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|Paynesville Press - May 22, 2002|
Tracksters win third straight conference title
The Paynesville boys' track team won their third consecutive West Central Conference North title on Thursday at home. |
It was a great day for track. The weather was nice with the sun shining, temperatures in the low 60s, and a tail wind on the home stretch.
"This was a great team win," said coach Darrel Carstens. "We had so many athletes step up and do their best. I couldn't single out anyone without the fear of leaving someone out! It was a great day!"
The Bulldogs scored 183.5 points to beat runner-up St. Cloud Cathedral, which had 164.
To earn All Conference honors in track and field, a competitor must place in the top two in an event. This year the Bulldogs had 14 athletes earn All Conference status.
Senior Nic Glenz won the pole vault and was part of the winning 400-meter relay team. Other members of that team were: senior Ryan Whitcomb (shown ar right), senior Adam Schaefer, and junior Josh Teicher.
Senior Steve Mages took second place in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle races.
Junior Milan Virant ran a personal best time in the 400-meter dash and took second place.
Senior Jesse Rien took second place in the 800-meter run. Rien also took third in the 1600-meter run behind two of the best milers in the state.
Senior Dan Pearson took second place in the 3,200-meter run, trailing only Will Enns of LPGE, the defending state champion.
The Bulldogs' long jumpers swept their event, with senior Andy Jones in first, sophomore Lee Fuchs-Thielen in second, and Whitcomb in third. Jones also took second place in the triple jump, and Whitcomb took third.
The Bulldogs had two relays that took second: its 1,600-meter relay and its 3,200-meter relay. Earning All Conference honors on the relays were junior Riley Flanders, junior Tom Flannigan, Rien, Jones, sophomore Chad Wyffels, and senior Scott Thompson.
"Only a couple times a year do we as coaches ask the team to compete for the benefit of the team," said Carstens. "This was a team effort!"
The track team will compete next in subsections on Thursday at New London-Spicer starting at 1 p.m. At subsections, individuals and relays will try to advance to sections.
The night had many interesting turns and falls. First off, senior Steve Mages won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle races quite easily, despite diving trying to hand off during the 800-meter relay and bruising himself pretty badly. He won the 300-meter hurdle race after that and also took second place in the high jump after his fall.
Senior Andy Jones won all four of his events: the long jump, the triple jump, the 400-meter dash, and the 1,600-meter relay. Jones was the first leg of the relay and when he handed off the baton the team was in second place to LPGE.
Junior Tom Flannigan took the next leg and crept up on the LPGE runner, and senior Scott Thompson in the third leg took the lead, but in the home stretch the LPGE runner cut him off on the inside lane. Senior Jesse Rien ran the last leg of the race. At the end of the race, while fighting for the win, Rien lost his balance and fell over the finish line, sealing the Bulldogs' victory.
Rien also won the 800-meter run earlier in the evening. Junior Riley Flanders was right behind him in second.
Senior Adam Schaefer won the discus competition, never having thrown before in a meet. Schaefer won by over ten feet.
Junior Milan Virant took second place in the 400-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash as well.
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