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Five Gophers advance to state meet in track
By Joshua Hagan
, Bluff Country Newspaper Group
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 6:24 AM
Chatfield’s 4x200-meter relay team is on the podium for placing fourth, but advance to state on time. From left, are Maddie Talamantes, Ashley Baker, Autum Erickson and Maddy Kammer. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Jayme LaPlante throws the discus, in which he placed first in the section. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
The remaining Gopher track and field athletes participated in the section meet held on Tuesday and Thursday of last week in Winona. Of the 10 Gophers to compete in the meet, five will be advancing to the state meet on June 6 and 7.
Of the five athletes to advance, four came from the girls' team as the 4x200 meter relay team of Autum Erickson, Maddie Talamantes, Ashley Baker and Maddy Kammer advanced by breaking the state standard in the event. Their time of 1:46.35 was good enough for fourth place in a competitive field at the section meet. At the state meet, the 4x200 team, with Talamantes subbing for an injured Mariah Bell, will look to defend its state title from last year.
Erickson will also be moving on to the state meet as an individual in the 100-meter dash. She placed third in the event at the section meet, but her time of 12.84 seconds broke the state standard time, allowing her to advance.
Baker also competed in the 100-meter at the section meet, but her time of 13.16 seconds was just 0.24 seconds shy of breaking the standard. She also finished eighth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.54 seconds.
The defending state champion in the 400-meter dash, Maddy Kammer, fell just short of qualifying for the state meet as well. She finished third in the final heat of the 400 meter and missed the standard by 0.45 seconds with her time of 59.55 seconds. She also narrowly missed advancing in the 200-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 26.93 seconds, which was good enough for fourth place.
The lady Gophers had several other athletes compete in the section meet who also fell just short of reaching state. In the 3200-meter run, distance runner Karen Gomez-Ruiz earned a ninth place finish with a time of 12:27.78. Talamantes also competed in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing eighth with a time of 50.01 seconds. Finally, Mikaela Bray took ninth place in the pole vault, clearing the bar at a height of 8'2".
The Gopher boys' team had one athlete advance to the state meet, though he did so in two events. Thrower Jayme LaPlante won both the shot put and the discus at the section meet, breaking the state standard in each. He won the shot put with a throw of 54' 10 ½" and the discus with a throw measured at 171' 8". This marks the second consecutive year the senior has reached the state meet in both events. He finished eighth in the shot put last year and second in the discus.
Though LaPlante was the only Gopher boy to advance, Chatfield had some impressive performances from other athletes in the highly competitive section meet. Alex Haffner participated in the 110-meter hurdles, earning a seventh place finish with a time of 16.88 seconds. In the triple jump, Jarrett Oakley placed 11th with a leap measured at 36' 11". The Gophers also had a team compete in the 4x200 meter relay. The team, comprised of Haffner, Alex Swancutt, Kevin Bradt, and Alex Bradt, finished 10th in the 4x200 with a time of 1:38.96.
LaPlante, Erickson and the rest of the girls' 4x200 meter relay team will move on to the state meet held at Hamline University in St. Paul on Friday and Saturday. LaPlante will be the first to compete as the boys' shot put kicks off at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. Erickson will participate in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash on Friday at 3:54 pm. The 4x200 meter relay team will begin preliminaries at 4:15 p.m. on Friday as well. Final heats for the races will be held on Saturday. Also on Saturday, LaPlante will compete in the discus at 4:45 pm.
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