The Section 1A track and field meet held Tuesday, May 28, and Thursday, May 30, gave area athletes a chance to qualify for the Class A state meet. In all, 14 area boys and girls left Cotter High School in Winona with the qualifications necessary to head to Hamline University next week.
The top two finishers in the finals automatically qualified for state while others finishing third or below would have to match or beat the state standard to gain entry to the season's final event.
Defending Class A high jump state champion Ethan Heitman took second in the event with a leap of 6 feet, 5 inches, and duplicated his result in the long jump taking second with a 21-8.25
Cole Peters of Zumbrota-Mazeppa won the 800-meter run in 1 minute, 59.12 seconds and took fourth in the high jump (6-3) hitting the standard on the nose.
Pine Island's Eric Wittlief cruised to a win in the 1,600 (4:31.37) and Will Warneke took second in the 300 hurdles (41.80). The Panthers' 4x800 relay team of Jacob Wright, Danny Langworthy, Connor Bailey and Mark Quintero took home a section title with a time of 8:16.90. Josh Navratil got Pine Island another title with a leap of 6-5 in the high jump while Jarod White placed second in the pole vault, clearing 13-3.
Pine Island won the team title with 125 points with Lake City coming in 14th with 25. Z-M's 16 points came in 16th, tied with Cannon Falls. Kenyon-Wanamingo placed 22nd with 3 points.
Z-M's Katrina Sortland won the 800 (2:21.23) and took third in the 1,600 (5:05.00) and 3,200 (11:05.03) behind the Ping sisters of Cotter.
Lake City's Jacey Majerus finished fourth in the 3,200 (11:23.04) beating the standard by 0.22 seconds. Ashley Veronen was Lake City's second qualifier with a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles (15.61) and a third-place showing in the 300 hurdles (46.59) which was a full second below standard. To make her weekend at state even busier, Veronen took second in the high jump (5-2).
Pine Island's Jaci Newman finished second in the long jump (17-1.75).
Stewartville won the team title with 88 points while Lake City came in fifth with 66. Z-M finished 10th with 46, followed by Pine Island in 12th with 36, Cannon Falls in 18th with 15.66 and Kenyon-Wanamingo in 20th with 11.
The state meet begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Hamline University in St. Paul. The meet continues at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.