes place on Saturday and is a finals event. The girls 4×100 preliminary event takes place at 4:48 p.m. on Thursday.

Hollar qualified for River Valley in the girls 100 and 200 after finishing second in both events at the Section 2A meet with times of 12.76 and 26.45, respectively. The girls 100 and 200 prelims take place Thursday.

Ibberson ran a personal-best 1:00.77 in the 400 to secure a trip to state. The 400 preliminary event takes place at 5:10 p.m, on Thursday.

Freshman Katie Thram qualified for the Wildcats in the girls 300 hurdles with a time of 48.44. The girls 300 hurdles preliminary event begins at 5:26 p.m. on Thursday.

Senior Kaden Ryder qualified for the boys 110 hurdles with a personal-best 15.45. The boys 110 preliminary event will be held at 9:42 Thursday.

Toby Hagen finished first in every event he competed in — The wheelchair 100 (29.21), 200 (57.09), shot put (12-01) and discus (31-01). His 100 and 200 times were both personal bests. James Hagen also qualified the wheelchair 100 (32.60), 200 (1:05.54) and shot put (10-05).

“This section meet was brutally hot,” River Valley Head coach Heidi McCone said. “These kids proved their grit and determination. They stuck together, encouraged each other and gave it all they had. Even the alternates for the relays warmed up and were ready to go at any second if needed. It takes a team to be great. As coaches, we could not be prouder of every one of these athletes.”

Madelia also sent a pair of athletes to state in sophomore Josiah DeMaris and junior Ryan Koberoski. DeMaris qualified in the boys 3,200 with a personal-best time of 10:01.49. Koberoski qualified in the boys 400, setting his personal-best time of 50.68.


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