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State Boys' and Girls' Track and Field Meet starts Friday at Hamline

Eight girls competing in six events will represent Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta this Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, when high school athletes gather at Hamline University in St. Paul for the 2012 State Track and Field Meet.

Katie Holzheimer will sprint in the 100- and 200-meter dashes; MaKenzie Smith will run in the 1600 and 3200; Abby Travis will compete in the pole vault; and Holzheimer, Beth Holland, Sydney Engebretson, Adrianela Mendez, along with alternates Kourtney Giese and Hunter Mundal, are participating in the 4X100 relay.

Preliminaries in track events for both classes will be conducted on Friday. All of the 3,200-meter run events will be finals only on Friday, as will be some field events. Friday's schedule begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Class AA competition. The Class A events are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., but possibly may start later depending on the pace of the Class AA meet. The same schedule will be followed on Saturday.

Class A Girls Highlights

Champions return in three individual events and two relays.

Analisa Huschle, a senior at Bagley/Fosston, is looking for her fourth consecutive title in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. She set the Class A record in the triple jump last year and is the top qualifier in both events this year.

Ninth-grader Kayla Huhnerkoch of Redwood Valley, Redwood Falls, returns to defend her title in the 1600-meter run. Her qualifying time is 5:16.51. Four other 2011 medalists also return, including McKenzie Holt, a sophomore at St. Cloud Christian School, who has the best time of 5:08.13. Holt was sixth last year.

Windom Area senior Hannah Steele will defend her discus championship. Her qualifying throw was 120 feet, 8 inches. Five other 2011 medalists also return, including St. Clair senior Ashley Thooft who has the best qualifying throw of 137 feet, 4 inches. Thooft finished third last year.

Junior Emma Lange of Caledonia/Spring Grove is the final returning champion. She won the high jump last year and holds this year's highest qualifying jump of 5 feet, 5 inches. The only other returning medalist is New Richland-H-E-G sophomore Carlie Wagner, fifth last year, and who has also qualified at 5 feet, 5 inches.

Pequot Lakes returns with another 4x100-meter relay team in pursuit of consecutive titles. Five other teams that placed last year are also back, including Chatfield, which owns the fastest qualifying time of 49.98. Less than three seconds separates the 17 qualified teams.

Seven of the nine medal-winning 4x400-meter relay teams return, including a squad from Breck School of Golden Valley, the defending champions. Osakis, the 2011 runner-up, has the best qualifying time of 3:59.02.

Class A Boys Highlights

Three individuals, all in field events, and representatives of two relay teams are returning to defend titles.

Senior Aaron Wubben of Central Minnesota Christian of Prinsburg returns to defend his high jump title. He has qualified at 6 feet, 5 inches, and will compete against three other 2011 medalists, including Waseca senior Yves Spies who finished eighth last year but who has qualified with the highest jump at 6 feet, 8 inches.

Grant Krieger, a junior at The Blake School of Minneapolis, is back to seek another pole vault championship. He qualified with a 14-foot vault and faces two other 2011 medalists, including Blue Earth Area senior Jake Zebedee who has the highest qualifying vault of 15 feet, 3 inches, a full 15 inches higher than the rest of the field.

Ada-Borup senior Brian Blasey will attempt to defend his discus title. He qualified with a throw of 145 feet, 10 inches. Three other 2011 medalists will also compete. Junior Steffan Stroh of Ottertail Central, a co-op of Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood, has a qualifying throw of 169 feet, 1 inch, a full 3 feet farther than the rest of the field.

The 4x200-meter relay team from Caledonia/Spring Grove will attempt to win consecutive titles. The only other medal-winning team back is St. Croix Lutheran of West St. Paul, which finished fifth. The Rochester Lourdes squad has the fastest qualifying time of 1:30.41.

Four 4x800-meter relay teams that medaled last year are back, including champion Cotter of Winona. The squad from Madelia/Truman owns the fastest qualifying time of 8:07.09.

Class AA Girls Highlights

The Class AA girls' field is well represented with previous title holders. Defending champions in 10 individual events return and representatives from all four medal-winning relay teams will be competing.

Six of nine medalists return in the 800-meter run, including defending champion Haylie Zenner, a Fergus Falls senior. Her qualifying time of 2:13.74 is a mere one-hundredths of a second slower than the best qualifying time of Prior Lake senior Taylor Scholl. A little more than 9 seconds separates the entire field.

The 1600- and 3200-meter runs will be premier duels between Alexandria senior Jamie Piepenburg and Shakopee junior Maria Hauger, with Albert Lea Area junior Christina Monson battling alongside them both. Piepenburg won the 1600 in 2010 and 3200 last year. Hauger won the 3200 in 2010. Monson won the 1600 last year, but Piepenburg has the fastest qualifying time of 4:54.19 this year. Piepenburg also has the fastest qualifying time of 10:24.57 in the 3200, with Hauger's qualifying time within about 3 seconds.

Richfield junior Jessica January will attempt to defend her 100-meter high hurdles title. She has the fastest qualifying time of 14.29. Three other 2011 medalists are also among the qualifiers.

Minneapolis Southwest senior Tatyana Pashibin will attempt to defend her high jump title. Her qualifying jump of 5 feet, 4 inches is just two inches shy of the best qualifying jump made by Lakeville South sophomore Morgan Pieri, one of two other 2011 medalists also returning.

Minnetonka sophomore Piper Jensen is back to defend her triple jump title. Her qualifying jump was 36 feet, 1 inch, more than a foot and a half short of her 2011 winning jump. Two other 2011 medalists also return. Farmington junior Nadia Lorencz has the best qualifying jump of 37 feet, 6 and three-quarters inches.

St. Francis junior Maggie Ewen has the best qualifying shot put distance of 46 feet, 8 inches in her attempt to defend her title. Among her competitors are four other 2011 medalists. Ewen also won the discus last year and the year before that and is back to defend that title, too. Her qualifying throw of 150 feet, 8 inches is second best to White Bear Lake Area senior Angela Guenther's throw of 154 feet, 3 inches. Guenther is one four other 2011 discus medalists' who return. She was last year's runner-up.

Hopkins is looking to repeat in two relays: the 4x200 and 4x400. The Royals own neither best qualifying time. In the 4x200 that distinction is held by 2011 runner-up Osseo, and in the 4x400 the best qualifying time belongs to Prior Lake, the 2011 third-place finisher.

Apple Valley will attempt consecutive wins in the 4x100-meter relay among three other 2011 medal-winning teams. Minneapolis Washburn has the fastest qualifying time of 48.70, 25-hundredths of a second faster than Apple Valley.

Rochester Century is the final winning relay team to return, in the 4x800-meter relay. Two other 2011 medal-winning teams are also back. A Wayzata squad has the fastest qualifying time of 9 minutes, 25 seconds.

Class AA Boys Highlights

Eight individuals and three relay teams have qualified to defend 2011 titles.

Blaine senior Ayuk Tambe is back to defend his 100-meter dash title and has three other 2011 medalists as competitors. Tambe's qualifying time of 10.87 is just six-hundredths of a second off the best time of senior Leandre Campbell of Eastview in Apple Valley.

Hopkins senior Austin Salargo is one five returning medalists in the 400-meter dash. He will attempt to defend his title and has the fastest qualifying time of 47.82.

White Bear Lake Area senior Eric Gebeke is one of three 2011 returning medalists in the 800-meter run. He will try for two in a row and has the best qualifying time of 1:52.23.

Moorhead senior Glen Ellingson is back to attempt a title defense in the 3200-meter run. So are two other 2011 medalists. Richfield sophomore Obsa Ali has the fastest qualifying time of 9:18.87.

Senior Rilwan (RJ) Alowonle of Park of Cottage Grove will attempt to defend both his 110-meter high hurdles and his 300-meter intermediate hurdles titles. He has back-to-back wins in the 300-meter event. He owns the fastest qualifying times in both events.

Lakeville South junior Lee Bares won the 2011 pole vault title and his event-best qualifying vault of 15 feet, 6 inches is a half-foot better than his 2011 winning vault. He is one of only three qualifiers to meet or eclipse the 15-foot mark.

Andover senior Thomas Anderson has qualified to defend his shot put title and has the furthest qualifying put of 64 feet, one-half inch. Two other 2011 medalists are also in the field.

The 4x200-meter relay team from White Bear Lake Area is looking for its fourth consecutive title. The 2010 squad of Ryan Olson, Matt Glasgow, Cody Thibault, and John McCoy set a new All-Time State Meet record of 1:27.63 in the preliminaries. They are one of five medal-winning teams returning. North, North St. Paul, was the 2011 runner-up and has the fastest qualifying time this year of 1:28.11.

The 2011 champions from Apple Valley are back in the 4x100-meter relay, as are three other medal-winning teams, including fastest-qualifying Park of Cottage Grove.

Bemidji returns in search of consecutive gold medals in the 4x800-meter relay. So are three other 2011 medal-winning teams. Chanhassen qualified with the fastest time of 7:55.74.

Wheelchair Division

In addition to several additional events now available, athletes can not only win individual titles but also earn points for their team. In Class A, Pine Island senior Kathryn Lubahn is the only returning athlete and she will compete again in the shot put. There are no returning athletes in Class AA. However, seniors Jackson Larson of Cambridge-Isanti and Mark Braun of Irondale in New Brighton will compete head-to-head in the 1600, shot put and discus.

Live Results

Fans unable to attend the meet will be able to follow along with "live" results by clicking on a link on the League website home page. As soon as each event is certified by officials, the results will be posted to the website.