Esko caps off memorable track seasonFriday and Saturday, the Esko girls competed in the Class A Minnesota track and field state meet in St. Paul where they finished seventh out of 76 participating teams – Esko’s highest finish since they won the state crown back in 1995.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
In just over two month’s time, the Esko girls track team set numerous individual and school records, won the Polar League again and even took home the state’s True Team championship. Last weekend they added to their list of accomplishments.
Friday and Saturday, the Esko girls competed in the Class A Minnesota track and field state meet in St. Paul where they finished seventh out of 76 participating teams – Esko’s highest finish since they won the state crown back in 1995.
“I was surprised that we placed that high,” said the Eskomos girls coach, Tim Lindquist, noting it was the highest place for the school under his tenure. “I think 12th was the next highest for me.”
As they have done all spring, Esko used its depth to rack up their 27 total points. Eleven girls earned All-State honors and marked points for the Eskomos last week – a number Lindquist said was probably higher than any other competing school.
“I don’t know if any schools had that many,” he said. “We have 15 Academic
All-State members on our team, too. That says a lot. All of the girls did a great job and ran their best at the end of the year. And they cashed in.”
Esko was guided over the weekend by its quartet of relay teams, three of which set school records. In Lindquist’s mind, that might have been the most impressive feat.
“Sometimes you’ll have a good day,” he said, “but I never thought it would happen like this at the state meet. Three school records on the same day. To do that is quite a unique accomplishment for these girls.”
Esko’s 4x400-meter relay team of Caitlyn Lilly, Olivia Rengo, Kate Shelerud and Marisa Shady was the highest area squad that finished at state. Their time of 4 minutes, .89 seconds placed third overall and was just over three seconds away from the state title time.
The 4x800 team of Shady, Shelerud, Kallyn Knutson and Kailee Kiminski finished fourth at 9:36.14, while the 4x200 team of Rengo, Lilly, Alyson Glumac and Erika Shady placed fifth at 1:46.78. All three times were school-bests.
“We couldn’t have run any better,” Lindquist said.
Esko’s 4x100 team of Glumac, Delany Pearson, Dallas Cossalter and Kelsey Mudek also finished with state honors in eighth place at 51.72 seconds. Individually, the only point getters were Marisa Shady with her fifth-place spot in the 400-meter dash, while Lilly took ninth in the 300-meter hurdles.
And although Shady – last fall’s Class A state cross country champion – didn’t come home with the state title this June, she explained that her time in St. Paul was just as fulfilling because of her team’s success.
“We were all super pumped,” Shady said. “Even though we didn’t win state, we set personal records and school records all over. That was great. We had a lot of athletes down there opposed to other teams and we just all came together. We’re very competitive and just know how to do well.”
The longtime coach said his girls are used to making the trip to state. Opposing coaches positioned in the southern part of the state are becoming more accustomed to seeing Esko amongst the state’s best, too.
“I’m sure they’ve looked at the map and found out where we’re at, up here closer to the Canadian border,” Lindquist said, laughing.
Over time, Lindquist has watched his girls turn their school into a Northland juggernaut. Now the state needs to keep an eye on them too.
Expect them back at state next spring. But don’t tell that to Lindquist. He – along with his girls – knows it’s never a cakewalk.
“It’s not a given to get to state, but that’s a credit to these girls to get down there as frequently as we have,” Lindquist said. “That’s pretty neat.”
Esko’s boys team was also in St. Paul over the weekend and claimed 40th place with 9.5 total points. Jake Stainbrook, Max Reinertsen and Jackson Lindquist all competed in the field of individual competitors.
Stainbrook tied for fourth with a 6-foot-2-inch high jump, a personal best. Reinertsen took fifth in the triple jump, yet scratched on his final leap, which was well-over 44 feet – a distance that would have been good enough for the state title according to boys coach Gary Beaudot. Despite setting a career best time, Lindquist placed 11th in the 3,200-meter run.
“The kids did very well and handled the pressure, nerves never got to them,” said Beaudot. “They surpassed my expectations and did their very best. As a coach, that’s all I can expect from them.
“Every year you go down there you get more and more valuable experience and it’s good for you. I was very proud of how the boys did.”