SAUK RAPIDS - Bemidji head track girls coach Chris Lehman called it a "phenomenal" day. It's hard to argue with his assessment.
The Lumberjacks set three school records on the first day of the Section 8AA track and field meet Wednesday at Sauk Rapids Rice.
"It was just a great, great day," Lehman said. "Not only did we have three school records, girls improved on their times and distances in 17 of the 25 events.
"We just went out and competed. It was great."
The first day of the section meet mainly consisted of preliminary heats, but two Lumberjacks advanced to the state finals in field events. And both of those were school records.
Maea Wall won the long jump and Alli Heifort won the discus throw, both shattering school records to advance to next week's state track meet.
Wall's leap of 17 feet, 10.5 inches beat the previous school record by 6.75 inches. It was even more impressive when considering Wall ran the 400 meter dash just before that record-breaking time.
"She had some very, very nice jumps," Lehman said. "She had to jump right away after the 400, so she was still a little tired from that. It was nerve racking, but she exceeded expectations. It was great."
Wall also qualified for the finals of the 400 with a time of 59 seconds even - good enough for the second seed in the race. Megan Serratore will also move on to Saturday's finals in the 400, clocking in at 1:00.99 for a fourth-place time.
Wall wasn't the only Lumberjack athlete to face some adversity Wednesday.
Heifort set the school record in the discus throw, but not before scratching her first two throws.
"She was worried, but after her third throw automatically qualified her to state, I told her to go for the record," Lehman said. "She did that pretty easily."
Heifort's throw of 136-3 bested the previous school record of 130-3 and gave her first place in the section.
The other school record set Wednesday wasn't quite great enough to get to state, but it was plenty good. Kim Truedson ran the 3,200-meter run in 11 minutes, 10.74 seconds. It bested the school record by two seconds, but Truedson finished fifth in the race and missed out on the state tournament.
"It was a really great run for her," Lehman said. "It's too bad she missed state but I'm really proud of her."
In the shorter distance events, the top eight finishers in the preliminary heats qualified for the finals.
In addition to the 400 runners, the Lumberjacks' Jenna Truedson also moved on to the finals.
She finished third in the 800 with a time of 2:16.76.
The finals of the Section 8AA meet will move to Detroit Lakes on Saturday. Lehman thinks a few more kids have a shot to make state. The top two finishers in the finals qualify.
"All the kids that should have qualified today did," Lehman said. "The rest of them ran well. Now we'll go out and see how they do on Saturday."
Section 8AA Track Meet
At Sauk Rapids Rice
Top eight advance to finals
100: 1-Johnson (Alex) 12.06. Bemidji's top finisher: Beck 38- 14.49.
200: 1-Johnson (Alex) 24.83. Bemidji's top finisher: 24-Falldorf 28.85.
400: 1-Heinecke (DL) 57.87. Bemidji top finishers: 2-Wall 59:00, 4-M.Serratore 1:00.99.
800: 1-Zenner (FF) 2:12.73. Bemidji's top finisher: 3-J.Truedson2:16.76.
100 hurdles: 1-Biermaier (TRF) 15.00. Bemidji's top finisher: 11-Carey 16.54.
300 hurdles: 1-Biermaier (TRF) 44.91. Bemidji's top finisher: 13-Laakso 49.31.
Top two advance to state
3,200:1-Pipensberg (Alex) 10:24.57. 5-K.Truedson 11.10.74.
High jump: 1-Bowden (Alex) 5-2. Bemidji's top finisher: 10-Falldorf 4-10.
Long jump: 1-Wall (Bemidji) 17-10.5
Discus: 1-Heifort (Bemidji) 136-3.