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East Ridge track & field: Raptors send slate of athletes to state meet

East Ridge's 4X400 relay team grabbed second place at the Section 4AA meet. That team comprised junior Kiera Joiner, sophomore Kathleen Marcus, Amend and Goertzen. Staff photo by Mike Longaecker1 / 3
East Ridge senior Karina Joiner punched her card to state with a first-place finish in the girls 100-meter hurdles event. Staff photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 3
Raptors Nate Rose and August Ollrich placed first and second, respectively, in the boys 400-meter dash event. Both runners qualified for state. Staff photo by Mike Longaecker3 / 3

East Ridge High School will be well represented at the state Class AA track meet.

The fleet-footed East Ridge girls team took second place at the Section 4AA meet on Thursday, May 28 at Stillwater Area High School. Stillwater took first place in the 15-school field.

The Raptors' girls were bolstered by prime-time performances in six events - each of which sent contestants to the state meet.

East Ridge freshman Karina Joiner took first place in the 100 meter hurdles, with a time of 15.68.

The top two finishers in each event advanced to state, as well as anyone who beat "standard" times or distances.

Among those from East Ridge who qualified for state:

East Ridge's Brentley Goertzen, a sophomore, who finished second in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:19.05. Fellow sophomore Emily Betz crossed the line during the 3200 meter run at 11:04.07, good enough for second place.

The Raptors' 4X200-meter relay team, consisting of Joiner, senior Hannah Pignato, second Megan Amend and sophomore Raven Tittle, finished in second place with a time of 1:46.10.

The 4X400 relay team also grabbed second place at the meet. That team comprised junior Kiera Joiner, sophomore Kathleen Marcus, Amend and Goertzen.

East Ridge's 4X800 relay team (Olivia Hummel, 9, Bailey Ness, 11, Betz and Sandra Gramer, 11) also qualified for state with a second-place finish time of 9:30.36.

Boys competition

East Ridge both saw high-level output at the meet. The East Ridge boys finished in fifth place and advanced athletes to state in four events. The Stillwater boys took first place in the meet.

For the Raptors, senior Nate Roese left little to surprise.

The senior claimed first place in his signature race, the 400 meter dash, with a time of 49.02. Teammate August Ollrich, a junior, also qualified for state in the event, with a second-place time of 49.76.

Roese's third-place finish in the 200-meter dash was good enough for state, with a 22.35 time that eclipsed the standard qualifying time.

In the 4X400 relay, East Ridge (Allan Ndovu, 11, Bradley Simonson, 11, Ollrich and Roese) finished first ahead of Woodbury's second-place team of Oladipupo Lawal, Waterhouse, Abodunde and Lee.

East Ridge senior Allen Swenson bested all pole vaulters, with his first-place jump of 14 feet, 5 inches - a mark that topped the second-place finisher by six inches.

The Class AA state meet is June 7-8 at Hamline University in St. Paul.