By Victoria Dahlin—
Rush City track team members Max Maher and freshman Kayla Nelson qualified for the State Track and Field Championships May 30 at the Section 5A Championship at St. John’s University.
Maher, a junior, made a jump of 12’ 6” in the pole vault to earn Section Champion, while Nelson crossed the finish line in 59.13 to take Champion in the 400m dash in under the state qualifying time of 59.22.
Earning a medal and points for the boys team were Demario Peterkin (eighth grade), fourth in 100m dash and sixth in 200m dash; Daniel Taylor (senior), fifth in both the 1600m run and 3200m run; Daniel Weber (senior), fifth in 110m hurdles and sixth in 300m hurdles; Jonathan Mielke (junior), third in discus throw; Isaac Johnson (senior), sixth in the 800m run and 4×800 relay with Garrett Larson (sophomore), Kevin Nelson (freshman), Kyle Nelson (freshman), Johnson came in fifth.
Mielke also placed 10th in the shot put, Weber 14th in high jump and freshman Zeth Langworthy 15th in the long jump.
The boys team took sixth place ahead of Albany, St. Cloud Cathedral, Pine City, Mora, Pierz, New London-Spicer, Braham, Rockford, Royalton, Holdingford, Legacy Christian Academy, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity, St. John’s Prep, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Melrose Area, Spectrum, Ogilvie, Milaca and Paynesville; and behind Foley, Annandale, Maple Lake, Litchfield and Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball.
Earning points for the girls team and a place on the podium were Keanna Belau (freshman), taking third in the 100m dash and the 4x100m relay with Morgan Twingstrom (senior), Kayla Nelson, Brooke Hein (senior), Belau ending in sixth.
Teri Jungels placed ninth in the shot put and fellow senior Kristy Carlson tied for 13th in the triple jump.
The Tiger girls finished 16th ahead of Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Royalton, Rockford, Braham, Upsala/Swanville, Pine City, Pierz, Spectrum, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Mille Lacs and Ogilvie; and behind Annandale, Litchfield, Foley, Milaca, Mora, Paynesville Area, Holdingford, St. Cloud Cathedral, Albany, Melrose Area, Maple Lake, St. John’s Prep, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, St. Cloud Christian and New London-Spicer.
“Most every athlete from Rush City stood on the podium and was recognized by being a top six performer,” said Coach Mike Vaughan. “We had athletes running their best times of the year and in most cases having the best performances of their lives. Our boys finished very high at the meet. I was very pleased with the way many athletes finished off their season and in some cases their careers.
“The seniors competing at the section meet competed with class and heart and their presence will definitely be missed next year. Kayla Nelson was section champion, and we are looking forward to her state performance on Friday and Saturday. Max will be pole vaulting for the second time at state, and we are hoping that he will build upon his state performance last year and be standing at the podium on Friday,” added Vaughan.
Only the top two finishers in each event or any athlete meeting that event’s state standard qualifying time, height or distance qualify to advance to the State Championships.
Max Maher will be vaulting in the pole vault Class A State Championships at Hamline University in St. Paul at 3:30 p.m., and Kayla Nelson will be running in the 400m dash preliminaries at 4:57 p.m. Friday, June 8. If Nelson qualifies she will run in the 400m dash championship finals at 5:41p.m. Saturday, June 9.