The Blue Earth Area boys track squad had many notable performances at the Section 2A Championship on May 31 at Mankato West, highlighted by Bailey Olson, who won the 200-meter dash to qualify for the State Meet.
According to coach Tom Plocker, Olson took charge early and earned his first individual State berth.
"That was a bit of an upset on paper, but Bailey is an exceptional athlete who came through on the big stage," Plocker says.
The 4 x 200-meter relay team finished third. The team consisting of Camden Bowers (22.8), Bailey Olson (22.7), Gus Phillips (23.0) and Derek Johnson (23.9), ran a quality time (1:32.45), which was faster than their Section-winning mark last year. But, in the end, they were edged by South Central Conference foes Fairmont and Waseca.
Nick Shure finished fourth in the long jump (20-9 1/2), just missing the qualifying standard by an inch and a half.
"He was really focused on making State," Plocker explains. "Nick had an excellent jump, but there were so many other great jumpers in our Section as well."
Bowers placed ninth in the triple jump (39-8 3/4), but bettered his placing and distance from last year, according to Plocker.
In the pole vault, Brandon Olson finished sixth (12-1) and Chris Sanders took ninth (10-7). Each of them set new personal records, with Brandon Olson improving over two feet from last year's Sections.
In the hurdles, Brandon Olson competed finished 14th in the 110-meter high hurdles (16.62) and 13th in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (44.52).
Senior Danny Krieger finished 10th in both the shot put (44-9 1/2) and discus (113-0). This was Krieger's first time competing at Sections for shot put.
Dakota Jahnke placed 15th in the shot put (38-4) and Gus Phillips took 14th in the discus (106-5).
Chris Sanders finished 13th in the 3200-meter run (11:00.17).
"Overall I was extremely pleased," Plocker says. "We have a very tough Section, so it is always difficult to advance to the State Meet."
The Minnesota State High School League State Championships were held on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7 at Hamline University after the Register deadline and will be featured in the next issue.
United South Central also had one individual qualify for the the State Meet.
John Schuster finished first in the 400-meter dash (50.44) and will be the lone Rebel representing USC at the State Meet.
He also finished sixth in the triple jump (40-7) and barely missed qualifying in the 200-meter dash by placing third (23.11).
Also at the Section Meet, James Dundas placed fifth in the shot put (47-11 1/2), Dakota Kalis placed eighth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.12 1/4) and the 4 x 400-meter relay team consisting of Schuster (51.3), Maclan Busblack (55.3), Dallas Olson (57.1) and Kalis (58.37) finished seventh with an overall time of 3:40.99.