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By Staff | Jun 19, 2016

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers came away state champions after two of their relay teams had first-place finishes in Hamline over the weekend. Above, from left to right, Shayna Stevermer, Anne Franta, Taylor Grandgenett and Karli Olsen celebrate their No. 1 finish in the 4x400 meter relay.

They did it.

Blue Earth Area tracksters headed to Hamline on June 10 for State track and field competition, and they came away with two state champion relay teams, as well as two individual All-Staters.

Friday and Saturday had hot and humid conditions, but they did not deter BEA’s big outing.

During the Friday preliminaries, Brandon Olson set the tone for the weekend with a blistering personal record to surge into finals in the 110 meter high hurdles event with a time of 15.26 seconds.

The 4×200 meter relay team consisting of Karli Olsen (26.2), Miranda Johnson (26.6), Shayna Stevermer (26.8) and Anne Franta (26.2) proceeded to unfurl a strong race, placing second with a time of 1:45.71, just behind section rival Belle Plaine, which nabbed the top qualifying time.

Left to right for the 4x200 is Karli Olsen, Miranda Johnson, Shayna Stevermer, and Anne Franta.

The 4×100 meter squad of Johnson, Paige Darrington, Franta, and Skylee Bell competed hard narrowly missing the coveted Top Nine placing, coming in 11th with a time of 51.32 seconds.

Karli Olsen ran her accustomed quality 400 meter dash to fight another day, qualifying to continue on in the finals with a time of 58.58.

The 4×400 meter relay team of Stevermer (61.7), Franta (59.2), Taylor Grandgenett (60.8) and Olsen (60.6) won their heat and received some extra motivation when their Fairmont rivals posted a sub-four minute time in their heat. The BEA relay team’s final time was 4:02.46.

Saturday’s conditions showed a little less humidity, but BEA had even more heat to bring to the track.

Brandon Olson kick started BEA’s day at state placing sixth in the 110 meter high hurdles with a time of 15.94.

The State champs and their parents.

Then, the 4×200 meter relay team showed State competitors what BEA track was made of, taking first place with a time of 1:44.38. Karli Olsen lead the pack with a time of 25.5, then handed the baton off to Johnson who had a time of 26.4. Johnson handed off to Stevermer who jetted past the competition with a time of 25.6. Franta took the final leg of the relay and completed in 26.2 seconds.

Karli Olsen then went for broke in the 400 meter dash, taking fifth place with a time of 58.33 seconds. There was concern for the team that Olsen’s exhaustion from the 400 meter dash may have excluded her from the 4×400 meter relay, but Olsen showed her determination and pressed forward.

A good decision on Olsen’s part. Without her, the 4×400 meter relay team may have not placed first with their astounding time of 3:58.25. Stevermer began with a brilliant lead leg with a time of 60.7 seconds. She handed her baton off to Franta who made it to Grandgenett in 58.6 seconds. Grandgenett blistered past the competition with a time of 60.4, finally handing off to Olsen who, after a quick recovery, finished the race with her time of 58.3 seconds.

And thus ends another record-breaking track and field season for the BEA Buccaneers. What is to come for next season? Hopefully, even more state champions like that of these individuals.

Karli Olsen crossing the finish line first in one of her relays.

The State champs with their head coach, Tom Plocker.