ST. PAUL — Lakes area Class 1A athletes brought home a cache of honors from Saturday’s Class 1A state finals at Hamline University.
Staples-Motley’s Jaelin Beachy, Pillager’s Wesley DeLong and Nolan Michaelson of Pequot Lakes captured championships on a 90-degree afternoon.
Beachy won the girls 100-meter hurdles title with a time of 15.04, just 2/100ths of a second slower than her No. 1 qualifying time in the prelims.
“I think I came out of the blocks pretty strong,” she said. “Then I just kept going. I really wanted this, I really wanted to win. That pushed me to get to the finish first.”
She conceded she was feeling the pressure of being the No. 1 qualifier.
“Ever since the beginning of this week, I was like, ‘Oh gosh,’ but I think it gives you more adrenaline, gets you more pumped up for your race,” she said. “It makes you that much more willing to win.”
Later in the day, she added a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles, an event in which she was the eighth-fastest qualifier. She went from a 47.17 in Friday’s prelims to 45.63 in the finals.
“(Friday) I had the long jump, too, and I actually didn’t get to warm up before my race so I think that had something to do with it,” Beachy said of improving her standing six places. “I felt really dead when I was running (Friday), but today I felt a lot better.”
Michaelson won the boys long jump with a finals leap of 21-10.0. The Patriots’ senior is in only his second year of competitive jumping.
“I came out here, it really was a perfect day, it was warm, and I was able to get warm,” Michaelson said. “I came out here with the attitude that I made it to state, and I just wanted to do my best, and it ended up turning out really well for me.”
Michaelson entered the meet with only the 13th-best mark of all section qualifiers. Staples-Motley’s Brian Huber, the top seed, finished third at 21-9, a foot and a half less than he jumped in the Section 6-1A meet.
“We saw each other at a lot of meets,” said Michaelson, who anchored the Patriots’ 4x100 relay that finished ninth. “He beat me most of the time. He’s a really good athlete. He had a couple other events he was doing. I’m sure that took a toll.”
DeLong was the third area competitor to strike gold, winning the 400 dash at 48.69.
“Once I got past the kid from Moose Lake-Willow River (Josh Cisar) in Lane 5, I was right there and I just gave it everything on my last 200,” DeLong said.
The Huskies’ senior entered the finals with the top qualifying time of 49.66. It was the only time less than 50 seconds.
“Being No. 1 (qualifier) everyone’s like ‘Oh, he’s got it,’ but in my mind it’s anyone’s game the whole way,” said DeLong, who later finished fourth in the 200 dash and anchored Pillager’s 4x400 relay to seventh place.
In another marquee matchup, Pequot Lakes’ defending state champion girls 4x100 relay finished third in a closely contested final. Champion Byron went 49.76, runner-up Annandale 49.82 and the Patriots 49.99.
“It was tiring, going from the 4x200 to the 4x100,” Patriots anchor Vanessa Lane said. “I was really happy for the team that won, that was awesome. And, I’m happy that we broke our school record, but it’s kind of sad (to finish third).”
The Patriots, who were sixth in the 4x200, returned Lane, Rachel Allen and Nicole Traut from the state championship team and added Abigail Palmer this spring. All four are underclassmen. Lane said the 4x100 felt the pressure of being the defending champion.
“We definitely were,” she said. “I’m glad we at least got third. We tried our hardest, that’s all you can do.”
High jump: 1-Yves Spies (Waseca) 6-7, 5-Brian Huber (SM) 6-4
Long jump: 1-Nolan Michaelson (PL) 21-10, 3-Huber 21-9
110 hurdles: 1-Ryan Heuer (Fairmont) 14.99, 5-Shane White (Pillager) 15.52
4x100 relay: 1-Waseca 43.89, 9-Pequot Lakes (Travis Noska, Tyler Tappe, Isaac Allen, Nolan Michaelson) 45.23
400 dash: 1-Wesley DeLong (Pillager) 48.69, 2-Josh Cisar (Moose Lake-WR) 49.40
200 dash: 1-Michael Whitney (Breckenridge) 22.31, 4-DeLong 22.65
4x400 relay: 1-Glencoe-Silver Lake 3:24.85, 7-Pillager (Josh Warren, Devin Strack, Matt Neururer, DeLong) 3:28.50
Triple jump: 1-Hailey Brinkman (Melrose) 37-7.75, 11-Sienna Miller (Crosby-Ironton) 34-5
100 hurdles: 1-Beachy 15.04, 2-Marissia Hagedorn (Blue Earth) 15.11
4x200 relay: 1-Osakis 1:44.78, 6-Pequot Lakes (Brittny Bzdok, Nicole Traut, Mattie Lueck, Vanessa Lane) 1:46.07
4x100 relay: 1-Byron 49.76, 3-Pequot Lakes (Rachel Allen, Traut, Abigail Palmer, Lane) 49.99
300 hurdles: 1-Marissa Janning (Watertown-Mayer) 45.39, 2-Beachy 45.63
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.