Owatonna Track Team Overcomes DQ to Win Section Championship
Nothing to do with ice cream, but a DQ could have been costly for the Owatonna High School boys track and field team. The Huskies overcame a disqualification in an early relay race to capture the Section 1AAA True Team championship at Lakeville South High School on May 10. OHS competes Friday, May 20 at Stillwater Area High School in the state meet.
In the 4x200 the Huskies' baton hand-off came outside the exchange zone, resulting in the DQ and costing the team up to 40 points as coach Kevin Stelter believes they had the chance to win or take second.
But he says "I tell you what, our guys came back and responded with best performances all the way around in the other events and that's what led to our success."
"That's pretty devasting when you take a zero [points] in an event that you probably could have won or at least placed second...But our guys rallied back." Owatonna's 4x200 relay had only been beaten once this season.
Owatonna had top-five performances in 11 events, four first-place finishes, and went first-second three times. [Those finishes are detailed below.]
TOP FIVE TEAM SCORES IN SECTION 1AAA BOYS TRACK (10 teams total)
- Owatonna 1,026
- Lakeville South 971.5
- Rochester Mayo 889
- Farmington 740.5
- Lakeville North 696
TOP FIVE PLACINGS FOR THE HUSKIES
- 110 hurdles: Carter Johnson 1st, Ryan Gregory 2nd
- discus throw: Eli Spurgeon 1st, Trever Schimer 2nd
- long jump: Justin Gleason 1st, Tanner Stendel 2nd
- triple jump: Gleason 1st
- 4x800 relay 2nd
- shot put: Spurgeon 2nd
- pole vault: Cole Piepho 4th, Aiden Charles 5th
- 300 hurdles: Gregory 4th
- 400: Keenan Larson 5th
- 800: Noah Kubicek 5th
- 4x400 4th
Stelter is optimistic for state, even knowing how strong the field of teams is, "We're probably not strong enough to beat a Wayzata or a Stillwater, but we feel that we can be in the hunt for third, fourth [or] fifth. So we feel real good about where we're at with that."
Field events begin at 3:10 pm on Friday, May 20 at Stillwater Area High School. Running starts at 4 pm. The Huskies host a meet on Thursday, May 19. Stelter says they will scale back some of their athletes in order to be ready for Friday.