Waseca wins it all, led by gleaming relay performances

Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 5:31 PM CDT
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ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (KEYC) - St. Michael/Albertville High School was this year’s host site for the state high school track & field championships. Class AA took the stage on ‘Championship Saturday’ and a few area schools stole the spotlight.

The Marshall girls’ kicked things off with a class record-breaking performance in the 4x800m relay with a time of 9:22.37 — Miracle Tucker, Allyson Sample, Anna Kuecker, and Taleigha Bigler claimed the state championship in remarkable fashion.

The Mankato East boys’ went unmatched in the 4x800m relay. The team of Evan MacLean, Audi Thom, Sam Thom, and Nicholas Brauer put together a time of 7:57.97 to win the title.

Cougars’ 8th-grader Adaylia Borgmeier established two Minnesota all-time records in the 100m dash and 800m dash wheelchair division, as well as a third first-place finish in the 200m dash.

Nelson Remington of Fairmont earned the top finish in the 100m dash wheelchair division with a time of 19.16. Remington also captured state titles in the wheelchair 200m dash and 800m dash.

Then, the Waseca boys’ relay team of Damarius Russell, Kaeden Johnson, Kyle Ahlschlager and Christian Rodriguez stunned the crowd in the 4x200m relay, winning the event with a time of 1.27.39 — while beating out the defending-champion Scarlets.

That same relay squad took the crown in the 4x100m relay with a 42.16 finish to give the Bluejays a big advantage in the team standings — to eventually win the team hardware.

“After the 4x200 finish, our mentality was that we weren’t complacent with that victory,” said Bluejays’ senior Rodriguez. “The first thing we said to each other was ‘One more’ so that’s the kind of mentality that we engrained into our minds that we’ve got to keep going, don’t stop, we’re not satisfied with one win so lets get two and that’s what happened.”

“It means a lot, we’ve put a lot of work into it and last year we got DQ’d, we got third in the 4x200, so we just wanted to come back and show state what we can do,” added Ahlschlager. “We have a crew that has good character. I think a lot of kids look up to us, so hopefully that brings up the young kids that want to do track at Waseca and hopefully it carries on.”

In the field events, Mankato East’s Rylie Hansen impressed, by vaulting 11-06 for the championship. The Mankato East girls’ finished third on the leader board as a team. Emily Pearson of New Ulm finished second in the pole vault.

“It feels really amazing to know that I get to be here for my school and I get to go up on the wall at my school for state champions,” said Cougars’ sophomore Hansen. “It just feels amazing to be here and I’m so excited. And, to place in the other event is a big deal for me.”

When it was all said and done, teams and athletes representing southern Minnesota had outstanding finishes in the Class AA state high school track and field championships.