Relay squad in familiar territory
For the third consecutive year, the Blue Earth Area 4 x 400-meter relay team recorded a sub-four minute time at the State Class A Track Meet.
And, for the third time, they finished second behind the team from Osakis High School.
The 4 x 400-meter relay team consisting of Taylor Grandgenett (58.7), Karli Olsen (58.8), Anne Franta (60.8) and Shayna Stevermer (62.2) qualified for the Saturday final by finishing in first place on Friday, June 6, at Hamline University, with an overall time of 4:00.81.
On Saturday, Grandgenett led off with her typically brilliant split (59.4), according to coach Tom Plocker. But, BEA’s State arch-nemesis, Osakis, was right there as well.
Then, according to Plocker, Franta raced with her customary tenacity (59.9).
Stevermer clocked her best split ever (60.9) and Olsen made her move with about 180 meters to go, Plocker says.
“Karli made a final push, hitting the line with a blistering 58.4 split and a final time of 3:58.96, which was another new school record, but not quite enough for the win,” Plocker explains. “These girls lost arguably BEA’s finest-ever middle-distance runner from last year (Krista Hassing), yet came back to run even faster (and gutsier) than ever.”
The 4 x 200-meter relay squad started things off on Friday, cruising to a sub 1:47 clocking, which was good enough to compete in Saturday’s final.
The 4 x 200-meter relay team consisting of Franta (26.4), Shayna Stevermer (26.5), Skylee Bell (26.6) and Miranda Johnson (27.4) finished with an overall time of 1:46.92.
Saturday’s final started on a promising note, with the rain ceasing and the temp increasing, but a lane violation caused the quartet to be disqualified.
“It was an extremely tough way to end a remarkable string of races for this foursome,” Plocker says. “Right now it’s hard, but it was a fabulous season for this relay.”
Individually, Grandgenett was the lone Buccaneer to qualify for the Saturday finals. She zoomed over barriers in her fastest-ever (and school-record setting) time in the 300-meter low hurdles (44.59).
As Saturday’s hurdle final progressed, Grandgenett was stride-for-stride with LaCrescent’s Brielle Bierman. However, Grandgenett smashed the sixth hurdle and tumbled to the track. According to Plocker, she picked herself up and finished ninth in 48.07, securing another All-State medal.
Karli Olsen finished 11th in the 400-meter dash (59.54). Even though Olsen recorded her best-ever mark, she fell just short of qualifying for the Saturday finals.
According to Plocker, Bailey Olson had a strong showing, as he narrowly missed making it to the finals, recording a stellar 200-meter dash time (23.19).
John Schuster finished 13th in the 400-meter dash (50.93) at the Class A State Track Meet on June 6, at Hamline University.
Eleven of the top 12 runners, who beat out Schuster, posted personal-best times.