Four runners make Maple Lake history


Four junior boys from Maple Lake have made school history.
Jackson Willard, Andrew Schonnesen, Scott Jordan and Ryan Kalinowski not only shattered their own school record by about three seconds, but also became the first Irish relay team to place second or higher at the Minnesota State High School League Track and Field Championships.
Leading up to the event, the boys prepared diligently for the race, working all week on speed and pace. By the time Friday came around, they were warming up and staying loose, knowing the training was done.
On Saturday, as the rain stopped and the Class A meet began, the boys were warmed up and ready to run their race.
The first heat was run, with Crosby-Ironton winning. Those were the teams with the slower seed times. During the first heat, the boys did their final warm-ups and mental preparations for the meet.
When the gun went off, Willard ran the first leg for the Irish. He moved from second runner to first as suggested by coaches Ben Youngs and Craig Grams. He battled hard, running the first lap in a blistering 56.5 seconds, staying with Pine Island's sophomore star runner Michael Acker. When he handed off to Schonnesen, he was a few seconds out of first and ahead of the rest of the field. 
More information appears in this week's Messenger.