The Redwood Valley boys track team continued its strong 2019 campaign by earning a share of the Big South Conference Small School title May 10 in Luverne. It is the fourth straight season the Cardinals boys have earned a conference championship.
The Cardinals battled the rival Pipestone Area Arrows down to the wire, and both teams would finish with 134 points to tie for the title in the seven-team event.
“The boys depth kept them in this meet. Missing (Jayson) Peyerl from the 1,600 and 3,200 with an ankle injury and (Luke) Hammerschmidt a last minute scratch in the high jump really forced us to shift a few things around and have some guys step up,” Coach Andy Regnier said. “We are happy to have our fourth straight championship, but will also use this as a learning experience about the importance of training and execution.
"We coaches preach and teach about the importance of a split second or quarter inch, but today’s event really highlights that. We left a point on the table in numerous situations where we could have won the meet outright.”
The Cardinal girls, meanwhile, also had a strong showing, finishing second to a good Luverne squad (231-120) in the seven-team event.
“The girls had a very solid day and numerous All-Conference honors on their way to a second-place finish behind an outstanding and balanced Luverne squad,” Regnier said, “(Hannah) Schjenken, (Alexa) Steffl, (Maddie) LeSage and (Aubree) Hicks led the charge to really outdistance the rest of the field behind them in a great day. With only 17 girls available to compete today, they really stretched themselves and worked hard. I’m so proud of this group.”
It was a nice outing for junior Kaleb Haase who captured both the shot put (44’ 7”) and the discus (130’ 9”) for the second straight season.
Mason Clark won the 800 meter run (2:09.04) and teamed up with Jayson Peyerl, Xander Seaman and Deon Estebo to place second in the 4x800 relay (8:42.96).
Kyle Huhnerkoch and Jordan Mertens went one-two in the triple jump with Huhnerkoch clearing 40’ 5” and Mertens jumping 40’ 3/4”. Mertens also added a third-place finish in the high jump (5’8”), a third in the long jump (18’ 5 1/2”) and was fifth in the 300 hurdles (46.26).
Jed Hansen was third in the pole vault tieing a career best of 12’. Teammates Luke Grannes (10’) and Maverick Goblirsch (10’) were fifth and seventh respectively.
The 4x400 relay team of Estebo, Clark, Seaman and Peyerl was fourth (3:47.70), as was the 4x100 team of Goblirsch, Hansen, Aeneas Pacheco and Grannes (48.42).
Huhnerkoch was fourth in both the 100 (11.96) and 200 (24.10) and was fifth in the long jump (18’ 2”). Estebo added a fourth in the 3,200 (10:46.82), Gavin Dow was fifth in the 800 (2:16.02), Seaman placed fifth in the 1,600 (5:08.20) and the 4x200 relay team finished sixth.
Goblirsch added a sixth in the 400 (55.85), Logan Prouty was sixth in the 110 hurdles (19.20) and Gustav Lomotey was seventh in the triple jump (36’ 7 1/2”).
Hannah Schjenken had a strong showing for the Cardinal girls, finishing second in the 200 (27.15) and high jump (4’10”) and third in the 100 (13.48).
Alexa Steffl was second in the long jump (15’5”) and triple jump (33’8”), third in the 110 hurdles (17.27) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (52.53).
Aubree Hicks was second in the 1,600 (5:44.38), sixth in the 800 (2:41.39), eighth in the triple jump (30’ 1 1/2”) and sixth as part of the 4x400 relay team along with Ella Fuhr, Michelle Smith and Jasmine Barnes (4:43.53).
LeSage finished second in the 3,200 (12:21.07) and third in the 1,600 (5:44.65).
The 4x100 (54.16) and 4x200 (1:58.02) teams of Fuhr, Sidney Beran, Caitlyn Johnson and Kate Ahrens earned a pair of second-place finishes. The 4x800 team of Grace Caraway, Smith, McKenna Flinn and Barnes was third (11:18.49).
Beran was fifth in the triple jump (31’4”) and seventh in the long jump (14’8”).
Brianna Panitzke finished fourth in the discus (79’6”) and sixth in the pole vault (7’ 6”). Kylee Larsen finished fifth in the high jump (4’6”), Johnson added a sixth in the 200 (29.39), Barnes was sixth in the 3,200 (13:25.22) and Ahrens was eighth in the 400 (1:07.83).
The Redwood Valley boys will take part in the Class A True Team Meet May 18 in Stillwater, and both teams will host the Sub-Section meet May 23.