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Paynesville Press - June 15, 2005

Relay team places seventh at state

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Bulldogs' 1,600-meter relay team - eighth grader Bri Jaeger, eighth grader Kally Felling, ninth grader Kaitlyn Frenchick, and senior Kendra Johnson - placed seventh at the Class A state tournament in Blaine on Saturday afternoon, earning medals and All State honors.

The Dogs actually ran better in the preliminaries on Friday night, where they had the sixth-fastest qualifying time and broke their school record in the event. In the preliminaries, the Dogs led their heat for most of the race, finishing third in a time of 4:07.77, which broke their own school record by 27 hundreths of a second. Photo page.

track team "The team ran their best race ever, setting a new school record of 4:07.77 and having the sixth-best time heading into the finals," said coach Dave Randgaard. "The girls all ran splits between 1:01-1:03 to make our first goal to make the finals. Then we had a goal to try and place sixth in the finals and just missed this with a seventh-place finish."

The Dogs' 1,600-meter relay - Kaitlyn Frenchick, Kally Felling, Bri Jaeger, and Kendra Johnson - finished seventh at state, earning All State honors.

This relay team first ran together at subsections this year. They won the subsection and section titles to advance to state. They first set the school record at sections, running the race in 4:08.04 to break the previous school record by nearly eight seconds. They became the first girls' relay team to compete individually at state.

In the finals on Saturday, the Dogs were seeded sixth. They ran fifth for most of the race but finished seventh. "The wind was tough on the backstretch and that did slow down the times some," said Randgaard. "The girls' 1600-meter relay team really gave a great effort and can be proud of their accomplishments."

Cedar Mountain/Morgan won the 1,600-meter relay in 3:59.02 with St. Paul Academy (last year's champ) second. Pine Island was third, Pipestone fourth, Sauk Centre fifth, and DeLaSalle sixth. Hermantown was eighth, and Blue Earth Area was ninth in the finals. A total of 11 schools competed in the event at state.

kaitlyn Johnson, in her last high school race, capped her career by earning All State honors. Frenchick became one of the first ninth grader to earn All State honors in track, and Felling and Jaeger, as eighth graders, became the youngest Dogs to earn All State honors in track.

Ninth grader Kaitlyn Frenchick sprints down the homestretch on Saturday afternoon in Blaine in the 1,600-meter relay final.

"Three relay team members will be back for next season, and we think we can make it back to state next season in this event," said Randgaard. "Kendra's leadership and competitive spirit will be tough to replace in this relay, though."

Johnson also advanced to state individually in the 300-meter hurdles. She ran in the prelims on Friday night but finished seventh in her heat in 48.60 and 14th overall.

"She struggled with her steps at the fourth hurdle," said Randgaard, "and got off her rhythm some the rest of the race. She didn't qualify for the finals but still is the best 300-meter hurdler in school history."

Johnson holds the school record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.81, set as a junior in 2004.

Jennifer Becker - a senior from Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball, who beat Johnson for the Section 5A title - won the Class A state title in the 300-meter hurdles on Saturday.

Individual Results

300-meter hurdles: Kendra Johnson, 14th, 48.60;
1,600-meter relay: Bri Jaeger, Kally Felling, Kaitlyn Frenchick, and Johnson, seventh, 4:11.27 (All State).

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