Sigrist a triple winner in section meet

WINONA – Nick Sigrist had a good idea that this was going to be a big track and field season for him.

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Nick Sigrist of Byron clears a hurdle on his way to a first-place finish in the 110 hurdles during the Section 1A championships Thursday in Winona.

WINONA — Nick Sigrist had a good idea that this was going to be a big track and field season for him.

The Byron senior was a proven commodity. He was good enough last year to finish second at state in the 300 hurdles. He was a contender to get to state in the 110 hurdles, too, but didn't help himself by hitting the final hurdle and falling in the Section One, Class A meet.

So, Sigrist liked his chances as he entered this season. He liked them even better heading into Thursday's Section 1A meet at Paul Giel Field. That came after dominating all spring in three events — the 300 and 110 hurdles, and the pole vault.

"All through the year I've been getting such good competition from my teammates," Sigrist said. "That has really helped me."

One other thing has aided him, too.


"I've gotten over my fear of hitting that final hurdle in the 110s," Sigrist said. "I've been working on that event all season."

Sure enough, a fearless Sigrist edged to the Section 1A title in the event, timed in 15.46. That was part of a triple championship performance by him in the meet. He blitzed to the 300 hurdles title in 30.36, and on Tuesday won the pole vault.

Motivated Eagles

The Lourdes track and field team has been on a mission all season. But it wasn't until a practice a month ago that the Eagles decided what they wanted.

"We had a meeting, kind of outlining our plan," said Lourdes senior star distance runner Ian Torchia. "Our coaches asked us what we wanted. Unanimously, we shouted out the same thing: Win state!' When we said that, it gave us all goose bumps."

It's looking like the Eagles — who are blessed with star power and diversity of talent — might have a shot at that. Torchia won two events in the Section 1A meet, the 3,200 on Tuesday, then the 1,600 Thursday. The latter came in a personal best 4:26.4.

Torchia wasn't nearly alone in gathering section titles. The Eagles dominated the relays, winning the 4x200, then the 4x100, and finally the 4x400. They also placed second in the 4x800.

The Eagles have established school records in all but the 4x800 this season. The 4x100 was the latest to go down. The combination of Luke Shelerud, Adam Hannan, Kane Carstens and McKay Carstens exploded to a 43.80 time Thursday.


"This means a lot, since that record had been on the board since something like 1985," said McKay Carstens, who like twin brother Kane and Shelerud is a senior.

Said Shelerud: "This feels amazing. To be a part of it with this group, guys who have been playing sports together for such a long time, it's incredible."

The Eagles relays ended by setting a meet record in the 4x400. Nick Steinmetz, Dakota Streit and Kane and McKay Carstens broke their own school record en route, with their 3:22.95 time.

"This is a huge confidence booster for us," said Steinmetz, a junior who also qualified for state in the open 400, doing it by standard.

Bulldogs are meet champs

Lourdes would like to win the state Class A title. But it's going to have to beat Plainview-Elgin-Millville to do it, something it couldn't get done Thursday. The Bulldogs, led by jumper/sprinter Alex Slawson, scored 106.6 points for first place. Lourdes was second with 88, followed by Pine Island with 87.

Slawson won the long jump (21-feet-8), and was third in the 200 (22.96). P-E-M also qualified for state in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, landing second to Lourdes in both.

Slawson was fourth at state last year in the long jump, when he sailed 21-5.


Carlson impresses again

Rushford-Peterson/Houston's Noah Carlson continues to show that he is likely the top young track and field athlete in Section 1A. The freshman won a stacked 400 (50.09), was second in the long jump (20-11) and Tuesday won the triple jump.

Still, he's not ready to call it his favorite sport.

"I like basketball best, because I get to play it with all my friends," said the 6-1, 155-pounder, who already easily dunks a basketball.

Great crop of discus throwers

Jayme LaPlante has dominated in the discus all season in Section 1A. And it's not because there aren't solid athletes in the event.

Thursday, a remarkable four Section 1A discus throwers qualified for state. Chatfield senior LaPlante was first with his 171-8 throw (his personal best is a 179-8), Hayfield's Cody Carpentier was second (154-3), Stewartville's Shane Curtis third (153-4) and Rushford-Peterson/Houston's Matt Culhane fourth (149-0). All surpassed the state standard of 147-6.

LaPlante is headed to the University of Minnesota, Mankato to play football. He will also throw the discus there.


"Football is my number one sport," LaPlante said. "But I want to keep throwing, because I have a bit of a gift in it."

Acker state bound

It wasn't the best 800 that Mitchel Acker has ever run. But it was close for the Pine Island sophomore. Acker won the event Thursday with a 1:58.04 clocking. His personal best this year is a 1:57.89.

Acker liked his time Thursday. But he liked even more that he's headed to state in the 800. He was edged out a year ago in the section meet.

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