BLAINE -- The Staples-Motley boys' track and field team went on a roller coaster ride Saturday at the Class A state meet at the Nationals Sports Center.
Figuratively, not literally.
Starting out the day, the 4x800 relay team of Kurt Detloff, Ryan Klingaman, Jeff Brever and Justin Tholl set a Class A state record by winning in a time of 7:58.06.
As the day went on, Tholl, Detloff and Evan Frisk had disappointing finishes in the 1,600 run, 800 run and triple jump, respectively.
But the Cardinals came back with a dominating performance in the 4x400 relay as the team of Tony Johnson, Detloff, Frisk and Tholl ran the event in a time of 3:24.78.
"It's like we gave up something and made it up in something else," Frisk said.
Frisk did not make the finals in the triple jump and finished 17th, Tholl was 15th in the 1,600 in a time of 4:46.66 and Detloff placed seventh in the 800 in a time of 1:58.92.
"It seems like the bad races is what you focus on," Tholl said. "The 4x400 win gives us something else to talk about."
All four members of the team are seniors and competed for the final time Saturday.
"It's a nice way to end it -- to cap it off," Detloff said. "It was the last race of the day and the last race of high school. If you end the day with a great race, that's most important."
The Cardinals came into the finals seeded eighth after a qualifying time of 3:34.43 and this was the first time those four had competed together in the 4x400. Klingaman was a member at the section meet when Frisk was entered in conflicting events.
"We knew this was our best team," Frisk said. "We've been mentally prepared for this for two weeks."
Johnson said: "We knew for a while this was the team we were going to use. We've had consistent splits and we all knew each other pretty well."
Johnson started the race with an excellent first quarter-mile and Detloff held the pace solidly, but it was Frisk, a long and triple jumper, who gained the most ground for the team.
"I passed the Chatfield guy on the handoff and then he passed me," Frisk said. "But I took him on the 200 stretch and then the gap just got bigger. It was one of my best runs ever."
Tholl just took the gap and held off a lot of very tough competition.
"We came into it expecting to get fourth or fifth," Tholl said. "I saw them coming in in first place and I was like, oh my God. My best 400 is 51 seconds and I'm thinking that somebody is going to get 49 seconds and I'm going to get caught.
"This was one of the biggest surprises I've ever had. I didn't expect to do this at all."
Cardinals also win 4x800
After running a tough 3,200 run Friday night at about 7:15 p.m., Staples-Motley's Brever was not at 100 percent for the 4x800 relay Saturday morning.
The junior all-stater pulled away from an already established lead and allowed anchor Tholl to sprint home with a first-place finish in the 4x800 race and the aforementioned state record.
The team of Detloff, Klingaman, Brever and Tholl easily broke the old record of 8:05.54 set by St. Michael-Albertville last year.
"It was great to win after the 3,200 yesterday," said Brever, who was fourth in the 2-mile. "My legs were dead the last 100 (meters). It must have been the drive to win."
Detloff and Tholl are the sprinters for the Cardinals and they run first and fourth, respectively. So Klingaman and Brever have the responsibility to hold their position.
"Those two did a good job of maintaining it," Detloff said. "They actually gained. They opened the gap."
And nobody would be more happy about that than Tholl.
"Even in tough spots he would have been strong. He's good when he's bunched up," Detloff said. "(The extra space) gave him extra confidence. It allowed him to breathe a little easier.
The teammates had the state record on their minds, but Brever said they just wanted to break 8 minutes.
Brever is a two-time state champion in cross country but this is his first state title in track as it is for the other three members of the 4x800 team and Johnson and Frisk in the 4x400.
"Our best time (in the 4x800) was 8:03 but that was on a crappy day," Detloff said. "We knew it was there we just had to go get it."
The S-M girls team was represented Saturday by the 4x800 team of Amanda Hoffert, Brittany Brenny, Britta Binek and Steph Jares. The Cardinals placed eighth in a time of 10:01.55, 17 seconds behind winner Roseau.
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