The North Branch track and field teams made two trips west last week, racing in the Buffalo Invitational on May 2 and the Central Minnesota Mega Meet (Sauk Rapids) on May 6.
At Central Minnesota, the Vikings girls finished fourth of 11 with 76.5 points. The boys were 11th of 12 with 28.
Three Viking girls scored victories. Senior Rhianna Rinke won the 1600 (5:27.09). Senior Katie Burnside took the pole vault (10-6). Eighth-grader Paige Bauer was the only high jumper to clear 5-1.
Rinke also finished second in the 800 (2:28.16). Sophomore Savannah Hoard was the runner-up in the 200 (27.18).
Burnside, junior Keeley Ertl, Hoard and Rinke combined to place third in the 4×400 (4:18.32). The 4×200 team (Emily Kristo, Ertl, Hoard, Bauer) placed fourth in 1:53.34.
North Branch girls scored further points in the 1600 (senior Jillian Yerges, fifth, 5:33.40), high jump (junior Amanda Heinen, sixth, 4-8), pole vault (sophomore Ashley Robillard, fifth, 9-4; Bauer, seventh, 9-0) and triple jump (Ertl, fifth, 32-8.5; eighth-grader Khyah Harper, sixth, 32-5.5).
In the boys meet, junior Evan Amunrud and sophomore Jose Elzarraga Flor both cleared the top height (12-2) in the pole vault, along with Jared Pflipsen of Foley. On tiebreakers, Amunrud won the meet title and Elzarraga Flor was awarded second place., pushing Pflipsen to third.
Sophomore Rylen Nelson cleared 5-9 in the high jump to finish fourth. Junior Andrew Groen finished seventh in the 300 hurdles (45.66).
North Branch quartets took seventh in the 4×800 (Mason Carlson, Drew Van Eerden, Kyle Hendren, Micah Pick, 9:12.63) and eighth in the 4×400 (Nelson, Brady Strange, Cleveland Swan, Elzarraga Flor, 1:39.80).
At Buffalo, the girls placed sixth (62.23) and the boys placed seventh (22.33).
The Vikings attempted to qualify for the True Team state meet at the Grand Rapids sectional meet after press time.