Wolfpack girls finish seventh in EaganThe big meet last week for the Wolfpack girls track team was supposed to be the 12-team Invitational at Park High School on Thursday.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
The big meet last week for the Wolfpack girls track team was supposed to be the 12-team Invitational at Park High School on Thursday.
However, because of the winter-like conditions last week the meet was canceled, to the disappointment of Wolfpack girls head coach Matt Maher.
“It’s a big one for us,” Maher said. “It’s where we make our mark and show people what Park is and what kind of meets we run. But, do you want kids out in the rain and the cold?”
The meet won’t be rescheduled because of a full schedule for the remainder of spring.
“We had teams coming in from Mankato and north of the cities and didn’t want have them drive an hour in and then cancel when they get here” Maher said. “We invited them all back, so hopefully we can expand to 18 teams next year. That’d be nice.”
However, prior to the rain and snow the Wolfpack took advantage of warmer temperatures and even a little sunshine at the Wildcat Invitational at Eagan High School on Tuesday.
At the meet, the Wolfpack finished seventh out of 11 teams.
Apple Valley finished first with 142 points. Suburban East Conference cohort Woodbury was second with 95 points, while SEC foes Forest Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall finished behind Park, in eighth and ninth, respectively.
“We held our own. They did all right, I was pretty impressed with some of the performances,” Maher said. “We were still adjusting some of our lineup. We’ll start solidifying our relays this week.”
The strength for the Wolfpack at the Eagan meet was the team’s field events.
Park’s Kelsey Joson won the triple jump and finished third in the long jump at the meet. Joson sprang to a 36-05.75 in the triple jump and a 16-03.25 in the long jump.
“Kelsey finally got a long jump in,” Maher said. “She’s one heck of a triple jumper, but we’ve been battling with the long jump and she popped off a good one. That was good to see from her.”
In the shot put, Jackie Voigt was second, with a toss of 36-05.0 and Ashley Wilson finished seventh, with a 33-02.50 throw. Voigt also earned eighth in the discus. In the pole vault, Meghan Horihan finished in a four-way tie for fifth place and Kelsey Gleich and Kayleigh Spears tied for ninth place.
“I think this year we changed it officially to field and track,” Maher said. “We’ve been joking around about that. Going back to last year and into this year our field events have been our strength, but our distance events are coming around.”
The track side of the track and field team had some fine performances as well in Eagan.
Nicole Westphal finished third in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:27.29, less than six seconds behind the winner, Taylor Berg of Eagan, who ran to a 2:21.79 time.
Westphal, along with Katie Borner, Gleich and Sarah Meemken also helped the 3200 meter relay team finish fourth.
Gleich, Joson, Kacey Kline and Josie Brinkman teamed up for a sixth-place finish in the 800-meter relay and in the 3200-meter run Larissa Lurken finished fourth.
“Katie Borner and Nicki Westphal are really pushing our distance people,” Maher said. “We’re trying to get our distance crew back again. It’s been a couple years since we’ve had a real deep, solid distance group. They’re getting there.”
The Wolfpack shifted its gaze toward Blaine High School, where the team competed on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to print. The Wolfpack will then host a JV meet at home on Thursday and then travel to Hamline University for the Hamline Relays on Saturday, May 3.
True Team sections will be the following week—Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 7, at Park.
“The spirits are still high,” Maher said. “The kids still have optimism. I know a lot of them are itching to get some good weather, because they know they can do really well.”