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Paynesville Press - June 7, 2006

Trio competes at section track meet

By Michael Jacobson

Senior Aaron Bachman led a trio of Bulldog boy tracksters at the Section 5A meet last week, placing fourth in the pole vault.

Bachman vaulting Bachman cleared a personal best of 12' 8" in the section pole vault competition at St. John's University on Wednesday, May 31. On his third attempt at 13' 2" - which is the state standard, meaning automatic qualification to the state meet - he nearly cleared that height as well.

Senior Aaron Bachman cleared a personal best of 12'8" in the pole vault competition at the Section 5A meet at St. John's University on Wednesday, May 31, and placed fourth.

Three pole vaulters from Milaca all cleared 13' 2" and finished 1-2-3 in the pole vault at sections. The top two individuals (plus anyone making the state standard, which all three Milaca vaulters did) qualify for the state meet.

"We thought if Aaron cleared 12' 6" on an early attempt, he would have a shot (at state)," said coach Todd Spanier. "He did that, but those three Milaca guys just had more. If Aaron had cleared 13' 2" - which he almost did on his last attempt - he would have qualified automatically."

"We will miss Aaron a lot next year," added Spanier. "Not only did he help out the other varsity vaulters, he was helpful to the junior high vaulters when they started vaulting."

The boys' pole vault at sections was the subject of some controversy as the bar was set too low for several heights. The error was discovered at 11' 8" when the bar was measured to be only 10' high. The competition then resumed at 10' 2". The error caused many of the vaulters to make additional vaults.

nathanNinth grader Nathan Friederichs thought he had cleared a personal best of 11' 8" until this error was discovered. Spanier said he did a good job of recovering from this mental high (of thinking he had set a personal best) to a mental low (of having to vault heights he already thought he had made).

Ninth grader Nathan Friederichs scaled 10'8" in the pole vault last week and placed 11th. He was the only ninth grader in the pole vault field in Section 5A this year.

Friederichs, said Spanier, "maybe could have gone 11' 2" - a personal best - had things gone correctly."

Still, tying for 11th, out of 16 pole vaulters at sections, is a good accomplishment when Friederichs is the only ninth grader at sections in the pole vault, added Spanier.

Junior Dugan Flanders was the third Dog to compete at sections, running in the 3,200-meter run. He ran a personal best, shaving a second off his time from subsections, but finished 15th out of 16 at sections. "He finished right where he should have," said Spanier. "Anytime you finish the season with personal bests at subsections and at sections, you have to be very happy with that."

A final highlight for the Dogs at sections was assistant coach Kyle Nehowig being named the Assistant Coach of the Year for Section 5A. "He works as hard as any head coach does," said Spanier, "and deserves this award. Without him, the boys' and girls' programs would not be what they are."

Flanders running Nehowig also serves as the district's athletic coordinator and organizes varsity and junior high track meets. "Teams enjoy coming to our meets," said Spanier, "and one head coach commented how (Kyle) seeds all our meets and goes above and beyond when hosting track meets."

Junior Dugan Flanders rounds a curve during the 3,200-meter run at St. John's University on Wednesday, May 31. He finished 15th, lowering his personal best time.

Spanier also thanked former track coach (and current cross country coach) Darrel Carstens for his work with the distance runners, including the girls' state-bound 3,200-meter relay and Flanders' season-long improvement.

Team Scores
1. Glencoe-Silver Lake 112.0
2. St. Cloud Cathedral 84.0
3. Mayer Lutheran 66.5
4. Foley 57.5
5. Melrose 48.0
6. Milaca 40.0
7. Watertown-Mayer 40.0
8. Litchfield 37.0
9. New London-Spicer 32.0
10. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 28.0
11. Annandale 27.0
12. Delano 18.0
13. ACGC 17.0
14. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 16.0
15. Holdingford 14.0
16. Zimmerman 14.0
17. Albany 10.0
18. Crosby-Ironton 10.0
19. Maple Lake 9.0
20. Pierz 9.0
21. Paynesville 5.0
22. Royalton 5.0
23. Aitkin 2.0

Individual Results
3,200-meter run: Dugan Flanders, 15th, 10:56.44 (personal best);
Pole vault: Aaron Bachman, fourth, 12' 8" (personal best); Nathan Friederichs, 11th, 10' 8".

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