DETROIT LAKES - Chris Lehman has been coaching girls track at Bemidji High School for 12 years and most springs he can count on a few athletes making it to the state meet.
This year, however, will be one that he will always remember.
"We are taking three girls in five different events plus our 4x400 relay to state," Lehman said. "This is the most we've ever had advance during my time with the program."
During Wednesday's first day of the Section 8-2A meet Bemidji's Maea Wall and Allie Heifort qualified for the state. Wall advanced in the long jump and Heifort in the discus.
Saturday at Detroit Lakes in the second day of the section competition, Heifort and Wall continued their success. Heifort placed second in the shot put with a heave of 38-11.25 while Wall was second in the 400 with a time of 59.32.
The top two individuals and top two relays earned trips Friday and Saturday to Hamline for the state meet so Wall and Heifort will be busy competing in two events.
Joining them at state will be Jenna Truedson who captured second place in Saturday's 1,600. Jamie Piepenberg of Alexandria dominated the event, winning with a time of 4:54.19. Truedson, however, was equally dominant in the chase for second place as her time of 5:08.43 was more than seven seconds ahead of her nearest pursuer.
Also advancing to the state meet will be the 4x400 relay unit of Amy Carey, Megan Serratore, Truedson and Wall. The foresome combined for a winning time of 3:59.21 and edged the runner-up squad from St. Cloud Tech by .20 seconds.
The group also shattered Bemidji's school record time of 4:02.03, a standard that was established in 1987.
"We had another great day," Lehman said. "During the two days at the section meet we had many personal bests, we set four school records and we finished third as a team.
"It was a wonderful section meet."
Bemidji's other top-10 section results Saturday included Truedson's third in the 800 (2:19.32), Serratore's fourth in the 400 (1:00.53), Amber Peterson's sixth in the pole vault (9-4) and the eighth-place finish of the 4x800 (10:35.96).
Section 8-2A Girls Meet
Alexandria 118, Sartell 79.50, Bemidji 74, Brainerd 65, Detroit Lakes 64.5, Monticello 48, Willmar 44, Fergus Falls 42, Moorhead 42, Little Falls 30, Rocori 28, St. Cloud Tech 23, Thief River Falls 20, St. Cloud Apollo 1, Becker 8, Sauk Rapids 4
4x800: 8-Bemidji (Gronhovd, Brokl, Dressen, Smith) 10:35.96
4x200: 14-Bemidji (Oakes, Chdwick, Falldorf, Henderickson) 1:52.79
1,600: 2-J.Truedson 5:08.43; 17-K.Truedson 5:36.13; 27-Olson 5:48.99
400: 2-Wall 59.32; 4-Serratore 1:00.53
800: 3-J.Truedson 2:19.32
4:400: 1-Bemidji (Carey, Serratore, J.Truedson, Wall) 3:59.21
Pole vault: 6-Peterson 9-4
Shot put: 2-Heifort 38-11.25