ST. PAUL - The Madelia/Truman Jayhawks' 4x800-meter relay team of Caleb Arndt, Leeroy Leal, Adam Cooling and Cade Ekstrom came into the Minnesota State High School track & field Class A state meet at Hamline University with the fastest time, and that is the way it finished the season.
Fairmont's Ryan Heuer and the Madelia/Truman relay team snagged two state championships Saturday.
The Jayhawks raced to a first-place time of 7:58.14 in the 4x800 to claim the state title.
LAST?LEG — Madelia/Truman’s Leeroy Leal (front left) takes the baton from Cade Ekstrom (with sunglasses) as Fairmont’s Mark Fruechte (front right) accelerates after taking the handoff from Carson Ricard during the Class A state track & field meet’s 4x400 relay Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul. Leal and Ekstrom combined with Adam Cooling and Caleb Arndt to win the 4x800 state championship.
Fairmont’s Paige Bearson clears the triple jump board during the Class A state track & field meet Saturday at Hamline University. Bearson went on to capture 10th place in the event.
For two members of the relay team, it was the first of three medals on the day. Ekstrom claimed a fourth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run and Arndt finished sixth in the 800.
Ekstrom, Arndt, Cooling and Leal also combined in the 4x400 relay for a fourth-place finish in 3:26.76.
"The guys performed outstanding considering the workload that they had this weekend in this heat," said Madelia/Truman head coach Pete Goeringer. "They really just wanted to leave it all out there and give it all they had, you can't ask for anything more than that."
Fairmont's Heuer claimed the 110-meter high hurdle title, finishing in 14.99 seconds.
"It feels really good to win the title. I was really emotional after winning because it was like three years of hard work just led up to that," said Heuer.
The Fairmont senior hurdler would go on to finish second in the 300 hurdles. His 39.51 time placed him just ahead of New Life/Bethany's Daniel Otto, who finished in 39.54.
"Ryan ran about the perfect 110 hurdle race," said Fairmont coach Bob Bonk. "It was really gratifying to see him do so well."
Blue Earth Area's girls took home third place in the Class A state team standings.
The Bucs scored second-place finishes from Marissia Hagedorn, Krista Hassing and their 4x400 relay to help lead them to a 36-point preformance.
Hagedorn claimed second-place honors in the 100 hurdles.
Hagedorn's time of 15.11 was just hundredths behind the state champion - Staples-Motley's Jaelin Beachy - who finished in 15.04.
Hassing just missed a state title in the open 800, finishing in 2:20.21, while the champion from La Cresent came in at 2:20.16.
Hassing then had a short break before anchoring the girls' 4x400 relay. She combined with Taylor Grandgenett, Anne Franta and Karli Olsen for a second-place time of 3:59.60.
"Everyone ran very well. They did what we needed them to do and we're really happy with how we finished," said Hassing. "I knew that running like that would be hard, but I was just running on adrenaline and put mind over matter to finish it."
Hagedorn scored points for the Bucs in the pole vault, finishing fifth at 10 feet, 3 inches and finished ninth (48.21) in the 300 hurdles.
"It was a really good day for us. Our relay finished really well, and that was really tough for Krista to come back and run on such a short rest, but they gave it all they could and did really good," said Blue Earth Area coach Tom Plocker.
After an exciting finish on Friday night, Fairmont's 4x400 relay came back and ran its best time again on Saturday.
Kevin Hanson, Rainier Quade, Carson Ricard and Mark Fruechte combined for a close third-place finish in 3:27.07.
"It all comes down to the final race of the season, and your final 400. I just ran as fast as I could," said Quade.
"Right out of the shoot I thought I had a chance to get first. The adrenaline hits and you give it everything you have for that final kick and try to hang on," said Fruechte.
Fairmont freshman Sasha Riley took home a fifth-place finish in the 400. Riley's finish of 58.80 is the highest for Fairmont in the event.
Martin County West's Haley Jensen was seeded seventh in the finals for the 100. Jensen's time of 12.75 earned her a fifth-place state medal for the Mavericks.
Fairmont's Megan Fuhrman improved on her personal-best pole vault of 9-11 from sections in the state meet to earn seventh place. Fuhrman vaulted 10 feet even to tie with Byron's Jillian Krier.
"I was really nervous before we started. Then they let us do some practice runs with the bar up and I started to feel like it was just another meet, so I relaxed," said Fuhrman.
Sierra Schultz finished ninth for the Cardinals in the triple jump. Schultz's jump of 34-11.5 was good enough for a state medal, while teammate Paige Bearson just missed making the finals. Bearson jumped 34-5.25 in the preliminaries to earn a 10th-place finish overall.
"I am excited to have placed and I jumped alright. I was just under my personal-best of 35 feet, so I would have liked to reach that again," said Schultz. "It was a bummer some of my last jumps weren't as good as my earlier ones, but it's still an exciting day."
Blue Earth Area's Josh Johnson earned ninth place in the shot put on Friday, but Saturday did not make the finals in the discus. Johnson threw 131-6 for his 12th-place finish.