By PATRICK SLACK
A year after placing second at its true team section meet, the Holdingford girls track and field team moved one spot up the standings to earn a trip to state at Monday’s 5A competition in Minnewaska.
The Huskers scored 643 points during the meet, narrowly outdistancing runner-up Morris/Chokio-Alberta by 16 1/2 points.
Holdingford’s 4×800-meter relay team of seventh grader Jo Merten, junior Kaitlin Preusser, seventh grader Angel Rick and eighth grader Alli Ruprecht opened the meet with a first-place finish in 10:20.27, winning by 0.23 seconds.
Senior Chelsea Gerads nabbed the other event win for Holdingford, taking first in the shot put with a mark of 36-feet, 4-inches.
Needing a top-five finish to clinch the state bid, Holdingford’s 4×400 relay team of eighth grader Summer Storm, Preusser, Merten and freshman Emily Wolter came through with a runner-up performance in 4:19.37 to secure the team championship.
Adding key points with fourth-place finishes were Wolter in the 1,600 (5:38.27), Ruprecht in the 3,200 (12:29.39), senior Katie Posch in the discus (107-feet, 11-inches), senior Mariya Pierskalla in the pole vault (7-feet, 6.5-inches) and the 4×200 relay team of sophomore Megan Auger, freshman Amanda Grebinoski, seventh grader Arianna Vasilj and senior Sam Prokott.
On the boys side, Holdingford took fourth place, led by runner-up finishes by junior Kyle Kolstad in the pole vault (11-feet, 6-inches) and the 4×400 relay team (3:41.46), as well as a third-place run by sophomore Brody Davidson in the 800 (2:08.76).
The true team section and state competition is separate from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), put on by state coaches with the desire to measure overall team strength and encourage teams to develop all events and improve participation.
Each participant earns team points in every event, unlike the MSHSL state competition, in which only individual state finalists earn team points.
The state meet will be held in Stillwater, Friday – Saturday, May 18 – 19.
Holdingford’s next competition will be hosting the Central Minnesota Conference meet, Tuesday, May 15.
True team Section 5A meet girls results
Team—1. Holdingford, 643; 2. Morris/Chokio-Alberta, 626.5; 3. Osakis, 584.5; 4. Redwood Valley, 500; 5. MACCRAY/RCW, 490.5; 6. Paynesville Area, 481; 7. Montevideo, 478.5; 8. St. John’s Prep, 461.5; 9. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 402.5; 10. Minnewaska Area, 344; 11. Yellow Medicine East, 330; 12. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 322.5; 13. Ortonville, 276.5.
100 meter—5. McKenzie Schulte, 13.82.
200—6. Schulte, 28.01.
400—7. Megan Auger, 1:04.75.
800—7. Kaitlin Preusser, 2:35.58; 8. Emily Wolter, 2:35.87.
1,600—4. Wolter, 5:38.27; 5. Abby Mokhtary, 5:39.41.
3,200—4. Alli Ruprecht, 12:02.53; 5. Mokhtary, 12:29.39.
300 hurdles—7. Summer Storm, 53.36.
4×100 relay—6. Holdingford, 55.7.
4×200 relay—4. Holdingford, 1:58.3.
4×400 relay—2. Holdingford, 4:19.37.
4×800 relay—1. Holdingford, 10:20.27.
High jump—7. Teia Koopmeiners, 4-8.75.
Shot put—1. Chelsea Gerads, 36-4; 7. Katie Posch, 30-5.
Discus—4. Posch, 107-11; 6. Gerads, 104-6.
Pole vault—4. Mariya Pierskalla, 7-6.5; 7. McKinzie Dockendorf, 7-0.5.