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|Paynesville Press - May 17, 2006|
Dogs qualify for state true team again
For the third straight year, the Bulldogs girls' track team captured the Section 5A true team title and will advance to the state meet this weekend at Stillwater on Saturday.|
The Dogs used their depth to tip Sauk Centre 509.5 to 504.5 for the section title. It is the third straight year the Dogs have won this section title, but the first time they have needed to beat Sauk Centre to do so. The Mainstreeters moved down into Class A in true team this year.
The Bulldogs used 17 top-six individual finishes to overcome the Mainstreeters, who took first place in eight events, including all four relays. Third-place Osakis won six events at the section true team meet at Holdingford on Tuesday, May 9.
While the Dogs did not win any events, they used their depth to defeat Sauk Centre and Osakis.
"We had a great performance by the girls' team when we really needed to perform at a very high level," said coach Dave Randgaard. "Sauk Centre is an outstanding team and is the best opponent we have competed against this season."
In true team, each school enters two competitors in individual events and one relay. Unlike normal track meets, where only the top six or eight finishers earn team points, in true team all the competitors are ranked and scored.
In the ten-team section meet last week, this meant that the 20 competitors were ranked from first to 20th, earning 20 points for first, 19 for second, etc., down to one point for 20th. Relays were given 30 points for first, 27 for second, etc., down to three points for tenth.
The Dogs averaged 28 points per event last week.
Despite scoring better in the running events, they defeated Sauk Centre due to their field events. The Mainstreeters won the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dashes, as well as all four relays. In all ten running events - six individual and four relays - they outscored the Dogs 338-285.
In the individual running events - 100-meter dash to the 3,200-meter run - the Dogs averaged 32.5 points per race and had 11 top-six finishes. Senior Tara Schmidt was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash and was third in the 200-meter dash, while junior Kacy Nehowig was second in the 3,200-meter run.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Frenchick was third in the 800-meter run, and ninth grader Linda Keller was third in the 1,600-meter run. And ninth grader Kally Felling was sixth in both the 100 and 200 and fifth in the 400-meter dash.
But despite this strength for the Dogs, Sauk still outscored them, averaging 36 points per race for the six individual runs.
The Dogs, however, outscored the Mainstreeters by four points in the hurdles and by 54 points in the field events to win the meet.
Of their advantage in the field events, 32 points came in the pole vault, where junior Tanis Beireis finished fourth and Nehowig fifth. Sauk Centre does not have pole vault pits and did not enter any girls in this event. The Dogs did not even use their best pole vaulter, ninth grader Anna Kotten, in this event, figuring Beireis and Nehowig could place well in the field.
Kotten led the Dogs in both hurdle races, placing fourth in the 100-meter hurdles and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles, as well as competing in both the high jump and triple jump.
Junior Randi Schaefer was also a key performer in the field events for the Dogs: taking fourth in the discus, tying for fifth in the high jump, and taking sixth in the shot put.
Frenchick was runner-up in the triple jump, and Schmidt was fourth in the long jump for the Dogs in other field events.
Schmidt also helped the 800-meter relay - with junior Kirsten Miller, ninth grader Bri Jaeger, and ninth grader Stacy Orbeck - place second.
Frenchick helped two relays take third: the 1,600-meter relay with Jaeger, Keller, and ninth grader Erin Guzy and the 3,200-meter relay with sophomore Melanie Koerner, Guzy, and Beireis.
The Dogs, who led through most of the meet due to their early lead from the pole vault, led Sauk Centre by 11 points entering the final event, the 1,600-meter relay. They could finish no more than three places behind the Mainstreeters to win the meet. The Streeters won this relay, and the Dogs took third to secure the meet victory. (The Dogs could have taken fourth and still won.)
The state true team meet has been moved to Stillwater High School this year. It will be held on Saturday, May 20, starting at 10 a.m. Last year, the Dogs placed seventh at state. They placed ninth in 2004. Their best-ever finish at state true team was sixth in 1996.
This week, the Dogs will also compete in the West Central Conference North meet at New London-Spicer on Thursday.
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