By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The STMA girls track team dominated the quad meet held at the STMA activity center between itself, St. Francis, Chisago Lakes and Rogers.
A pair of state participants from a year ago, just removed from a state appearance in basketball, made their respective debuts in this meet. Senior Erin Autio took her first long and triple jumps of the 2014 track and field season, and freshman Lizzy Heil ran her first race.
Autio, with a best jump of 16 feet, nine inches, won the long jump event. Freshman Anna Keefer finished just six inches behind her. Autio also took first in the triple jump, jumping 35 feet, 11.5 inches. She won a third event, the hurdles, with a time of 10.28 seconds.
Heil led the 1600 meter run for most of the event, only to get passed by teammate Rachel King and take second place by a mere .13 seconds (5:16.59). Heil said the extra week (caused by a weather cancellation) helped her out a lot.
“That week I was a little sore, just from getting into running, so it was nice to get an extra week to prepare,” she said. Her time was her personal best from last year, so getting that in her first meet of 2014 was big, she said.
Much like the boys’ team, the girls’ relay groups fared well, winning the 4×200 (1:53.01and 4×400 meter relay races. The 4×800 team placed second in that event.
Two STMA sophomores tied atop the leaderboard in the shot put competition. Cherish Witherspoon and Jessica Harrison each had a best throw of 33-05.00. The meet resulted in a few other close finishes.
Four STMA girls took the first four places in the 55 meter dash, with Whitney Perry at the top (7.66 seconds). Makenzie Langdok missed out on first place in the 400 by a mere second. The result was the same for Belle Nyhus in the 800 meter run.
High jump and pole vault were also narrow losses for the Knights. Overall, STMA won with a score of 106.40. St. Francis was second (48.70), Chisago Lakes third (31) and Rogers last (25.90).
Coach Jason Massmann said that having the extra week helped because the team gained an extra week of fitness, and it allowed other athletes to be able to come in from basketball and transition to the spring season. He said that he wanted to continue to see improvement going forward.
“I guess we just build. We don’t take any of these results too seriously, but we try to see improvement and we kind of mark that.”
The Knights girls competed in a triangular meet against North Branch and Rogers at Rogers on Thursday. The meet was rescheduled from Tuesday.
Lizzy Heil and Rachel King fight for first place in the 1600 meter race.