by Dennis Dalman
By a mere two points, the Sartell Sabre boys’ track-and-field team won the Central Lakes Conference championship for the second year in a row.
The meet took place May 23 on the grounds of Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
Sartell beat Brainerd, 129-127.
It was a breathless competition right up until the last minute when the final event – the 1,600-meter relay – proved decisive. In that event, Cold Spring Rocori topped Brainerd by a sliver – with a time of 3:31:01 to Brainerd’s 3:31:44. If Brainerd had won that race, there would have been a tie with Sartell. In that race, Sartell placed fifth; if it had placed sixth, and Brainerd had topped that race, Brainerd would have been the CLC champ.
Coached by Jeff Kellerman, Sartell also won the CLC championship in 2004, as well as last year.
On May 18 in Stillwater, the Sabre boys’ team placed second in the True Team 2A meet. Totino-Grace was the winner in that event. The Sartell Sabre girls’ team, however, were the True Team champs in Stillwater. It was the sixth time the Sabre girls’ team won the True Team competition.
“We were very excited to go to Sauk Rapids and come away with a bunch of personal-best (awards),” Coach Kellerman said. “Our primary goal earlier was the True Team event a week earlier, which our girls’ team won. We were emotionally charged up for the True Team competition, but it was good to see the teams get into it emotionally again at Sauk Rapids.”
In the Sauk Rapids CLC event, the Sartell girls’ team placed third, behind Brainerd and Willmar.
Unlike the True Team meet, the Sauk Rapids CLC event was based on individual – rather than team – competition. Individual athletes earn all-conference honors if they finish among the top three contenders in a race or as a member of the top two relay teams. Sabre track-and-field athlete Josh Lieberg had three first-place finishes: high jump, long jump and triple jump.
The third-place boys’ team in the Sauk Rapids event, after Sartell and Brainerd, was Willmar with 111 points, followed by Rocori, St. Cloud Apollo, Alexandria, St. Cloud Tech, Fergus Falls and Sauk Rapids.
The Brainerd girls’ team was the champ in Sauk Rapids, with 124.5 points, followed by Willmar (118.5), Sartell (110.5), Alexandria, St. Cloud Tech, Rocori, Fergus Falls, Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud Apollo.
Sabres’ achievements in Sauk Rapids are the following: Drew Voshell, 100-meter hurdles, second place, 11:31; Sabres’ team, 400-meter relay, second place, 44:21; Blake Anderson, 3,200-meter race, third place, 9:54:24; Alex Haima, high jump, second place, 6 feet, one inch; Trevor Nordland, pole vault, third place, 13 feet; Jake Lieberg, triple jump, second place, 43 feet, 6 inches. (Lieberg is the younger brother of Josh Lieburg, who placed first in triple jump.); and Quinn Anderson, discus, second place, 153 feet, 11 inches.
Sabre girls’ team accomplishments are the following: Maddie Meier, 100-meter hurdles, second place, 15:72; Sophie VanSurksum, 100-meter hurdles, third place, 15.87; Ashton Haider, 400-meter race, 1:02:22; Maddie Meier, 300-meter hurdles, 46:49; Shelby Hall, 3,200-meter race, third place, 11:42:62; Kelsey Mohlenkamp, high jump, second place, 5 feet, 2 inches; Jenisa Cash, pole vault, first place, 10 feet; and Rachel Haider, pole vault, second place, 9 feet.
As of press time this week, the Sabres will compete in the qualifying rounds of the section meet in Detroit Lakes. Then, they were slated to have two final competitions at Sartell High School the morning of Friday, May 31. There are 16 teams competing at the sectional level, including Sartell. And there are eight sections in the state.
In the sectional finals in Sartell, the top two winners in each of 18 events will go on to the state championship June 7-8 at Hamline University. The top two relay teams from the Sartell finals will also compete at Hamline. There, all of those winners will compete with the winners of the state’s other eight sectional meets.