The Pequot Lakes girls’ track and field team made history on Thursday, May 30, when the Patriots captured the first team track title in school history at the Section 6A meet at Moorhead State University.
The Patriots finished with 70 to outdistance runner-up Perham with 59 and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle with 55. It was the first section track title for Pequot Lakes’ girls or boys, according team officials.
“I figured that we could be in the running for the team title, but I have thought that before and things didn’t go our way,” said Pequot Lakes coach Brian Kazmierczek. “This year we are deeper than we ever have been. I told the girls earlier in the year that this team is the best team we have ever had in Pequot Lakes. And they proved it.”
Pequot Lakes was led by Vanessa Lane, who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The junior won the 100 in 12.76 seconds while pacing the 200 in 12.66. Lane also combined with Rachel Allen, Chloe Bermel and Abbie Palmer to finish second in the 4x100 relay, which also qualifies for state on Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, at Hamline University in St. Paul.
“Vanessa just continued what she has been doing all year,” Kazmierczak said. “She struggled in this meet last year, but she has a year of more maturity, and she learns from her experiences. She controlled her emotions all year, and has improved her strength for her 200. Beating last year’s state champion hopefully will mean good things at Hamline.”
Also qualifying for state was the Patriots’ 4x400 relay of Brittny Bzdok, Sarah Rudlang, Grace McGuire and Bermel, who finished first in 4:08.06.
“We had another strong relay in the 4x100,” Kazmierczak said. “We had some work to do on our handoffs, but we advanced and we hopefully can push below 50 seconds again. Rachel (Allen) has been starting on that relay for four years. Abbie (Palmer) advanced with the relay last year. So we have experience going back down there.”
Kazmierczak said the Patriots’ 4x400 win was “probably the most exciting race” of the day.
“Sarah Rudlang ran a tremendous second leg, and having two young ladies that were in the finals of the 400 as our last two legs is a nice luxury,” he said. “Grace (McGuire) runs so smoothly for a seventh grader, and Chloe (Bermel) is a very experienced 8th grader. Grace kept us in position to be successful, and Chloe made the right moves during the race to just pull off the win.”
The top two relays and top two in each individual event qualify for state. Kazmierczak gave credit to some Patriots who just missed qualifying for state.
“We had so many people score points,” he said. “Ellie (Erholtz) in the shot put was two inches from advancing to state and finished fifth. Abbie (Palmer’s) third-place finish and the 4x400 finish solidified the team victory. Chloe (Bermel) and Grace (McGuire) in the 400, Rachel in the 100, Vanessa’s long jump points, Catie (Ryan) in the 800, Jackie (Brine-Doyle) made her goal of making to the podium in the 3,200 scoring a fourth-place finish. And the 4x200 and Britny (Bzdok) in the 200 are all points that our depth is a strength. I was so proud of all of our athletes.”
Kazmierczak complimented his two seniors in Palmer and Josie Nistler.
“Our seniors have been great all season,” he said. “Abbie gets to move on and Josie is an alternate in the 4x400, so they are around another week. Josie has been a great leader and team player all year, we will miss her. Abbie has held down that third leg in the 4x100 for two years now and just missed advancing on her own to the state meet in the triple jump.”
Tappe sets school record
Pequot Lakes’ Tyler Tappe won the pole vault title with a school-record leap of 15 feet, 3 inches, and also helped the Patriots’ 4x100 relay place second in the section.
The 4x100 relay, which includes Tappe, Cole Funk, Isaac Allen and Chris Haman, finished in 45.62 seconds, and also advances to state. Travis Jacobsen qualified for state when he finished second in the shot put with a toss of 49 feet, 5 inches.
“We had a good day with Tyler (Tappe) setting a school record in the pole vault,” said Pequot Lakes coach Dave Guenther. “The boys had some personal bests, and now Tyler, Travis (Jacobson) and the 4x100 team will be moving on. The kids are peaking at the right time."
Perham won the team title with 84 points while Othe Patriots were seventh with 29.5.
Boys team scores: 1-Perham 84, 2-Ottertail Central 81, 3-Pillager 67, 4-Staples-Motley 47, 5-Breckenridge/Campbell 41.50, 6-Morris Area 33, 7-Pequot Lakes 29.50, 8-West Central 26, 9-Pelican Rapids 23, 9-Osakis 23, 15-Wadena-Deer Creek 8, 22-Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 18
100 dash: 8-Isaac Allen 12.30
1600 run: 5-Michael Ryan 4:49.35
4x100 relay: 2-Pequot Lakes (Cole Funk, Allen, Chris Haman, Tyler Tappe) 45.62
4x800 relay: 7-Pequot Lakes (Sean Murray, Dalton Engholm, Nate McDonald, Ryan) 9:05.72
Shot put: 2-Travis Jacobsen 49-05
Pole vault: 1-Tappe 15-03, 5-John Craig 12, 8-Kale Wurdman 11
Girls team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 70, 2-Perham 59, 3-Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 55, 4-Morris Area 54, 5-Staples-Motley 49, 6-Osakis 41.5, 7-Ashby/Brandon/Evansville 36, 8-Pelican Rapids 32, 9-Ottertail Central 28, 10-Sauk Centre 26, 12-Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, 16-Pine River-Backus 8, 17-Wadena-Deer Creek 5, 21-Pillager 2
100 dash: 1-Vanessa Lane 12.76, 5-Rachel Allen 13.75
200 dash: 1-Lane 12.66, 4-Brittney Bzdok 27.63
400 dash: 3-Chloe Bermel 1:02.76, 6-Grace McGuire 1:04.46
800 run: 6-Catie Ryan (PL) 2:31.20
3200 run: 4-Jackie Brine-Doyle (PL) 12:33.75
4x100 relay: 2-Pequot Lakes (Allen, Bermel, Abbie Palmer, Lane) 50.56
4x200 relay: 4-Pequot Lakes (McGuire, Palmer, Sarah Rudlang, Bzdok) 1:49.24
4x400 relay: 1-Pequot Lakes (Bzdok, Rudlang, McGuire, Bermel) 4:08.06
Shot put: 5-Elanor Erholtz (PL) 33-10.50
Long jump: 5-Lane (PL) 16-04.50
Triple jump: 3-Palmer (PL) 34-06