Cloquet’s Udenberg throwing for trip to StateThomas Udenberg is one to watch at this week’s Section 7AA track and field meet. The fifth-year varsity shot put and discus thrower for the Lumberjacks is a favorite to advance to his first state meet in both categories Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at Malosky Stadium in Duluth. See update at bottom after Wednesday's competition.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Two years ago, Thomas Udenberg had the rare chance to attend the state track and field meet with Cloquet teammate Jared Anderson. Although he didn’t compete, Udenberg learned as he watched.
Now a senior, the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Udenberg is the one to watch at this week’s Section 7AA track and field meet. The fifth-year varsity shot put and discus thrower for the Lumberjacks has won all but two of his regular season meets this spring, and is a favorite to advance to his first state meet in both categories Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at Malosky Stadium in Duluth.
Udenberg, who will throw next year at the University of Wisconsin Superior, said he hurled the shot put 50-plus feet at Tuesday’s practice in preparation for Wednesday’s finals as the Pine Journal went to press. Discus finals will take place Saturday.
“If I throw like that, I think I’ll get there,” Udenberg said of state. “And I think if I get down there, I’ll be able to rise to the occasion.”
When Udenberg attended the state meet at Hamline University in St. Paul, he said he shadowed Anderson, who ran the 400-meter dash and now competes at UWS.
“We did absolutely everything together — it was a bonding experience,” said Underberg. “There were more people down there than I’ve even seen at any football game. Ever since I’ve gotten that small taste of state, I’ve wanted to go back.”
Udenberg said his best career throws for each event during a meet are 49 feet, 8 inches for the shot put and 146 feet in the discus.
“Thomas is a 12-month track athlete,” said Cloquet Coach Tim Prosen Wednesday morning before the sectional finals began. “He’s the hardest working kid that I’ve had. He’s a leader in every sense of the word and there would be no one more deserving of
Esko senior runner Marisa Shady is a state regular. A six-year entrant in cross country — including an individual championship — Shady has been to Hamline five times in track and will seek a sixth appearance at Saturday’s 7A finals at Malosky Stadium.
Shady said she will run in her team’s 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter relays Saturday, as well as the triple jump. A member of Esko’s recent girls state True Team championship for a third year in a row, Shady said the Eskomos will be focused on the relays.
“If your relays get down to state, that’s just more people who get to go,” said Shady, also a part of Esko’s school-record and state runner up 800-meter relay last year. “Like in all sports, we’re very team oriented. I think the relays really symbolize who we are.”
Moose Lake-Willow River sent their 1,600- and 800-meter relays to state last year; the same relay teams are contenders again. Like Shady, Division I-bound senior Jake Disterhaupt will be in the field Saturday, as the speedy football running back will be in the high jump, despite a pulled left hamstring and only one jump in the recent sub-sectionals.
“If it feels great, I’ll go all out,” said Disterhaupt, a 200-meter state sprinter last year. “Making state is a big deal — in any event.”
“People talk about state, but you have to go through sections before you get there,” said South Ridge freshman Gracelynn Otis, who will look to defend her one- and two-mile section titles Saturday. “There’s competition, but I’ll try my best and give it all I have.”
UPDATE: Udenberg wins shot put section competition
Channeling his inner Magnus ver Magnusson, Cloquet senior Thomas Udenberg strode into the shot put ring for his final toss of the Section 7AA high school track and field meet Wednesday at Malosky Stadium.
As the next-to-last competitor, Udenberg already knew he had qualified for next week’s Class AA state meet by finishing in the top two. But Udenberg also knew he had unfinished business, such as failing to surpass 50 feet during a five-year varsity career and psychologically needing to defeat rival Brady Thomsen of Grand Rapids.
With a career-best heave of 51 feet, 5 inches in the preliminaries, Thomsen led the competition by nearly 2 feet before Udenberg uncorked a mammoth toss of 53-4 to win the event.
“It’s such a mental game,” the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Udenberg reasoned. “You can’t just go into a meet expecting to win. I did that earlier this year and I lost to Brady (in the section True Team meet) and that motivated me. I made it my goal not to lose to him again.