Photo finish at the tape
Blue Earth Area track wrapped up a stellar season with an individual and a relay team claiming the top spot at the State Class A Track Meet on Saturday, June 8.
Freshman Taylor Grandgenett took first place with her 300-meter low hurdles performance with a time of 45.03. She set a school record as the first female individual track state champion in Blue Earth Area history. Her time broke her own school record set just the week before at Sections.
“She was unflappable as always, calmly racing to the best time in preliminaries.” says coach Tom Plocker. “In the finals, she withstood an early challenge from the Staples-Motley runner-up, overcame hitting the next-to-last hurdle and claimed the victory.”
The boys 4×200-meter relay team comprised of Taylor Olson, Alberto Ocampo, Bailey Olson and Nick Beattie became the first state champion boys relay team since 1991. They also set a new school record with their time of 1:30.67.
“Nick Beattie’s jaw-dropping anchor leg on Saturday was one of the most thrilling moments in the history of BEA track and field as he rocketed from fifth place to a win at the tape,” says Plocker.
Beattie took home a total of three State medals on Saturday: first place with the 4×200-meter relay, and seventh with both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, with times of 11.35 and 22.87 respectively.
According to Plocker, that is the most medals for any BEA boy since Dan Ristau in 2003.
“He likely would have placed higher in the 100 and 200 had he not anchored the 4×200, but helping the other guys grab a State title was well worth it,” adds Plocker.
The BEA girls 4×400-meter relay team shined as well. They took home a second place medal with a time of 3:59.65, the second-fastest time in BEA history, according to Plocker. This team was made up of Grandgenett, Anne Franta, Karli Olsen and Krista Hassing.
“It was extra excruciating and emotional because it was Krista’s final race as a Buccaneer,” says Plocker.
The 4×100-meter relay team went home with All-State honors, finishing the race in ninth place with a time of 51.08. The team members were Paige Darrington, Miranda Johnson, Anne Franta and Skylee Bell.
On Friday, during the preliminaries, Steven Plocker participated in the shot put event and placed in 10th with a throw of 48-11.
“Steven’s State mark was the best shot put distance by a BEA thrower since Aaron Frank in 1995,” says Coach Plocker.
Hassing did not make it to the finals in the 800-meter run. She finished in 14th with a time of 2:21.56 on Friday.
“It was a very productive State Meet with 11 of our 12 competing athletes earning All-State recognition,” says Plocker.
United South Central’s Amanda Allis took home third place in the shot put event with a throw of 37-10.
Emily Mantor, of USC, went to State for the 3200-meter race. She took home the fifth place medal after the race on Friday with her personal best time of the season at 11:17.60.