ST. MICHAEL — Jarod White got his expected state championship and Will Tschetter got one that was less expected.
Those happened on Friday in the Class A state boys track and field meet at St. Michael-Albertville.
White, a Pine Island junior, won the pole vault with ease and with it established a state-meet record for all classes by clearing 15 feet, 9 inches. White was gunning for the all-time Minnesota record of 16-2 but just missed after three tries at it to end the day.
Tschetter, best known as a basketball star who will head to Michigan in the fall to play Big Ten Conference ball, finished his brilliant high school sports career as a discus champion. He flung it a personal-best 175-7 for first. Fellow Section 1A thrower Leo Silha of Plainview-Elgin-Millville had entered the competition as the clear favorite. But after scratching on three of his four attempts, he settled for third with a 164-11 distance. He went 181-4 in the section meet. Silha was also second in the shot put Friday with a personal-best throw of 58-4.
But it was White who had the most eventful day. He competed in four events — the 100, 200, 4x400 relay and the pole vault. In a meet that had been condensed to one day for COVID 19 reasons, with no preliminaries, it made for a hectic and exhausting meet for anyone involved in multiple events.
White went from competing in the 200 (finishing fourth), to almost immediately taking part in the 4x400 (landing third), while slipping in pole vault attempts in between and immediately afterward.
He did all of that in 85-degree heat.
“It was a hard and hot day,” White said. “Running the 100 (finished 10th) was all right, but then doing the 200 (finished fourth) and the 400 relay (finished third) killed me. When I got back to doing the pole vault (to end the meet), it took a while to feel rested. I think I could have done even better if I wasn’t as hot and exhausted as I was.”
Pine Island coach Matt Northrop said the meet challenged everyone.
“It was a tough situation (with no first-day preliminaries and no early start Friday to the field events),” he said. “But I am super proud of how we battled through the adversity and left everything out there.”
Tschetter finishes with a bang
Tschetter was considered by many to have been the second-best boys basketball player in the state this year, behind national player of the year Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Tschetter was also thought to be among the top-four discus throwers in Class A, but with P-E-M’s Silha having established himself as the clear No. 1. After all, Silha had three times exceeded the 175-7 throw that Tschetter won with. That included just last week, when Silha threw it that winning 181-4 distance at the section meet.
But it was Tschetter who came through when it mattered most. It made for a thrilling end to his high school athletic career.
“I’ve never experienced anything quite like it,” he said. “It’s just so special to have this kind of experience. To top off my high school experience with a state championship is a great feeling.”
That said, Tschetter was feeling for Silha.
“I feel really bad for Leo,” Tschetter said. “He was throwing so well at the end of the year. He’s had such a great career.”
Silha wasn’t entirely surprised that things didn’t go well in his favorite event, the discus. There had been hints recently that he might have a tough day.
“I hadn’t been throwing well in practice the last week,” he said. “But I feel good for Tschetter. He’s worked for this.”
Bade does it again
Other champions from Section 1A were Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Kyler Bade, winning his second straight 400 state title; the Lake City 4x400 relay team of Kris Ryan, Joe Kozlowski, Reese Anderson and Matt DeMars; as well as stellar wheelchair athlete Peyton Gunnarson of Lewiston-Altura.
Gunnarson established three state-meet records, in the 100 wheelchair, the 200 wheelchair and the 800 wheelchair.
P-E-M, with star power and balance, finished second overall in the meet with 38 points. Morris/Chokio-Alberta won it with 42.
Bade got his championship despite starting the race in lane eight, well to the outside of the top-seeded runners. But he didn’t let that get in his way. He got out of the starting blocks in a hurry, took a quick lead, fell behind by a bit, then roared in the final 100 meters.
All of that followed his plan as he finished in a personal-best 49.63.
“I was able to really kick it those last 100 meters and finished well,” Bade said. “It comes down to guts at the end, and I hate losing so much that I put everything I had into it.”
Besides winning the 400, Bade helped his 4x200 relay team (Peyton Schumacher, Kaiden Peters, Nick Wozney, Bade) to a third-place finish and he also ran the 200.
It was Lake City that won the 4x400. The Tigers (Kris Ryan, Joe Kozlowski, Reese Anderson, Matt DeMars) got that done in 3:27.43.
Pine Island, which beat Lake City in the section meet, couldn’t get past the Tigers this time and finished third.
“We were confident we could finish in the top two,” said Kozlowski, a senior. “But to be a state champion, I’m just really happy about that.”
Anderson, who also helped his 4x800 team to a third-place finish with a strong final leg, wanted nothing less than a title.
“Being a champion, that was our goal all along,” he said.
Other top finishes
Triton’s Owen Petersohn had a strong meet, finishing fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.74) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (40.99). . .In the triple jump, Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton’s Ben Snyder soared 43-feet-4 3/4. That was good for fourth. The winning triple jump was 45-3 1/4. . .St. Charles had hopes of winning a pair of relays. The Saints ended up settling for fourth in the 4x100 (43.78) and the 4x200 (1:31.70). Both teams consisted of Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends and Luke Berends . . .Chatfield’s Sam Backer ran an 11.18 100 which was good for fifth place.
CLASS A STATE MEET
(Winner; Section 1A teams)
1. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 42, 2. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 37, 8. Lewiston-Altura 30, 12. (tie) Pine Island 26, Lake City 26, 24. St. Charles 14.5, 30. Stewartville 12, 33. Triton 11, 43. Chatfield 7, 47. Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland/Southland (tie) 6, Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton 6, 58. (tie) Blooming Prairie 4, Caledonia/Spring Grove 4, 58, Kenyon-Wanamaingo 4,
(Winner; Section 1A finishers; *meet record)
100 — 1. Max Reis (Spectrum) 10.84; 5. Sam Backer (Chatfield) 11.18; 10. Jarod White (Pine Island) 11.26. 100 wheelchair — *1. Peyton Gunnarson (Lewiston-Altura) 16.24; 3. Tyler Gunnarson (Lewiston-Altura) 17.16. 200 — 1. Ethan Lebrija (Morris/Choko-Aberta) 22.30; 4. Jarod White (Pine Island) 22.52; 8. Sam Backer (Chatfield) 22.96; 12. Kyler Bade (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 23.25. 200 wheelchair — *1. Peyton Gunnarson (Lewiston-Altura) 29.80; 2. Tyler Gunnarson (Lewiston-Altura) 30.36. 400 — 1. Kyler Bade (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 49.63; 12. Mark Quintero (Pine Island) 51.59. 800 — 1. Jacob McCleary (Perham) 1:56.92; 12. Jayce Kiehne (Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton) 2:02.04; 15. Joe Kozlowski (Lake City) 2:08.19. 800 wheelchair — *1. Peyton Gunnarson (Lewiston-Altura) 2:01.58. 1,600 — 1. Cameron Stocke (Rock Ridge) 4:12.94; 13. Kevin Turlington (Lourdes) 4:34.86; 16. Garrison Hubka (GMLOKS) 4:40.77. 1,600 wheelchair — 1. Tyler Shepersky (United North Central) 4:26.16. 110 hurdles — 1. Jayson Ekiyor (Providence Academy) 14.51; 4. Owen Petersohn (Triton) 15.74; 6. Xavier Rennie (Blooming Prairie) 15.88. 300 hurdles — 1. Kenny Soderberg (Morris/Chokio-Alberta) 39.14; 5. Owen Petersohn (Triton) 40.99; 13. JT Rein (Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton) 43.23.
4x100 — Minnehaha Academy 43.51; 4. St. Charles (Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends, Luke Berends); 43.78; 7. Lake City (Jeremy Nguyen, Matthew DeMars, Carson Matzke, Kris Ryan) 44.82. 4x200 — 1. Mora 1:30.23; 3. Plainview-Elgin-Millville (Peyton Schumacher, Kaiden Peters, Nick Wozney, Kyler Bade) 1:31.53; 4. St. Charles (Noah Disbrow, Jett Thoreson, Cole Berends, Luke Berends) 1:31.70; 6. GMLOKS (Jacob Kerrins, Luke Speer, Blake Ludemann, James Howard) 1:31.95. 4x400 — 1. Lake City (Kris Ryan, Joe Kozlowski, Reese Anderson, Matt DeMars) 3:27.43; 3. Pine Island (Jarod White, Kaedyn Peterson-Rucker, Zack Ihde, Mark Quintero-Bungert) 3:32.47. 4x800 — 1. Park Rapids 8:12.86; 3. Lake City (Joe Kozlowski, Kris Ryan, Carson Matzke, Reese Anderson) 8:14.60; 14. Pine Island (Sam Johnson, Braxton Osterhaus, Will Cobb, Lucas Williams) 8:34.04.
Shot put — 1. Tony Nelson (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton) 59-2 1/4; 2. Leo Silha (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 58-4; 8. Riley Paul (GMLOKS) 48-10. High jump — 1. Peyton Johnsrud (Minnewaska) 6-7; 6. Chris Pieper (Caledonia/Spring Grove) 6-2; 13. Kaiden Peters (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 5-10. Long jump — 1. Josh Finseth (Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton) 21-3 1/4; 7. Matthew DeMars (Lake City) 20-5 1/4; 16. Steele Tebay (Hayfield) 18-6 1/2. Discus — 1. Will Tschetter (Stewartville) 175-7; 3. Leo Silha (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 164-11. Triple jump — 1. Kaden McNiff (Floodwood) 45-3 1/4; 4. Ben Snyder (Lanesboro/Fillmore Central/Mabel-Canton) 43-4 3/4; 6. Laden Nerison (Kenyon-Wanamingo) 42-2 1/2. Pole vault — 1. Jarod White (Pine Island) 15-9; 7. (tie) Jett Thoreson (St. Charles) 12-6.