This is no one-trick pony, Pine Island’s Jarod White. It’s just that his No. 1 trick is otherworldly.

White is the best pole vaulter ever in Section 1A and has a chance to go down as the best ever in Minnesota. The Panthers junior could make the latter official next week at the state track and field meet, needing to go just 2 inches higher than he did Tuesday, when he sailed 16 feet.

But as if his pole vaulting heroics aren’t enough, White also demonstrated that he is among Section 1A’s top two sprinters this season.

He did that by finishing second in the 200 with a 22.43 time and also second in the 100 (11.27). He also ran a leg on Pine Island's winning 4x400 relay team. That helped guide his team to a first-place finish overall, the Panthers accumulating 100 points.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Kyler Bade won the 200 (22.42) as he also did the 400 (50.62). The 100 champion was Chatfield sophomore Sam Backer (11.10).

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With the top two finishers in each event state bound, that means White will be going in four of them.

The junior, who’s also a star running back in football, is thrilled with what’s in front of him. He’s also not surprised that he’s been at his best of late.

“We do really hard workouts to start the year, then we start to taper down,” said White, who hit personal bests in both his sprints. “When we taper, the times start to (get better and better).”

Just like White’s pole vault heights — up and up.

Backer has a new love

Chatfield’s Sam Backer had never participated in track and field until this season.

Now, here he is, already Section 1A’s top 100 sprinter.

Backer, the top young running back in southeastern Minnesota, is now also tops in his new sport. Backer ran an 11.10 Thursday and has really come on the last couple of weeks. He also qualified by standard in the 200 meters, his time of 22.59 behind Bade and White.

“Being this was my first year in track, I didn’t know how good I would be,” said Backer, who’s a three-sport athlete (also basketball). “My goal has been just to get better every week, to every meet do better than the last one.”

He’s done that recently and with it has found another sports love.

“Track might be my second favorite sport now (after football),” Backer said. “That’s surprising, since it’s my first year at it.”

Silha wins, but wants more

On Tuesday, Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Leo Silha turned in one of Section 1A’s best shot put throws ever, heaving it 57-feet-10, a personal best.

On Thursday, he had the same kind of impact, but he wasn’t nearly as pleased with this one.

Silha regards his best event as the discus and has realistic hopes of winning the shot put and the discus at next week’s state meet.

But he wants to up his discus performance. On Thursday, he “settled” for a discus distance of 181-4, a Section 1A meet record. His personal best is 181-9.

As much as Silha appreciated being a double section champion, he admitted to wanting more than that in the discus. He almost got it. Silha barely scratched on one throw that covered 187 feet.

Still, he recognizes how far he’s come. As a sophomore — the last time there was a track and field season due to the COVID 19 pandemic — he was throwing the discus just 119 feet.

Then he started going to work in the weight room. Did he ever.

“I’m 10 times stronger now than I was then,” said Silha, who’s gone from 165 pounds as a sophomore to his current 190. “I think that’s the biggest difference.”

Competition in the section 1A championship at Triton High School, Thursday June 10, 2021. (Post Bulletin photo by Jerry Olson)
Competition in the section 1A championship at Triton High School, Thursday June 10, 2021. (Post Bulletin photo by Jerry Olson)

Turlington has made winning transition

Lourdes junior Kevin Turlington was shaping up to be one of his school’s best all-time tennis players just three years ago.

But then he made a switch, leaving tennis for long-distance running. That meant joining the Eagles track and cross country teams.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but performances like the one he had Thursday have him feeling good about it. Turlington finished first in the 1,600, in 4:36.59.

“I really do love both, running and tennis,” Turlington said. “But today, to be a champion, it feels really good. I felt strong out there, but also tired (due to 90-plus degree temperatures).”

Saints relays are winners

St. Charles has some serious talent in the sprints. That became obvious with the Saints’ performances in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays Thursday. St. Charles finished first in both at the section meet, timed in 43.84 and 1:30.87, respectively.

Those teams are comprised of the same foursome and order — Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends and Luke Berends.

Cole and Luke Berends are twins and seniors. Disbrow and Thorseson are juniors.

Luke Berends considers it a tight foursome and he gives much of the credit for that to those juniors, Disbrow and Thoreson.

“Those guys have really stepped up,” Luke Berends said. “My brother is my brother, but all of these guys are like brothers to me. It’s just a really fun group to be with.”

Peyton Gunnarson competes in the 800 wheelchair race at the section 1A championship at Triton High School, Thursday June 10, 2021. (Post Bulletin photo by Jerry Olson)
Peyton Gunnarson competes in the 800 wheelchair race at the section 1A championship at Triton High School, Thursday June 10, 2021. (Post Bulletin photo by Jerry Olson)


• At Triton

Team scores

Pine Island 100, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 84.5, Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton 84.5, Lake City 72, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland/Southland 69, St. Charles 65, Rushford-Peterson/Houston 50.5, Stewartville 45, Lourdes 39, Triton 37, Medford 31.5, Kenyon-Wanamingo 30, Chatfield 29, Caledonia/Spring Grove 28, Blomoing Prairie 21, Schaeffer Academy 16, Cotter 16, RAACHE 16, Lewiston-Altura 14, Hayfield 13, Cannon Falls 12, La Crescent 11, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 11, Bethlehem Academy 6, Dover-Eyota 3.

Individual results

Top two qualify for state; *qualified by standard; **meet record

Running events

100 — 1. Sam Backer (Chat) 11.10; 2. Jarod White (PI) 11.27; 3. Luke Berends (SC) 11.44; 4. RJ Sylak (ZM) 11.44; 5. Reid Bjerke (CSG) 11.45; 5. Josh Schmidt (KW) 11.58. 200 — 1. Kyler Bade (PEM) 22.42; 2. Jarod White (PI) 22.43; *3. Sam Backer (Chat) 22.59; 4. Reid Bjerke (CSG) 22.79; 5. RJ Sylak (ZM) 22.90; 6. Jaxon Sackett (T) 23.01. 400 — 1. Kyler Bade (PEM) 50.62; 2. Mark Quintero (PI) 50.68; 3. Zack Ihde (PI) 51.68; 4. Sam Skillestad (BP0 52.57; 5. Daegan Dostal (T) 52.67; 6. Noah Stageberg (Stew) 53.13. 800 — 1. Joe Kozlowski (LC) 1:59.10; 2. Jayce Kiehne (LFCMC) 1:59.62; 3. Cody Kowalski (LaC) 2:03.83; 4. Dalton Hoel (RPH) 2:04.63; 5. Nathan Renier (Lour) 2:04.68; 6. Tyler Stursa (Med) 2:05.32. 1,600 — 1. Kevin Turlington (Lour) 4:36.59; 2. Garrison Hubka (GMLOKS) 4:37.23; 3. Tyler Rislov (RPH) 4:43.56; 4. Luke Bothun (Schaef) 4:47.60; 5. Carson Ruen (LFCMC) 4:48.39; 6. Brandt Konik (PI) 4:50.38. 110 hurdles —1 . Xavier Rennie (BP) 15.84; 2. Owen Petersohn (T) 15.93; 3. Kevin Hagstrom (RAACHE) 16.40; 4. Will Harvey (LFCMC) 16.49; 5. Jared Mart (SC) 16.90; 6. Connor Loeschke (CF) 17.00. 300 hurdles — 1. JT Rein (LFCMC) 40.69; 2. Owen Petersohn (T) 40.77; 3. Kevin Hagstrom (RAACHE) 41.70; 4. Isaac Caron (BA) 42.80; 5. Will Harvey (LFCMC) 44.11; 6. Jared Mart (SC) 44.29. 800 wheelchair — **1. Peyton Gunnarson (LA) 1:55.23. 3,200 wheelchair — 1. Tyler Gunnarson (LA) 9:20.95.


4x100 — 1. St. Charles (Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends, Luke Berends) 43.84; 2. Lake City 44.29; 3. GMLOKS 44.37; 4. Chatfield 44.60; 5. PEM 44.91; 6. Lourdes 45.05. 4x200 — 1. St. Charles (Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends, Luke Berends) 1:30.87; 2. PEM 1:31.47; *3. GMLOKS 1:31.78; 4. Lourdes 1:33.24; 5 Pine Island 1:34.50; 6. Stewartville 1:35.13. 4x400 — 1. Pine Island (Jarod White, Kaedyn Peterson-Rucker, Zack Ihde, Mark Quintero-Bungert) 3:26.42; 2 Lake City 3:27.00; 3 LFCMC 3:29.13; 4. GMLOKS 3:30.75; 5. Triton 3:35.44; 6. Lourdes 3:38.90. 4x800 — 1. Lake City (Joe Kozlowski, Kris Ryan, Carson Matzke, Reese Anderson) 8:32.61; 2. Pine Island 8:35.48; 3. Medford 8:44.16; 4. Cotter 8:50.83; 5. LFCMC 8:51.98; 6. GMLOKS 8:59.00.

Field events

Long jump — 1. Matthew DeMars (LC) 21-8; 2. Steele Tebay (Hay) 20-7 1/4; 3. Josh Schmidt (KW) 20-1 1/2; 4. Laden Nerison (KW) 20-1/2; 5. Kyler Bade (PEM) 19-9; 6. Jacob Weightman (Stew) 19-3 1/2. Discus — **1. Leo Silha (PEM) 181-4; 2. Will Tschetter (Stew) 146-9; 3. Kael Hermanstorfer (Med) 142-2; 4. Ben Wieser (RPH) 139-9; 5. Peyton Byrne (Stew) 138-3; 6. Seth Semmen (LFCMC) 135-2. High jump — 1. Kaiden Peters (PEM) 6-1; 2. Chris Pieper (CSG) 6-1; 3. Talan Duden (CF) 5-11; 4. Aidan Kluth (Schaef) 5-11; 5. Tanner Mundt (LA) 5-9; 6. (tie) Gabe Northrop (PI) 5-9; Mark Quintero (PI) 5-9. Discus wheelchair — 1. Tyler Gunnarson (LA) 33-9.