With the sun shining down on a rare beautiful day the girls track and field team made sure to take advantage of being outside Friday afternoon, as they cruised to a first place finish at the Monticello Invite.
“I was very pleased,” said Coach Kim Nygaard.
The Magic scored 154.5 points to win the seven-team event by more than 20 points. Alexandria, who was missing a couple top distance runners, finished second with 132 points.
Monticello turned in a balanced attack from top to bottom, including getting off to another quick start.
The 4×800 relay team took home top honors in the first event of the day as Amber Seidenkranz, Alex Revenig, Krista Steele and Anna Fasen teamed up to finish in a time of 10:03.69.
The event has long been a strong one for the Magic, but it has grown younger this year. The win on Friday came with two freshman in the lineup.
“That was nice to see,” said Nygaard. “It’s a very positive way of starting the competition.”
Distance running would be a strength throughout the meet for Monticello.
The Magic took home first place finishes in both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.
In the 1600-meter event, Patty Bray earned a first-place finish with a time of 5:32.28. Her teammate Madison Mcderrott wasn’t far behind, finishing third at 5:38.03. Alex Revenig came in fifth to grab more points for the Magic.
In the 3200, Monticello swept the top two spots. Amber Seidenkranz won the event going away, finishing in a time of 11:38.11, while Bray (12:07.11) was the closest competitor to her teammate as she picked up the second-place finish.
Alexa Yeager finished sixth, becoming the third Magic athlete to earn points in the event.
In the shorter running events, the Magic were led by Kenzie Cruzen.
Cruzen picked up a second place finish in the 100-meter dash (13.89), a third place finish in the 200-meter dash (27.71), and a fourth place finish in the 400-meter dash (1:03.92).
The Magic were also strong in field events, something Nygaard was happy to see, as they are the athletes that have been most affected by the poor weather conditions and lack of outdoor practice time.
The jumpers were particularly strong, as Emily Dockendorf went 15-01.5 in the long jump to earn a victory at the meet, while Karlie Kitzman finished third in the triple jump with a state honor roll distance of 33-11.
“We were surprised,” said Nygaard, in regards to the jumping performances. “We haven’t been able to jump much [this year].”
She said the success can likely be attributed to the work the girls put in throughout the year.
“Our jumpers are very athletic,” she said. “They’re able to use some skills from their other sports.”
Other strong finishes in field events included freshman Caitlin Schmelzer (4-10) finishing fourth in high jump and senior Hannah Wetter finishing fifth, as well as Rebecca Hiltner (33-07) finishing second in the shot put and Katrina Shoemaker and Kylie Gaeth finishing fifth and seventh respectively in the pole vault.
Overall, it was a performance that impressed. Nygaard said almost all of the girls were at or past where they finished last season, quite a feat when you consider their inconsistent schedule to start the year.
The coach said that past success continues to help breed confidence in the girls.
“I think they do feed off the tradition of the program,” she said. “This is what Monti girls track has been.”
Monticello’s next meet is scheduled for 4 p.m. today, at St. Michael-Albertville, weather permitting.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com