By PATRICK SLACK
Lane one wasn’t available due to melted snow, shot puts thudded into mud and temps hovered just above freezing.
But after a month layoff, any conditions allowing outdoor competition were ideal, as Upsala-Swanville Area took part in Thursday’s Pillager track and field meet.
The Patriots girls earned sixth place, led by first-place finishes by the 4×200-meter relay team of sophomores Brooke Westrich and Danica Cheney and seniors Marissa Evans and Makenna Peterson (1:56.84) and sophomore Danica Hanson in the high jump (4-feet, 8-inches).
Other top performances were delivered by senior Emma Guthrie in second in the high jump (4-feet, 6-inches), Peterson in third in the 400 (1:05.36), junior Amanda Rieffer in fourth in the high jump (4-feet, 6-inches), the fourth-place 4×100 relay team of sophomores Stephanie Koetter and Ashlie Kaun, eighth-grader Kendra Lange and Cheney (57.17), Koetter in seventh in the high jump (4-feet, 6-inches) and Westrich in eighth in the 100 (13.83) and 200 (30.13).
The Patriots boys were led by their relay teams, including a sixth-place effort by the 4×400 team of freshman Dunkin Westrich, sophomore Joe Jensen, freshman Matthew Laliberte and senior Paul Fruechte (4:09.79) and seventh-place efforts by the 4×100 relay team of Jensen, Westrich, Laliberte and freshman Garrett Karnes (50.6) and the 4×200 relay team of Karnes, senior Travis Koetter, Justin Schneider and freshman Ethan McCoy (1:49.77).
Fruechte also took eighth in the 400 (58.47) and freshman Carter Loven took eighth in the 1,600 (5:21.65).