Rush City is sending two individuals to the State Track and Field Championships after they qualified by finishing within the top two places at the Section 5A tournament at St. John’s University last week.
It was a successful tournament for freshman Demario Peterkin who took the championship in the 400m dash with the time of 50.83. Peterkin was also champion runner-up in the 100m dash with a time of 11.10 (.34 faster than state qualifying), as well as the 200m dash coming in at 22.87.
Senior Max Maher qualified in the pole vault by taking champion with a jump of 12 feet, 6 inches, which took place inside the field house due to rain.
“Most of our boys had their top performances for the year,” said coach Mike Vaughan. “Three out of four senior boys were competing for the last time. Garret Pearson threw very well in the shot put going beyond his best in the shot. Jesse Rasmussen competed in the long jump, and Matt Mallinger ran a strong 100 meter.
“The only senior that qualified was Max Maher in the pole vault for the third time. Our 4-by-800 relay team, made up of Garrett Larson, Kyle Nelson, Kevin Nelson and Brandon Sykes, ran their best time of the year, but ended up seventh. All the members of that relay will be returning next year.
“Demario Peterkin, after some shaky prelim performances, ended up qualifying for State in the three sprints, 100, 200 and 400m dashes. The boys had a very successful season losing only two meets, one to the second place team at True Team State, Maple Lake and Foley, the Section champions. I was very proud of how the season shaped up for the boys,” Vaughan explained.
No Rush City girls track and field members qualified for the State competition.
“We only had three girls performing at the section meet,” said Vaughan. “Keanna Belau in 100 and 200 meter, Courtney Arvidson in the long jump and Alecia Meier in the triple jump. Keanna performed very well in the 200 meter to finish third place, one place away from State. Courtney and Alecia, both seniors, had very strong performances, but fell short of placing and qualifying. Courtney and Alecia have been in track for six years, and their presence will be definitely missed next year.
“Despite the lower numbers of girls on the varsity, our girls competed quite strongly. I was proud of the effort the girls put forth and will be looking forward to coaching them again next year,” he added.
The State Track and Field Championships take place Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 at Hamline University in St. Paul. Maher is scheduled to compete in the pole vault at 3:30 p.m., while Peterkin is scheduled to run in the state preliminaries of the 100m dash at 3:59 p.m., the 400m dash at 5:07 p.m. and the 200m dash at 6:02 p.m. Friday. The finals for the 100m dash are scheduled for 4:40 p.m., the 400m dash at 5:46 p.m. and the 200m dash at 6:35 p.m. Saturday.