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Cloquet's triple threat strikes again

T05.31.2018 -- Steve Kuchera -- 060718.S.PJ.Track_7aC2 -- Cromwell-Wright's Nic Johnson nears the finish line in the 100-meter dash final at the Section 7A track meet. He won with a time of 11.43. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com1 / 4
T05.31.2018 -- Steve Kuchera -- 060718.S.PJ.Track_7aC1 -- Shaily Hakamaki of Cromwell-Wright competes in the long jump at the Section 7A track meet Thursday, May 31. She won the event with a jump of 16 feet, 10 inches. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com2 / 4
Cloquet's Kendra Kelley sprints to the finish line of the 100 meters, ahead of her sister, Katelyn (right), and Andover's Anna Steadland at the Section 7AA track and field meet Saturday, June 2, in Grand Rapids. Matthew Moses/Pine Journal3 / 4
T05.31.2018 -- Steve Kuchera -- 060718.S.PJ.Track_7aC3 -- Anja Schoenber (from left) of Cromwell-Wright, Reese Miletich of Barnum and Kia Tower of Bigfork near the end of the finish line in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the Section 7A track meet Thursday, May 31. Miletich won with a time of 13.44; Schoenberg was second at 13.52; and Tower was third at 13.58. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com4 / 4

The list of Cloquet track and field triple winners in Section 7AA competition is short. Here it is:

Kendra Kelley.

The do-everything junior won the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump at last week's section meet in Grand Rapids to head off to this weekend's state meet in style.

In a driving rainstorm, Kelley paced the field in the 100 in 12.53 seconds, defeating Cambridge freshman Kaylee Clement — and freshman sister Katelyn — to take the top prize.

She also won the 200 meters by over a full second and the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 2 3/4 inches to replicate her feat of last year in winning all three events.

"She just goes out and performs," Prosen said. "She does everything well. She did everything right at sections. (Coach) Dan Jago does a phenomenal job with her and all the sprinters."

And the rivalry between the Kelleys is heating up.

"It's hard to be a mom and dad with two girls like that," Prosen said. "Katelyn ran really well, and set a PR in the 100 in a pouring rain. Two spots go to state and she was third."

The 4x400-meter relay team finished third and Makayla Suominen took fourth in the shot put, but no other Cloquet teams or individuals qualified for girls state.

On the boys' side, Blaine Bong took second place in the 400 meters to earn a slot at state, barely losing at the tape to Hermantown's Mason Thedens.

"I'm so happy with how Blaine is running — he's doing a great job," Prosen said. Bong was also seventh in the 800 meters.

Eli Benson took second place in the pole vault at 13 feet, 4 inches to earn a state position and Alex Leuzzo took second place in the triple jump at 42 feet, 9 3/4 inches to earn a place at Hamline University for the state meet.

"I'm so proud of all of them, Prosen said. "There was more purple on the podium than I've ever seen at sections and that was great. It was a bummer we couldn't get more people to state but to have another week with these athletes is really wonderful."

Cloquet's girls finished fifth in the team standings and sixth in the boys' standings.

In Class A, Cromwell-Wright's Nic Johnson earned a spot at state in four events: by winning the 100 and placing second in the long jump as well as being part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.

South Ridge's Nick Carlson set a section record in the triple jump at 44 feet, 11 1/2 inches and will also go to state.

As a team, Esko rolled to the section championship with its usual strong performance from its relay teams. The Eskomos took second to Cromwell in the 4x100 relay, won the 4x200 behind Jedd Anich, Ryan Pantsar, Aaron Moore and Anthony Severson; the 4x400 behind Anich, Moore, Sam Rengo and Isaiah Arntson; and the 4x800 with Luke Bourgeault, Cameron Schultz, Rengo and Arntson doing the honors.

Artnson was also second in the 400 meters, while Rengo took the individual 800-meter race and Nolan Busch won the shot put, with Barnum's Samuel Goodwin taking second. Goodwin was also section champion in the discus.

Esko's Tate Olson was second in the pole vault, another traditionally strong event for Esko, while Carlton's Jayden Seanson is going to state after taking second in the triple jump.

On the girls' side, Cromwell-Wright was the top local girls' team, taking sixth.

Reese Miletich of Barnum won the 100 meters with Anja Schoenberg of Cromwell-Wright placing second. The South Ridge 4x100 team of Lily Hall, Mikayla Mellesmoen, Taylor Mejdrich and Sophie Lenz won outright and is headed to state.

Shaily Hakamaki of Cromwell-Wright was a double winner, taking both the long and triple jumps by substantial margins, while Alexis Bonneville of Barnum took second in the discus to earn a state spot.

Preliminary events begin Friday, June 8, at Hamline University in St. Paul, with finals scheduled for Saturday, June 9.

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