The Great River Conference Championship meet in Braham on Tuesday, May 14 provided the best weather the track and field teams have had all season. This aided in many great performances and led to GRC Championships for both the Dragon boys and girls teams.
“I am very proud of both of our teams and the hard work that they have put in throughout the season to be able to win the conference championship again,” said coach Jared Clementson.
This is the fifth straight year that both teams won the conference. (Sixth straight for girls and fifth for boys). Forty-five athletes scored points to cause the Dragon win.
“This season, like most, has had its ups and downs, however, I am very proud of how our kids performed on the day it mattered most. Everyone came together as a team and did what they could to contribute,” said Clementson who was voted as the Girls GRC Coach of the Year. (Brent Nelson from Hinckley-Finlayson was voted as the Boys GRC Coach of the Year.)
The girls team won the Great River Conference Championship for the sixth straight year with 216.5 points, 78.5 points more than second place Rush City. Fifteen Dragons claimed All-Conference honors for their efforts in winning eight of the 18 events. Three earned Honorable Mention honors by placing second in their event.
Twenty-four girls contributed points toward the victory. Sophie Lahti was top point getter with 25 points. Alaina Steele scored 23, Ellaina Johnson scored 21, Dorothy Miller scored 20 and Lydia Adams scored 16 points.
Sophie Lahti got things started off right by winning the high jump with a personal best height of 4’ 10”. She was tied with EllieMae White from Rush City, but won in a jump off (needed to determine a champion). Sophie then turned around to help the 4x800m relay of Ella Sell, Grace Grubbs, Sophie Lahti and Lydia Adams win with a time of 10:55.57.
Alaina Steele won the 800m race for the fifth straight year in a time of 2:28.37. Alaina also placed second in the 1600m run with a time of 5:43.46 where she led teammates Arissa Rydberg (5:44.51) and Eva Johnson (5:46.39) to third and fourth place finishes.
Sophie and Alaina joined forces with Grace Grubbs and Lydia Adams in the 4x400m relay to win with a time of 4:26.21.
Dorothy Miller won the triple jump with a personal best jump of 33’ 11”.
Kelsey Erickson won the long jump with a personal best jump of 15’ 5”.
The girls 4x800m relay of Ella Sell, Grace Grubbs, Sophie Lahti and Lydia Adams won in a time of 10:55.57.
The 4x200m relay of Alexis Thieman, Ainsley Vinaja, Emily Carpenter and Summer Thieman won with a time of 1:55.81.
The 4x100m relay of Ellaina Johnson, Allyson Chromey, Emma Johnson and Kensi Tayerle won with a season’s best time of 54.72.
Ellaina Johnson ran well, posting personal best times in the 100m dash (13.42) and 200m dash (27.05). Both were top ten performances.
Cara Kuhn had a season’s best toss of 30’ 0” in the shot put, good for second place.
The Dragon boys won the Great River Conference Championship for the fifth straight year. They scored 220 points, 81 points more than second place Hinckley-Finlayson.
“Our boys really stepped up and were ready to compete,” said coach Clementson.
Many boys put in their best effort to help the team and ended up placing much higher than expected. Six boys claimed All-Conference honors for their efforts in winning five of the 18 events. Twelve earned Honorable Mention honors for placing second.
Twenty-one boys contributed points toward the victory. TJ Rank was the top point getter with 29 points. Tucker Dalen scored 28, Logan Vinaja scored 25, Tommy Ryan scored 19 and Tryston West scored 17 points.
The 4x400m relay team of TJ Rank, Caleb Fromm, Tommy Ryan and Logan Vinaja won in a time of 3:40.68. TJ Rank came from behind to win the 300m hurdles in a season’s best time of 43.44. Logan Vinaja had a spectacular finish to win the 800m in a time of 2:09.46.
Dawson Clifford won the pole vault with a personal best height of 11’ 6”. TJ Rank placed second with a height of 10’ 2”.
Tucker Dalen won the triple jump with a leap of 39’ 6.5”, placed second in the high jump (5’ 7”), and placed third in the long jump (18’ 5.75”).
JJ Preston placed second in both the shot put (42’ 9”) and discus (116’ 10”).
The 4x800m relay team of Drake Willert, Charlie Emmons, Noah Miller and George Ausmus placed second in a time of 9:58.10.
Pine City’s 4x200m relay team of Jason Thieman, Jeffrey Carlbom, Hunter Peacock and Michael Gerold placed second in a time of 1:40.63.
Tommy Ryan placed second in the 1600m with a time of 4:47.25.
The Sub-Section 18A meet in Pine City was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 21. Individuals who place in the top four and relays that place in the top two will head to the Section 5A meet at St. John’s University on Wednesday, May 29.
“I am looking forward to seeing how many athletes (individual and relays) we can advance to the Section and State meet,” said coach Clementson.