The East Ridge boys and girls track and field teams started their season indoors at the All-American Invitational at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls on March 29 — and the Raptors already appeared to be in mid-season form.
The East Ridge girls team won the 16-team meet, while the Raptors boys placed fifth.
Led by first-place finishes by Sandra Gramer and Brenley Goertzen, the East Ridge girls totaled 88 points to top second-place Anoka, which scored 73.50 points. The East Ridge boys scored 55 points. Farmington won the boys meet with 70 points.
Gramer, a senior, took first place in the 400-meter dash with a personal-best time of 60.86 seconds. Goertzen, a junior, placed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 23.0 seconds in the finals.
Gramer and Goertzen also teamed up with senior Kiera Joiner and junior Katie Marcus to win the 1600-meter relay in a time of 4 minutes, 9.87 seconds.
Other top results by the East Ridge girls included a second-place finish by sophomore Karina Joiner in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.82 seconds, a third-place finish by junior Raven Tittle in the 200-meter dash in a time of 27.43, a third-place finish by senior Bailey Ness in the 3200-meter run with a personal-best time of 11:24.57 and a fourth-place finish by junior Emily Betz in the 1600-meter run with a personal-best of 5:23.43.
Also, the East Ridge girls 800-meter relay team of Tittle, Karina Joiner, Jaden Vogelgesang and Bri Schmitt placed fourth in a time of 1:35.42.
In the field events, Vogelgesang, a senior, took third in the long jump with a personal-best of 16 feet, 1.5 inches and eighth grader Allyson Weiss took second place in the triple jump with a personal-best 34 feet, 11.5 inches.
“We had a great team effort placing girls in 11 out of the 16 events with a meet with 16 really good teams,” East Ridge co-head coach Lloyd Ness said. “The girls have been very dedicated and working very hard every day at practice. It’s great to see that their efforts are paying off already.”
In the boys meet, East Ridge’s 1600-meter relay team earned second place with a time of 3:37.53 in the finals. Individually, the Raptors’ Augie Ollrich and Allan Ndovu took third and fourth, respectively, in the 400-meter dash. The seniors had times of 51.85 and 53.33.
Sophomore Kjetil Cline won the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 1.50 inches in the finals. Cline also placed fourth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.75 seconds. Also, East Ridge senior Brad Bolton took fifth in the long jump with a mark of 20-03.0, junior Cory Kistow went over 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump to take eighth place and senior Ryan Schiferl placed ninth in the 1600-meter run in 4:52.69.
The East Ridge girls were scheduled for an invitational at Roseville High School on Tuesday, April 8, after the Bulletin went to print. Weather permitting, the Raptors boys are set to compete in the Suburban East Conference Relays at White Bear Lake High School on Thursday.