Girls Section 1A Track Preview 4-1 Web
Sprints — Hayfield’s Genessa Heide and Triton's Carmen Sutherland took one-two, respectively, at last year's section meet in the 100 and 200. Heide took fifth in the 200 at state (26.38) while Sutherland took fifth in the 100 (12.58). Both races are deep — the section returns five or more top competitors from last year in both races.
400 — Chatfield’s Ashley VonWald (1:01.56), Kingsland’s Emily Eberle (1:01.84), and Wabasha-Kellogg’s Danielle Gernes (1:02.93), all juniors, look to break the 1-minute mark.
800 — Eight girls broke the 2:30 mark last year, with seven of them returning this season. That includes sophomore Alejandra Flores of Medford/El Shaddai (2:24.75). She look sixth in the state. Hayfield’s Kathleen Freiheit returns to defend her section title (2:24.28).
Distance — K-M’s Brittany Ungs took fifth in the 1,600 last year at state (5:14.95), but at the section meet, she and the Flores twins, Adriana and Alejandra, were all within .05 of a second of each other. All three are sophomores. Four of the section’s top-five 3,200 runners who return are juniors, including Kyle Blakeslee of Cannon Falls and Kelsey Torchia of Lourdes.
Hurdles — C/SC junior Samantha Wermager advanced to state in both hurdles events last year, taking third in the 100s (15.84). She ran a 47.34 in the 300s at sections. It was her first year of track. Triton’s Madeline Nerenhausen looks to improve her times, while Byron’s Kayla Kramer is also looking to make the trip to the state meet.
High jump — Lake City’s Maranda Dohrn took fourth at state (5-feet-4). Stewartville senior Marie Sheely (5-2) looks to make the trip to state. Hayfield’s Heide has already gone 5 feet this season.
Long jump, triple jump — Lourdes’ Kayla Johnson decided not to returns and defend her long jump crown. That makes Wermager the early favorite (15-71⁄2). Stewartville’s Andrea Venzke and Lindsay Blahnik are both within four inches of Wermager.
Pole vault — Only one of the 14 section qualifiers from last year graduated. Kingsland’s Amanda Holmen took ninth at state (9-6), but it was La Crescent’s Shannon Stever who won the section (10-8).
Throws — A lot of talent graduated, including a state shot put champion Rebecca Stier of Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland’s. Eileen Preston of P-E-M is the top returner (37-71⁄2), while Yvonne Freese of L/FC is tops in the discus (116-11). Nicole Brown of R-P/H (115-6) is just behind Freese.
Relays — Only four runners graduated from the top six teams in the 400. Section champion Chatfield had all four legs as underclassmen. Section 800 champ C/SG only loses one leg, but La Crescent, R-P/H, Z-M, and GMLOS — which finished fourth through seventh at sections last season — had no seniors on their 800 relays. Lake City, Pine Island and La Crescent each return three runners from their 800 teams. K-M, which took fourth, returns all legs. R-P/H, La Crescent, Z-M, Lake City, and Lourdes — second though sixth in the 1,600 — lose a combined total of three runners.
— Marc Lunde