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ST. PAUL ? Thirteen area athletes took part and four earned medals during the first day of competition at the 2014 Minnesota State Track and Field Championships Friday at Hamline University.
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton freshman Kendra Ludeman rose to the high-caliber occasion and picked up a third-place medal in the Class A high jump. Ludeman, a second-year state participant, came into the competition with one goal in mind and that was to match her personal best jump (5-feet, three inches) from last season. Ludeman accomplished that, clearing 5-3 to edge out all but two other competitors.
“I’m very excited about placing third,” Ludeman said. “I’m glad I tied my personal record. That’s what I wanted to do. And I was hoping that 5-3 would get me on the podium.”
With her 2014 goals realized, Ludeman now has to formulate and attempt to carry out new ones. She’s excited she still has three years to continue improving in the high jump.
“There’s so much technique you have to focus on,” she said. “It’s hard, but it’s really fun. I love it. For next year, I just want to stay more consistent during the whole season. I want to try and stay above the 5-0 mark and be more ready to start at the higher heights when it comes time at the end of the season.”
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva senior Carlie Wagner won the high jump after clearing 5-6. TMB junior Sammie Gervais made 5-0 and finished in a four-way tie for eighth place.
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton senior Jada Carr collected a fourth-place medal after jumping 16-8 in the long jump. Central Minnesota Christian School’s Danielle Wubben won the event with a 17-1 leap.
I’ll take the fourth-place medal,” Carr said. “It’s my senior year and I’m at a state meet. It’s just an honor to be here.”
Carr’s best jump of the day came on her last attempt during finals.
“I was in 10th for awhile, so fourth feels pretty good,” Carr said. “I’m totally capable of jumping 17-feet, but I think I was just stretching for the board (Friday). It takes me awhile to get comfortable jumping at state in front of all these people.”
Carr is especially appreciative of her faithful fan club, which was easily identified with their pink and zebra-striped shirts.
“It’s nice to have everyone here to support me,” Carr said. “You have everyone down there watching me. I know instantly if it was a good jump or not, so that’s good.”
Carr’s godmother, Kitsie Carr, came up with the idea last season.
“Kitsie started the idea last year, but then I told her I wanted zebra stripes,” Jada Carr said. “So they decided to do that this year.”
While Carr’s high school career will conclude today with the completion of the triple jump contest, she will spent another four years competing in track and field at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
Earlier in the day, Marshall’s Sydney Griffin participated in the Class AA long jump, where she recorded a 16-0 inch effort. Minnetonka’s Mia Barron set a new Class AA record, winning the event with a leap of 19-1 .
Though she finished in 21st place and didn’t qualify for finals, Griffin admits that she was satisfied making the trip to state.
“That wasn’t my best, but I’m just happy to be here so I guess I can’t really be mad about it,” Griffin said. “I’ve been working for this for four years now. To make it, even after being hurt, feels good. That’s all I wanted to do, was to make it up to state.”
Griffin’s best leap of the year (17-feet, two inches) came during the Southwest Conference Championships, where the Tiger girls also claimed the team title.
“It was a good season overall,” Griffin said. “We won the conference, so that was our main goal. It’s a nice team accomplishment. Sections is individual, but it’s nice to achieve something as a team.”
Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd senior Rachel Jensen earned a sixth-place medal in the discus. Jensen threw 110-10. St. Clair’s Katelyn Weber won the event with a throw of 126-1.
Eagles’ teammate Jacinta Roggenbuck qualified for finals today in two of the three individual sprinting events. Roggenbuck is seeded second in the 400-meter dash after completing the preliminaries in 58.48 seconds.
Roggenbuck failed to make the top nine in the 100 dash, finishing the race in 17th place with a 12.96. She did qualify for finals in the 200 with a time sixth-seed time of 26.15.
LQPV/D-B senior Joey Lee did not make finals, finishing 14th in the triple jump (40-5 ) but will try to make the podium today in the high jump competition. Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI seniors Nathan Pavek and Morgan Merritt competed in both hurdle events, but failed to make finals in the tough races. Pavek finished 12 in the 110 hurdles (16.07) and was leading the heat of competitors in the 300 hurdles when he came down hard on a hurdle, lost his footing and unfortunately knocked himself out of the finals.
“I had a big adrenaline rush and then I hit that hurdle and it’s like, the whole race is gone then,” Pavek said. “It was my opposite leg that I usually go over the hurdle with. My steps were messed up, so that can happen.”
The whole experience has been a bittersweet one for Pavek. While he didn’t make it to the second day in the hurdle events, Pavek, like Lee, will have one final chance to medal when he takes part in the high jump competition.
“I’m exhausted and disappointed (after the 300 hurdles), but I’m excited to be here,” Pavek said. “It’s a great facility and it’s a lot of fun. Now, I just hope I can place (in the top 9) in the high jump.”
Merritt finished 11th in the 300 hurdles (47.05) and 16th in the 100 hurdles (16.31). Fellow Section 3A competitor, Paris Thomas, a Murray County Central senior, also missed the final cut, placing 21st (17.23). MCC senior Tyler Scotting, who injured his knee at the section meet, was not able to finish the 110-meter hurdle race.
CML senior Wyatt Johansen took 15th place in the 3,200 run, completing the race in 10:22.85.
Wabasso senior TJ Fulton finished 14th in the 100 dash (11.48) and did not make finals.
GIRLS CLASS AA RESULTS
LONG JUMP: 21. Sydney Griffin (Marshall) 16-1/4.
BOYS CLASS A RESULTS
110 HURDLES (Prelim): 12. Nathan Pavek (Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI) 16.07; Tyler Scotting (Murray County Central) Did Not Finish.
100 DASH (Prelim): 14. TJ Fulton (Wabasso) 11.48.
300 HURDLES (Prelim): 16. Nathan Pavek (CML) 44.06.
3,200 RUN (Final): 15. Wyatt Johansen (CML) 10:22.85.
TRIPLE JUMP (Final): 14. Joey Lee (Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd) 40-5 .
GIRLS CLASS A RESULTS
100 HURDLES (Prelim): 16. Morgan Merritt (CML) 16.31; 21. Paris Thomas (MCC) 17.23.
300 HURDLES (Prelim): 11. Morgan Merritt (CML) 47.05.
100 DASH (Prelim): 17. Jacinta Roggenbuck (LQPV/DB) 12.96.
200 DASH (Prelim): 6. Jacinta Roggenbuck (LQPV/DB) 26.15.
400 DASH (Prelim): 2. Jacinta Roggenbuck (LQPV/DB) 58.48.
LONG JUMP (Final): 4. Jada Carr (Russell-Tyler-Ruthton) 16-8 .
HIGH JUMP (Final): 3. Kendra Ludeman (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton) 5-3; T8. Sammie Gervais (TMB) 5-0.
DISCUS (Final): 6. Rachel Jensen (LQPV/DB) 110-10.