ST. PAUL — Two runner-up finishes, combined with fifth- and sixth-place showings, resulted in a multitude of success for the Brainerd Warriors in the finals of the Class 2A state meet Saturday at Hamline University.
Brainerd’s Sydnie Mauch placed second in girls shot put, and the Warrior boys 4x100 relay of Jordan Hayes, Dan Lauer, Grant Reuer and Joe Nelson finished second by a whisker.
Add fifth place in the boys 110 hurdles by Jackson Walters and sixth in the girls 4x800 relay by Anna Gessell, Sarah Yeh, Allison Kosobud and Megan Holmes and it was a great day to be a Warrior.
Mauch threw 41-6.75 to finish behind sophomore Maggie Ewen of St. Francis, who put the shot 44-7.25. Ewen was the only girl to throw farther than Mauch in a section meet.
“My first throw was a pretty good start, I threw 40 feet or so,” Mauch said. “My second throw was 41, that was my (best) throw, 41 something, about a quarter (inch) off my (personal best).
“From there it kind of went downhill from where I wanted to go. My goal was to break the school record. That didn’t happen so it gives me a little incentive for next year, something to look forward to. I definitely think I can do it. I’m about a foot off (42-8 is the school record). I was shooting for 42-9 today, but didn’t quite make it.”
In only her second year of throwing, Mauch has gone from a rookie to a state runner-up.
See BHS, Page 6B
“With me, I think its strength,” Mauch said. “I had the strength to begin with. The technique, I picked up pretty fast, where in discus it hasn’t quite got there yet. Technique is big, but strength definitely gets you a long way in shot put.”
Ewen already has won state discus and shot put titles.
“She’s going to be big competition (next year),” Mauch said. “She’s not even doing a full spin yet so I’m excited to see where she can go.”
In the boys 4x100, Brainerd led virtually the entire race before being nosed out by Apple Valley, which finished at 42.56 to Brainerd’s school-record 42.64.
Hayes led off with a swift first lap, Lauer maintained the lead for Grant Reuer, who led when he handed the baton to Nelson.
“Getting the baton, we had a pretty good lead,” Reuer said, “and I was trying to hold it off around the corner because (Friday) in Lane One I ran a pretty good corner. I was just trying to repeat what I did. I wanted to give Joey as big of a lead as I possibly could to try to hold them off.”
Nelson and Apple Valley’s Jalen Stewart ran virtually shoulder to shoulder down the stretch, with Stewart winning by 8/100ths of a second.
“Usually, I don’t hear people scream and yell, but this time I heard every single person, yelling just to go, just to finish,” Nelson said. “It was ridiculously close. I saw (Stewart) pull up on my outside. I tried to stay with him but it wasn’t enough.”
Hayes, Lauer and Nelson returned from last year’s relay that placed 10th at state. Reuer, a freshman, joined the group this year.
“Coming in, we didn’t think of each other as a good relay,” Nelson said. “But throughout the whole year we grew together, like a bunch of brothers running a relay.”
Walters secured all-state honors (top 9) with a time of 14.98, third-fastest in school history. He was abreast of the leaders until about the halfway mark.
“I started off pretty good,” Walters said. “I’ve been having a good start the past couple races, but about the sixth hurdle I started hitting them, not too hard, but it was enough to pull me back a little bit.”
In the 4x800, Gessell put Brainerd in the lead on the first lap before five teams passed the Warriors before the finish.
“I was just trying to make sure not to get boxed in because that’s usually what happens when you’re running the first leg,” Gessell said. “I just didn’t want to worry about everyone else. I just wanted to run my own race and bring it home to Sarah.
“This group of (relay) competitors, they’re all really fast, so I’m proud of our team and how we finished. It was better than what we did last year so that’s always good.”
The relay placed 10th last year, with Gessell, Kosobud and Holmes, who battled illness Saturday, returning in 2011.
Class 2A Boys Finals
110 hurdles: 1-Rilwan (Ri) Alowonle (Park) 14.46, 5-Jackson Walters (Brd) 14.98
4x100 relay: 1-Apple Valley 42.56, 2-Brainerd (Jordan Hayes, Dan Lauer, Grant Reuer, Joe Nelson) 42.64
Long jump: 1-Trevor Yedoni (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) 23-0, 19-Elliott Kohler (Little Falls) 20-4.75
Class 2A Girls Finals
4x800 relay: 1-Rochester Century 9:12.91, 6-Brainerd (Anna Gessell, Sarah Yeh, Allison Kosobud, Megan Holmes) 9:26.91
Shot put: 1-Maggie Ewen (St. Francis) 44-7.25, 2-Sydnie Mauch (Brd) 41-6.75
Pole vault: 1-Nicole Naatjes (Lakeville North) 11-9, 16-Rachelle LeBlanc (LF) 10-6