Photos from Chengwatana and Tigerama by Brad O’Neil. Right-click for full-sized image.
The Rush City track and field teams hosted the annual Tigerama Invitational on May 2: The girls (100 points) and the boys (87) both finished third in their respective competitions.
Sophomore Elena Herberg got the meet off to an interesting start in the first race of the day, the 4×800 relay. The boys and girls races were run at the same time, allowing Herberg to show her middle distance strength on the leadoff leg. Herberg ran ahead of the boy from Hinckley-Finlayson the entire way, and went on to surprise the boys from Aitkin and Pine City by passing them on the backstretch of the second lap.
“I liked running first because I got the competition (with the boys),” Herberg said. “I knew those guys were going to run around 2:20, so it was nice to have someone to pace off of.”
When the time came for the first exchange, several boys teams found themselves trailing the Rush City girls. The remaining runners, Sydney Fulcher, Madylyn Hilton and Jaiden Metz, saw off the rest of the girls teams to win the race in 11:11.
“I really love the 4×8, I like having the baton in my hand and feeling like I’m doing something for a team,” Herberg said.
Herberg also won the 800 (2:29.63). Having picked up victories in the 1600 at prior meets, she will have options for the championship season.
“It’ll mostly be up to the coaches, trying to figure out what’s going to get us to state,” Herberg said.
Herberg led off the 4×400, which finished a close second (4:29.17), just 0.07 behind Pine City. Fulcher, Jamie Guptill and Josephine Jager made up the rest of the quartet.
Guptill picked up another second-place finish in the triple jump (31 feet, 6 inches). Fulcher placed second in the 300 hurdles (52.34). The 4×100 team of eighth-graders Joelle Leigland, Taylor Anderson, Ashley Lindberger and Ellie Mae White also finished second (54.66).
“Our 4×100 girls are learning the relay, the chemistry is really coming together,” head coach Mike Vaughan said.
Jager placed third in the 400 (1:04.55) and long jump (14-2.5). Lindberger picked up a bronze medal in the 100 hurdles (18.19). Guptill was third in the discus throw (83-11) and fourth in the shot put (29-9.5). White finished fourth in the long jump (14-2) and fifth in the high jump (4-7).
Other scoring finishes were earned by Olivia Anderson in the discus (fourth, 81-5), Leigland in the 100 (fifth, 14.00) and pole vault (fifth, 6-1), Metz in the 3200 (fifth, 14:19), Anderson in the 100 hurdles (19.79) and the 4×200 relay (Amanda Palmer, Stephanie Braund, Sami Smith, Leigland, fifth, 2:16.22).
Senior Dylan Groshens was Rush City’s star in the boys meet – the defending Great River Conference champion racked up wins in the 110 hurdles (15.94) and 300 hurdles (41.56) and also anchored the 4×400 team to a second-place finish (3:53.53, with Chad Fleischhacker, Ashton Langworthy and Noah Griser).
Asked about his goals for the rest of the season, Groshens said, “Make it to state, that would be nice.” He figures that, of the two hurdles races, the 300 will offer his best chance to make state.
The hurdles were a source of many points for the Tiger boys. Langworthy finished second in the 110 (18.22), while Fleishhacker placed fourth (19.28) and later finished second in the 300 (45.80). Mitchell Mell picked up a sixth-place point in the 300 (51.62).
Mell, Griser, Tim Thole and Braiden Hora combined to place third in the 4×200 relay (1:49.34). Matt Papke finished third in the 3200 (11:30.20) and fifth in the 1600 (5:23.82). The 4×800 team (Brodrick Larson, Jaiden Koecher, Luke Widenstrom, Thole) finished third (9:52).
Tucker Leigland was third in the pole vault (8-7). Fleischhacker took third in the high jump (5-0). Griser finished fourth in the 400 (58.41).
Cody McFee finished fifth in the 100 (12.31), as did Langworthy in the triple jump (36-2).
The Tigers took on their True Team section meet on May 9 after press time. The conference, subsection and section championship meets are right around the corner.
“We’re getting into the championship section of our season, and things are coming together. We’re settling into our events and the kids are progressing,” Vaughan said.