ST. PAUL — The Stillwater girls’ track and field team sent a pair of newcomers and two experienced competitors to the Class AA state meet on June 9-10 at Hamline University.
Sophomore Corrie Hale tied for eighth place in the pole vault to finish as the team’s lone placewinner and all-state performer.
St. Michael Albertville outdistanced runner-up Farmington 54-48 to capture the state team title while North St. Paul followed in third with 43 points.
Hale cleared 10-6 and that was enough to earn a spot on the medal stand after finishing in a tie with Karissa Ricks of Northfield.
“I’m just really glad that I made it to state,” Hale said. “I’m happy with 10-6. I was hoping to make 11, but 10-6 is good too.”
Hale was climbing the ladder in recent weeks, finishing second in the conference at 11-0 and following that up with a first-place showing in the Section 4AA meet.
“I started at 8-6 and now my PR is 11-0,” Hale said. “One of my goals was to get on the podium (at state).”
Corrie’s older brother Isaac was a state competitor for the Stillwater boys a few years back, but his advice was short and sweet.
“He just said to have fun,” Corrie said.
“That was a positive,” Podolske said. “She’s just a sophomore so getting there is one thing, but performing and making some of those heights was a good experience for her.”
Stillwater’s other state meet first-timer Madeline Fretag finished 16th in the shot put. The sophomore finished with a top toss of 34-11 1/2.
“It just was not her day,” Podolske said. “She’s a sophomore, so just getting there was good experience for her to get her feet wet. He three throws were not anywhere near her best.”
Senior Hannah Anderson was making her fifth state appearance for the Ponies, but she failed to qualify for the finals of the 800 meters. She crossed the line in a time of 2:21.31, which was about 1.5 seconds off her seed time from the section meet.
“They just went out really fast,” Podolske said. “Usually at 600 she’s at 1:48 and she was at 1:38 so she just couldn’t keep up with it. She knew she had to go out with them and gook a gamble and did not get into the finals. It was just a fast group of kids this year in the 800.”
Stillwater’s other entry Haley Tholen finished 15th in a high jump after clearing 5-2.
“I think Haley had a good meet,” Podolske said. “She made 5-0 and also made 5-2, which was her previous best so she was happy with that.”
Tholen previously competed at state in both the high jump and triple jump. She is the school record holder in the triple jump at 36-11 1/4 and has also contributed for the Ponies in the hurdles.
“Haley’s season hadn’t been the best and she really came on at the end and she was really proud of herself,” Podolske said. “This season has been pretty tough for her, but to finish the way she did was really outstanding. She just persevered and kept working hard.”
Anderson and Tholen will be two of the biggest graduation losses from a team that featured 18 seniors, Podolske noted.
“Hananh came as an eighth-grader and she’s been a huge fixture in the program the last five years,” Podolske said. “She always puts her team above herself and her goals. She just had a really good career and I do think her best times are yet to come. We really thank her for all the support she’s given, and Haley is very much the same way. She is always working hard and being supportive of her teammates. They were very good role models and captains — a great couple of girls to have in your program.”
Team standings (top 10)
1. St. Michael-Albertville 54; 2. Farmington 48; 3. North St. Paul 43; 4. Mounds View 36; 5. Robbinsdale Armstrong 33; 6. Minnetonka 32; 7. East Ridge 31; 8. Eagan 29; 9, tie, Rosemount 26 and Bloomington Jefferson 26; 63. Stillwater 1.5.
100 — 1. Anna Keefer (St. Michael-Albertville) 11.73.
200 — 1. Anna Keefer (St. Michael-Albertville) 24.13.
400 — 1. Honour Finley (Bloomington Jefferson) 55.30.
800 — 1. Sophie Schmitz (Willmar) 2:16.26. Prelims: 15. Hannah Anderson (St) 2:21.31.
1,600 — 1. Anna Fenske (Farmington) 4:55.20.
3,200 — 1. Lauren Peterson (Farmington) 10:31.50.
100 hurdles — 1. Shae Buchman (Rosemount) 14.08.
300 hurdles — 1. Natalie Windels (Eagan) 42.93.
4×100 relay — 1. North St. Paul, 47.72.
4×200 relay — 1. North St. Paul, 1:39.20.
4×400 relay — 1. Bloomington Jefferson, 3:57.90.
4×800 relay — 1. Edina, 9:14.68.
Long jump — 1. Anna Keefer (St. Michael-Albertville) 18-10 1/2.
Triple jump — 1. Allyson Weiss (East Ridge) 40-1 1/4.
Shot put — 1. Alexandrea Hurst (Robbinsdale Armstrong) 45-4 3/4. 16. Madeline Fretag (St) 34-11 1/2.
Discus — 1. Amanda Anderson (St. Francis) 154-7.
High jump — 1. Nyalaam Jok (Osseo) 5-8; 15. Haley Tholen (St) 5-2.
Pole vault — 1. Julia Fixsen (Mounds View) 11-6; 8. Corrie Hale (St) 10-6.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com