Steele, Crandell earn top finishes—
The North Branch boys track and field team traveled north to Hibbing last week for the True Team Section 7AA meet and came away in third place with 483 points. Cloquet took the title with 545 points, followed by Grand Rapids with 501.5 points.
The Vikings earned 103 of its points in the sprints, where sophomore Matthew Marrin placed third in the 100-meter dash (11.69) and the 200-meter dash (23.36). Junior Eli Chouinard took fifth place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.96, while junior Max Southbloom took ninth in the 200-meter dash in 24.29. In the 400-meter dash, senior Blake Herdina placed sixth (53.58) and sophomore Jacob Souther earned ninth in 54.84.
While North Branch didn’t place anyone in the top 10 in the mid- and long-distance events, junior Arik Steele made up points on the track in the hurdles. Steele captured first in both events with times of 15.27 (110-meter) and 41.56 (300-meter). Senior Riley Jacobson came in sixth place in the 300-meter hurdles in 45.17 and eighth place in the 110-meter hurdles (18.30).
The 4×200-meter relay team of Steele, Marrin, Chouinard and Southbloom rounded out the scoring on the track side with a second-place finish of 1:35.31. The foursome crossed the finish line just behind Hermantown, which had a winning time of 1:35.25.
In the field events, seniors Brandon Thauwald and Hector Rosales went six-seven in the high jump by clearing 5-8 and 5-6, respectively. Southbloom placed ninth in the long jump with a distance of 17-9.25 and 10th in the triple jump at 37-1.5.
Junior Kyle Crandell notched an individual True Team title by winning the pole vault at a height of 13-0. Crandell captured the top spot by a foot-and-a-half. Senior Connor Utchinski also had a strong showing in the event by taking third place at 11-0.
In the throws, junior Nick Helms placed sixth in the shot put with a mark of 39-10 and fifth in the discus at 134-7. Rosales posted a distance of 116-4 in the discus, good for seventh place in the 22-man field.
North Branch competed in a dual at Chisago Lakes on Tuesday and next travels to St. Francis for a 10 a.m. invitational on Saturday, May 17.