Skip to main content

Ferrell, 800-meter relay team win silver at state meet

Lead Summary
, , ,
Jason Berghorst

The Luverne High School track teams qualified thirteen athletes to compete in twelve different events at the Minnesota State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul Friday and Saturday.
The Cardinals were led by second-place finishes from Gabrielle Ferrell in the 3,200-meter run and the girls’ 800-meter relay.
Luverne head coach Craig Nelson said that, considering the very tough competition found at the state meet, he is happy with the results from the weekend.
“Just competing at the state meet is a huge accomplishment,” Nelson said. “We always tell our kids to do their best, and I think they did that up at state this year.”
Girls place sixth overall
Luverne eighth-grader Gabrielle Ferrell set a new school record, the second she’s set this year, at just the right time.
Ferrell ran the 3,200-meter relay at a blistering 11:28 seconds to place second at the state meet.
Morgan Richter of the Breck School won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:18 seconds. 
Ferrell also set the Luverne school record in the 1,600-meter run earlier this season.
“To place second at state and set two school records in one season as only an eighth-grader is just amazing,” Nelson said.
The Cardinal girls’ 800-meter relay team also earned silver medals by placing second at the state meet.
The relay team, comprised of Sierra Schmuck, Naomi Dooyema, Kynzie Smedsrud, and Tayla Peterson, finished in 1:45.08.
The relay team from Osakis won the event with a time of 1:44.17.
The Luverne team’s time was two seconds faster than their previous best time from the Section 3A meet in Luverne one week before.
“That’s a huge improvement for a relay team from one week to the next,” Nelson said.
This year’s 800-meter relay time was also just five one-hundredths of a second away from the all-time school record, which was set by the state championship winning 2010 team at the state meet.
“Most of these girls were in seventh grade when they saw that 2010 relay win state,” Nelson said. “It was their goal to get there themselves.”
 Luverne’s Morgan Edwards finished a strong sixth place in the shot put in her second year at the state meet with a throw of 38-02 feet.
Edwards also qualified for and competed in the discus event at the state meet. Each of her three throws landed outside the foul lines.
“Morgan was a little nervous I think and didn’t have her best day for discus,” Nelson said. “But she worked through it and came back strong to do very well in the shot put.”
The Cardinals’ Courtney Siebenahler competed in her first state meet. She placed ninth overall in the triple jump with a jump of 34-08 feet.
“Courtney came within an inch or two of her all-time best,” Nelson said. “She showed exceptional composure at the state meet.”
Tayla Peterson competed in the 200-meter dash for the Cardinals. She placed 11th overall with a time of 26.85 seconds.
Overall, the Cardinal girls scored 25 points to place sixth as a team at the state meet.
“There are about 280 teams in Class A track, so for our girls to place sixth overall is pretty special,” Nelson said. 
Boys face tough competition
Athletes competing at the state track meet face the best of the best in every event.
Often that means results that aren’t what the athletes are used to. That was the case for the six Luverne boys competing at the state meet.
“Most kids that leave the state meet leave disappointed,” Nelson pointed out.
“You get real used to winning at the conference, sub-section and section meets and then you face the extremely tough competition at state and it doesn’t always turn out that way,” he said.
While none of the Luverne boys placed at the meet, there were still some impressive performances by Cardinal athletes.
Payton Stemper ran his personal best time of 2:01.26 in the 800-meter run.
“It was a very strong 800 field this year,” Nelson said. “Other years that time would have placed.”
Luverne’s 3,200-meter relay team ran a time close to their season best, 8:28.60, which was good enough for a 16th place finish at the state meet.
Relay team members included Payton Stemper, Drew Weis, JJ Dooyema, and Ethan Marshall.
Seniors Trenton Rops and Jackson Winter both faced some adversity while competing at the state meet.
Rops, who competed in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, placed 13th and 16th respectively in those races with times of 16.31 seconds and 47.60 seconds.
According to Nelson, Rops was leading in the 300 when he hit the fifth hurdle and fell hard to the track. He composed himself, got up, and finished the race.
“Trenton isn’t a kid that’s going to give up,” Nelson said. “He finished the race, but once you’re on the track in a race like that it’s very hard to overcome that.”
Winter was dealing with knee pain during the state meet while competing in the very competitive 100 and 200-meter dashes. He placed 14th in both races with times of 11.68 and 23.57 seconds respectively.

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.