The Holdingford boys may not be a team filled with superstars.
But Tuesday’s Section 5A true team meet in Morris proved the Huskers possess an abundance of top-end talent as they won the title, and with it a repeat trip to state, without winning a single event.
“Last year when we made it we only had a few seniors on the team, so we felt we had a pretty good chance of advancing this year as well,” Holdingford boys head coach Kelly Kobernusz said. “The team had a really strong performance – not many personal bests, but a few.
“They just competed very well as a team,” he said. “The team’s goal at this point is to improve last year’s finish at the state meet,” when the Huskers took fourth.
And while the Huskers didn’t have any individual winners, they came through with a bevy of runner-up performances, including senior Chris Burg in the 100-meter dash (11.03), senior Mitch Messman in the shot put (44-feet, 1.5-inches), junior Grant Bullert in the 110 hurdles (16.34), the long jump (19-feet, 1-inch) and the high jump (5-feet, 8-inches), junior Abe Skwira in the 3,200 (10:38.33), junior Jake Langer in the discus (122-feet, 8-inches), the 4×100 relay team of seniors Mitch Messman, Nick Catton and Jeremy Springer and freshman Blake Patrick (46.77), the 4×400 relay team of senior Zach Juaire, juniors Logan Smith and Matt Vasilj and senior Brody Davidson (3:37.14) and the 4×800 relay team of Juaire, senior Nick Hiltner, eighth-grader Luke Ryan and Davidson (8:51.9).
The Holdingford boys finished with 832 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Redwood Valley’s 750.5.
The Holdingford girls turned in a third-place performance with 686 points, narrowly trailing runner-up Montevideo (719), while Osakis pulled away with first place with 795.
Leading the Huskers girls were runners-up in junior Emily Wolter in the 3,200 (12:25.0), sophomore Summer Storm in the 300 hurdles (49.61) and the 4×800 relay team of sophomore Rachael Preusser, freshman Jo Merten, eighth-grader Olivia Mokhtary and senior Abby Mokhtary (10:31.65).
The state true team meet will be held in Stillwater, Saturday, May 17.
Huskers sweep at Pillager
Holdingford also had an impressive showing at the 10-team John Reimer Invite in Pillager, May 1, with both the boys and girls coming out on top.
Event-winners for the Huskers girls were Preusser in the 400 (1:02.67), Wolter in the 800 (2:32.6) and the 1,600 (5:40.8), Storm in the 100 hurdles (17.5) and the 300 hurdles (50.1) and the 4×800 relay team (10:40.14).
In the boys competition, taking first for Holdingford were Burg in the 100 (11.44), Davidson in the 800 (2:06.65), the 4×400 relay team (3:37.3), the 4×800 relay team (9:01.85) and Bullert in the long jump (20-feet, 0.75-inches) and the triple jump (40-feet, 1-inch).