By PATRICK SLACK
The Holdingford 4×800-meter relay team wasn’t able to beat champion Albany in Wednesday’s Section 5A meet at St. John’s Prep.
However, the Huskers quartet of junior Brody Davidson, freshman Marcus Rick, senior Ryan Hartung and sophomore Abraham Skwira was able to beat the clock, barely, earning a trip to the state meet.
Needing to either win the event or come in with an overall time under the state qualifying standard of 8:18.14, the Huskers closed in just faster by the slimmest of margins in 8:18.11, placing second.
The relay team will be joined at state by sophomore Grant Bullert, who competed in four events in the section meet, qualifying with a second-place leap of 41-feet, 6.5-inches in the triple jump.
Other top performances from area athletes included: In third place: Royalton sophomore Zach Carlson in the 1,600 (4:40.61) and Holdingford sophomore Logan Smith in the 400 (52.09).
In fourth place: Holdingford senior Kyle Kolstad in the pole vault (12-feet), Pierz junior Tyler Millner in the 100 (11.61), Bullert in the long jump (19-feet, 7-inches) and Skwira in the 3,200 (10:23.63).
In fifth place: Pierz sophomore Kyle Becker in the 1,600 (4:41.72), Holdingford sophomore Andrew Zachman in the 3,200 (10:24.63) and Millner in the 300 hurdles (42.58).
In sixth place: Royalton sophomore Tremayne Collins in the 3,200 (10:28.04), Pierz sophomore Robbie Skiba in the 300 hurdles (43.32) and the Holdingford 4×200 relay team of sophomore Matt Messman, Smith and juniors Chris Burg and Kolja Bazan (1:35.82).
In seventh place: Royalton junior Tony Gadacz in the discus (123-feet, 7-inches), Chris Burg in the 100 (11.83) and Skiba in the long jump (19-feet, 2-inches).
In eighth place: Holdingford senior Dylan Scegura in the triple jump (39-feet, 2-inches), Bullert in the 110 hurdles (16.86), Davidson in the 800 (2:07.45), the Pierz 4×200 relay team of freshman Jordan Boser, senior T.J. Hoheisel, freshman Jonny Kasper and senior Josh Lanners (1:40.0) and the Holdingford 4×400 relay team of senior Dylan Scegura, Smith, junior Zachary Juaire and Davidson (3:39.38).
In the girls competition, Holdingford sent athletes to state in multiple events, with top runner-up efforts turned in by the 4×200 team of sophomore Amanda Grebinoski, eighth-grader Arianna Vasilj and freshmen Rachael Preusser and McKenzie Schulte (1:49.17) and the Holdingford 4×400 relay team of freshman Summer Storm, Rachael Preusser, Vasilj and senior Kaitlin Preusser (4:10.79).
Other top-eight finishers from throughout the area included:
In third place: Upsala-Swanville Area (USA) sophomore Stephanie Koetter in the high jump (5-feet, 1-inch), Kaitlin Preusser in the 800 (2:26.2) and Schulte in the 100 (13.18).
In fourth place: Royalton sophomore Abby Duevel in the 400 (1:02.18).
In fifth place: USA senior Makenna Peterson in the long jump (16-feet, 0.25-inches), Pierz sophomore Raychel Virnig in the shot put (31-feet, 10-inches) and Storm in the 300 hurdles (49.01).
In sixth place: Holdingford freshman Alli Ruprecht in the 1,600 (5:31.77).
In seventh place: Pierz senior Alyssa Boser in the shot put (31-feet, 10-inches) and the USA 4×200 relay team of sophomores Brooke Westrich and Danica Cheney, senior Marissa Evans and Peterson (1:54.45).
In eighth place: Pierz junior Gabriella Kroska in the long jump (14-feet, 8.5-inches) and the Holdingford 4×100 relay team of Grebinoski, eighth-grader Kailee Heinen, senior Kara Fiedler and freshman Meghan Mokhtary (54.27).