Brenda Erdahl Sports Editor
The Maple Lake boys and girls track teams earned top finishes at two home meets, recently.
The weather cooperated enough, Thursday, April 19 for the teams to enjoy their first outdoor meet of the season.
Maple Lake hosted the triangular between the Irish, Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity, and Dassel- Cokato.
“It was great to get outside and actually run a meet,” Irish Head Coach Ben Youngs said. “This is the latest we have ever had to wait. It is also the first time we have had to hold field events inside, and the melting snow created a puddle that covered lanes 1-3 near the starting line. It’s also the first time we’ve had snow on the ground for a meet. It’s safe to say that the athletes will always remember this one.”
Despite the less than ideal conditions, both the Irish girls and boys team came away with first place finishes.
The girls dominated the threeteam meet, winning 122 to D-C’s 59 and LP-HT’s 18.
Maple Lake dominated the distance races, winning the 400 and up. The home team also had six of the top eight 100-meter hurdlers. The top two, Brynn Paumen and Gracie Elsenpeter, had “phenomenal times considering it was the first outdoor race in cool weather,” Youngs said.
The Maple Lake girls showed their depth in winning three of the four relays. Field events yielded top two finishers in the pole vault, top three in the long jump, and top three in the shot put.
The boys team won 95 to DC’s 64 and LP-HT’s 39.
Nathan Paumen had a “great 100 time” for a first-year eighth grader, for third place. Henry Stecker won the 200 by over a second and the Irish won three distance races.
In the field events, Irish claimed top three spots in the high jump and the top spots in the long jump and pole vault.
On Monday, April 23, Maple Lake hosted seven teams at the Lion’s Invitational. The Irish girls won with 256 points and the boys team finished second with 165.5. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted finished second on the girl’s side with 194 points and earned the top spot in the boys meet with a 201.
Maple Lake girls dominated in the pole vault thanks to Gracie Elsenpeter’s first place finish, Bionca Peterson’s second and Elizabeth Borgert’s third. Maggie Larson won two events, the long jump and the triple jump.
Kaleigh Beehler was first in the discus; Anna Becker won the shot put; Paumen won the 100- meter hurdles; Elsenpeter won the 300-meter hurdles, and Pribyl won the 400-meter dash.
The Irish boys posted six first place finishes: Daryn Strub won both the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles; the Maple Lake 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800 teams all won their races and Jason Webb won the high jump.
The Irish will host another event on Thursday, April 26, starting at 4 p.m., and on Tuesday, May 1, the track and field teams will travel to Belgrade-Brooten- Elrosa High School for a 4 p.m. meet.
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