By PATRICK SLACK
At last year’s Section 5A track and field meet, Royalton seniors Megan Wiener and Daniel Borash each finished less than a tenth of a second from qualifying for state.
On Wednesday, the duo would not be denied, with Wiener advancing in the long jump and Borash bettering his time from a year ago to move on in the 1,600-meter run.
With the top two individuals guaranteed a spot at state, Wiener easily outdistanced the third-place finisher in her event, securing second place with a leap of 16-feet, 8-inches.
Borash would have to take a more unorthodox path to state in the 1,600.
Borash, Foley junior Charlie Lawrence and St. Cloud Cathedral sophomore Nick Golebiowski each entered the race among the state’s elite distance runners, having all placed in the top eight at this year’s state cross country meet.
With only two runners able to advance automatically, Borash bolted to the lead and pushed the pace throughout.
Although he placed a close third in 4:26.36, the time put him under the state qualifying standard of 4:26.67 necessary to move on.
Borash also placed third in the 3,200 (9:47.96) and Wiener took fourth in the 100 (13.27).
In addition to Borash and Wiener, the Holdingford girls 4×800-meter relay team of seventh grader Jo Merten, junior Kaitlin Preusser, freshman Emily Wolter and eighth grader Alli Ruprecht also qualified for state by placing first in 9:46.89, three seconds ahead of runner-up St. Cloud Cathedral.
Holdingford senior Chelsea Gerads was the next best finisher from the area in the girls competition, taking third in the shot put (36-feet, 10.25-inches) and fourth in the discus (114-feet, 9-inches).
Also taking fourth for the Huskers were Wolter in the 1,600 (5:29.09) and Ruprecht in the 3,200 (11:43.28).
The Upsala-Swanville Area 4×200 relay team of freshmen Danica Cheney and Brooke Westrich and juniors Marissa Evans and Makenna Peterson took fourth (1:52.07), with Peterson also earning fifth in the long jump (15-feet, 7.5-inches).
Pierz was led by junior Alyssa Boser, who took fifth in the shot put (33-feet, 7.25-inches), and senior Cassie Stangl, who placed sixth in the pole vault (9-feet, 2-inches).
The Huskers boys had a pair of third-place finishers in junior Kyle Kolstad in the pole vault (12-feet, 6-inches) and sophomore Brody Davidson in the 800 (2:04.06).
Pierz had three placers in the high jump, including senior Devaunte Stumpf in third (5-feet, 11-inches), junior Jess Kasper in fourth (5-feet, 9-inches) and senior Caleb Janson in seventh (5-feet, 9-inches).
Sophomore Tyler Millner earned fifth in the 100 (11.61) and eighth in the 300 hurdles (43.56) and senior Preston Weber took eighth in the long jump (19-feet, 2.5-inches) for Pierz.
The Pioneers’ 4×100 relay team of Millner, Weber and seniors Ben Huffman and Michael Marshik took fourth (46.08) and the 4×200 relay team of seniors Dustin Waytashek, Tyler Kieffer, Janson and Michael Marshik took sixth (1:37.48).
Royalton freshman Zach Carlson took sixth in the 1,600 (4:45.75) and seventh in the 3,200 (10:22.87).
The state meet will be held Friday – Saturday, June 8 – 9, at Hamline University in St. Paul.