Esko girls run past competition in claiming 7A crown – againDULUTH, Minn. – When the season began for Esko girls track and field head coach Tim Lindquist, his Eskomos had won three straight Section 7A crowns.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
DULUTH, Minn. – When the season began for Esko girls track and field head coach Tim Lindquist, his Eskomos had won three straight Section 7A crowns.
After last Friday’s section championships, his girls can now call it four.
The Eskomos used their strength, speed and experience to total a team score of 131.5 points – 86.5 more than their nearest competitor – en route to another Section 7A Championship at Griggs Field last Friday at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Of the 18 scored events at the championships, the Esko girls won eight titles, ran away from their competition and saw a number of girls qualify for the state meet – either placing in the top two individually or top relay team – to be held this weekend at Hamline University in St. Paul.
But of all the competitions at the section meet, there was only one set of events everyone was talking about – the Esko relays.
And the highly-favored Eskomos didn’t disappoint, as they came home with all four relay titles in the 4x100, 200, 400 and 800-meter races in convincing fashion and punched their tickets to state in all four events.
“We got some really fast kids,” said Lindquist about his group that has taken home the Polar League Conference title eight years in a row. “The girls are focused and have worked hard all year long. To be on this roll is something special and they’ve definitely earned it.”
The 4x100-meter relay win was guided by senior Kelli Rengo, who just returned from a hamstring injury that had her sidelined for nearly a month, as well as junior Katie Tonner, sophomore Alyson Glumac and freshman Delany Pearson. The 4x200-meter relay victory was led again by Rengo with Tonner, Glumac and sophomore Kelsey Mudek.
The 4x400-meter relay team again saw Rengo, Tonner, Mudek and freshman Kate Shelerud take home top honors, while the 4 x 800-meter relay win was paced by Shelerud, eighth-graders Kallyn Knutson and Marisa Shady and seventh-grade speedster Erika Shady.
Individual state qualifiers also include Shelerud, as she won the 800-meter run title, while Knutson was crowned the 3200-meter champion and sophomore Janae Beaudot leaped her way to top honors in both the high jump and the long jump in advancing to state.
“We have a variety of girls running very well right now and we know the state is going to be tight, but anything could happen,” said Lindquist. “They’re just a great bunch of quality kids.”
However, the Eskomo girls weren’t the only team at the championships, as a number of fellow Northland schools qualified athletes for state.
Leading the way for the Esko boys was junior Phillip Wirtz, who took second place in the pole vault, while freshman Jackson Lindquist finished as the runner-up in the 3200-meter run.
Cromwell-Wright had three standouts qualify for the state meet. Junior Ashley Collman took second place in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Jordan Suhonen won the boys 800-meter run and junior Jordan Smith finished runner-up in both the 800- and 1600-meter runs on the boys side.
Barnum is sending a pair of athletes down to state, as junior speedster Leah Nordvall ran her way to victory in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash, while she placed second in the long jump and fellow junior Alycia Bonneville took second in the discus throw.
Moose Lake-Willow River also had two athletes qualify for the state meet. Junior hurdler Natasha Dragicevich cruised to both the 100 and 300-meter hurdle titles, while senior Nick Kwapick earned the top 300-meter hurdler spot for the boys.
AlBrook’s Katie Capriglione was the lone Falcon to punch her ticket to state, as the senior took first in the shot put, while Wrenshall senior Andrea Gould followed Capriglione in second place. Carlton freshman Lindsey Dahl-Holm finished as the runner-up in the 3200-meter run, also advancing to the state meet.
With the section championships now in the books and the state meet just around the corner, one thing is for certain – the Northland will be represented as well as anyone putting on their uniforms in St. Paul.