The Viking girls track and field team is going to the Section True Team State Meet after taking the Section Championship last week.
The team racked up 416 points to place ahead of Hermantown (393), Chisago Lakes (382.5), Cloquet (377), Grand Rapids (363), Hibbing (278), Mora (256.5), Proctor (218.5) and Pine City (203.5).
Leading the way for the girls was Sherahlynn Linkert winning the 100m and 300m hurdles.
Rhianna Rinke ran her personal best (11:24.77) in the 3200 meter run to cross the finish line first.
Mikayla Johnson won the pole vault, placed fourth in the 100m dash and ran a leg in the 4×100 relay that came in third.
Katie Burnside placed second in the pole vault, while Madison Kunshier came in third in the 400m dash.
Gina Amundson and Kadie Mattson placed third and fourth, respectively, in the high jump.
The girls discus duo consisting of Crystal Snaza and Cathie Larson took second and fourth place.
Jessica Stendhl ran in her first varsity meet and took fourth place in the 100m hurdles and eighth in the 300m hurdles.
Cassie Kunshier finished fourth in the 200m dash and had a spot on the 4x200m and 4x100m relay teams.
The 4×200 meter relay team (Linkert, C. Kunshier, M. Kunshier, and Mattson) took second place and made the State Honor Roll with the time of 1:48.64.
“I am so proud of the girls taking first place at True Team,” said coach Norm Nagel. “The girls are looking forward to the State True Team Meet in Stillwater. We haven’t been there in years. It was nice to finally catch Grand Rapids and Chisago Lakes. The girls have been working really hard in practice. The younger athletes are really stepping up and giving our team some depth.
“That is what the True Team is all about. Everyone scores points for their efforts. One of the goals for the girls was to go to State True Team, and they accomplished it. I was really happy with the results of our second outdoor meet. We need to start preparing for conference next week and then sections and pray for nice weather,” he added.
The Vikings boys accumulated 380 points to place ahead of Cloquet (377), Hermantown (292.5), Proctor (272.5), Hibbing (214.5) and Pine City (167); and behind Grand Rapids (416.5), Chisago Lakes (391.5), Mora (385.5).
Arik Steele took first in both the 110m and 300m hurdles and was part of the third place 4x100m relay team.
Levi Kolke crossed the finish line first in the 400m dash, as well as took fourth in the 200m dash.
The 4×200 meter relay team consisting of Kolke, Matthew Marrin, Brandon Thauwald and Rance Ashley took first place and made the State Honor Roll with a time of 1:33.93.
Thauwald came in second in the high jump, while pole vaulter Connor Utschinski, jumped a personal best of 10’6”.
Triple jumpers, Jack Klun and Max Southbloom, took second and fifth respectively.
“The boys really surprised me at True Team,” said Nagel. “The boys were only 31 points behind first place winner Grand Rapids. We narrowed that gap quite a bit from last year. We are getting some nice depth from the underclassmen and some nice results from our upperclassmen. This was also the second outdoor meet of the season.
“We need to get more consistent in our field events. I see a lot of improvement we can make only of the weather will allow us. I’m really excited to see the boys at conference this year because I believe we will have quite a few All-Conference and All-Conference Honorable Mention this year compared to only two last year,” Nagel explained.
Only the first place team in each Section True Team Meet (no individuals) qualify for the State True Team Meet. The North Branch girls track and field team will compete at the State True Team Meet in Stillwater at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18.