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Onward and upward

By Staff | Jun 12, 2016

Members of the Blue Earth Area 4x200 meter relay team have a group hug after they won the Section 2AA title and knew they were headed to the State Track Meet. The girls are, left to right, Anne Franta, Shayna Stevermer, Miranda Johnson and Karli Olsen. They join two other relay teams and two individuals (including Olsen) who qualified for a trip to State.

And it is off to State they go.

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers track team will be sending two individuals and three relay teams to the State competition on June 10 and 11.

The Section 2A Track Meet took place on June 4 at Mankato West and the conditions must have been just right to assist BEA in their qualifications.

“What a scintillating day for BEA track and field,” said head coach Tom Plocker.

Two individuals, Karli Olsen and Brandon Olson, qualified for State.

Skylee Bell, Anne Franta, Miranda Johnson, and Paige Darrington make up the 4x100 meter relay team going to State.

Karli Olsen placed first in the 400 meter dash with a time of 57.83 seconds. She is also a part of both the 4×200 meter relay team and the 4×400 meter relay team that will also be competing at State.

Brandon Olson placed second in his 110 meter high hurdles event, which he has been dominating all season long. He completed the high hurdles in 15.61 seconds.

“Brandon unleashed the perfect race at just the right time to nab his first-ever State track and field appearance,” said Plocker.

However, the show stoppers of the day were the three female meter relay teams.

The girls 4×200 meter relay team consisting of Olsen (26.9), Miranda Johnson (26.0), Shayna Stevermer (26.9) and Anne Franta (26.1) placed first with a total time of 1:45.52.

Karli Olsen, Taylor Grandgenett, Anne Franta, and Shayna Stevermer make up the 4x400 meter relay team going to State.

BEA’s female 4×400 meter relay team also placed first with performances from Stevermer (61.3), Olsen (57.7), Franta (60.2), and Taylor Grandgenett (60.6). The first place time for the relay team was 3:59.54.

Then, the girls 4×100 meter relay team consisting of Johnson, Franta, Skylee Bell and Paige Darrington took second for BEA with a time of 50.88 seconds, earning them a spot at State.

“The trio of girls’ sprint relays making State was impressive, with the 4×2 and 4×4 setting new Section records, and the 4×2 establishing a new school best,” said Plocker.

For the others who went to Sections, their efforts did not go unnoticed. Nicole Lium and Melissa Hagedorn hung onto the cusp of State, they just barely missed qualifying in pole vault. Lium placed third with a height of nine feet four inches, while Hagedorn trailed behind Lium in fourth place with the same height.

Camden Bowers placed fourth in the triple jump event with a

Brandon Olson qualified individually for State in the 100 meter high hurdles event.

disdistance of 40 feet five and 1/2 inches.

And, in the high jump category, Grandgenett placed ninth with a height of four feet nine inches, while Lium placed 12th with a height of four feet seven inches.

Johnson, who competed in the 100 meter dash, was unable to hang on to the head of the pack and placed 13th with a time of 13.58 seconds.

Bailey Olsen, who competed in the boy’s 200 meter dash, just barely missed qualifying for State, finishing his high school track career taking third place, with a recorded time of 23.22 seconds.

While Ta Armstrong, who has plenty of time to hone her skills in the future, as an eighth grader this year competed in the girl’s 200 meter dash, and placed 16th with a time of 29.52 seconds.

Karli Olsen was the second BEA individual to qualify for State. She will be running in the 400 meter dash.

Long-distance runners Fabian Riegelsberger and Grant Strukel both placed fourth in their events. Riegelsberger took fourth in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:02.97, while teammate Strukel also placed fourth in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:26.02.

Both Gunnar Fering and Seth Becker competed in the 110 meter high hurdles with Olson but were unable to qualify for State.

Fering placed 10th with a time of 16.74 seconds, and Becker trailed right behind Fering for 11th place with a time of 16.96 seconds.

Hagedorn, who competed in both the pole vault and 100 meter high hurdles events at the Section competition, placed 10th in the hurdles with a time of 17.30.

For the 300 meter intermediate hurdles, Brandon Olson placed seventh with a time of 42.26 seconds with teammate Becker right behind in eighth place with a time of 43.29 seconds.

Fering also participated in the hurdles at the Buccaneers’ Section 2AA?competition, placing 15th with a time of 45.32 seconds in the event.

In the 300 meter low hurdles, both Grandgenett, who placed sixth with a time of 47.77, and Stevermer, who placed 11th with a time of 49.73, competed in the event at Sections but were unable to qualify for State.

Overall, however, Plocker stated that this year, in particular, was an excellent season for BEA track and he hopes to see this year’s underclassmen return to Sections and hopefully State in future seasons.

“Indeed, a collection of Section excellence,” said Plocker.