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BHS track and field: Jacks to compete at True Team Thursday

The Bemidji High track teams head south to Sauk Rapids today for the Section 8-3A True Team section meet.

Action begins at 3:30 with the opening field events with the 4 x 8 relays launching the running events at 3:45.

The 4 x 4 relays end the day at 9 p.m.

Nine team will again vie for the titles both won by Brainerd last year.

Among them are Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud Tech and Apollo, Willmar, Buffalo and Alexandria along with Brainerd and Bemidji.

Brainerd became only the second school to take both championships the same year. Moorhead did it three times in 1992, 94 and 2005.

Teams will enter three competitors in all individual events and one team in each of the four relays.

All entrants will count with individual events cored from 27 points for first down to one and relays from 36 for first to four in sequences of four.

In its 22 year history at the meet, Bemidji has long struggled in an event which is geared to total team effort rather than a few outstanding performances.

The champion is normally the team with the most points from its second and third finishers.

The Jacks normally hold their own with their top performers but drop off drastically after that level.

Last year the boys finished sixth and the girls seventh in nine-team fields.

This year both are hoping to move up in the ranks with more depth than normal and the capability of scoring well in a number of events.

The boys recorded 631 points and the girls 499 in 2008.

Brainerd's boys had 917 and its girls 936 to win.

Girls starters

Coach Chris Lehman will start Serena Glass, Olivia Hruby and Bronwyn Boyd in the 100, Jessy Bruns, Jenna Sagedahl and Ashley Long in the 200, Bruns, Sagedahl and Mackenzie Timms in the 400 and Bruns, Sara Heisler and Hana Felix in the 800.

The distance events find Bailey Drewes, Kim Truedson and Emily Lawrence in the 1600 and Drewes, Truedson and Sam Drewes in the 3200.

Abby Hendricks, Allie Verchota and Maren Erpelding run the high hurdles with Amanda Hunt supplanting Verchota in the intermediates.

In the relays, Glass, Long, Hruby and Tiffany Mason go in the 400, Timms, Hunt, Long and Glass in the 800, Hendricks, Hunt Sagedahl and Timms in the 1660 and Suzann Nordquist, Lawrence, Heisler and Bailey Drewes in the 3200.

The field events list Hunt, Long and Mason in the high jump, Erpelding, Hruby and Glass in the long jump and Bruns, Sagedahl and Kirsten Sharpe in the triple jump.

The pole vaulters are Mason, Laura Rogers and Morgan Krause with Selina Gilbertson, Kirsten Sharpe and Annie Swartz in the discus and Gilbertson, Mason and Swartz in the shot.

Boys starters

Coach Ryan Aylesworth goes with Travis Greenwaldt, Gentri Jordan and Grant Mitchell in the 100, Greenwaldt, Nate McGriff and Mitchell in the 200, McGriff, Pete Humeniuk and Kristian Saugbjerg in the 400 and Zac Oelrich, Alex Schoneberger and John Buckanaga in the 800.

Its distance crew shows Erik Truedson, Oelrich and Schoneberger in the 1600 and Truedson, Dan Clemenson and Matt Lee in the 3200.

The hurdlers are Jake Robinson Keegan Hilmer and Jake Peterson in both the highs and intermediates.

In the relays, Jordan Dahl, Luke Bruns, Eric Hernesman and Eric Johannsen go in the 4 x 1, McGriff or Mitchell with Hernesman, Greenwaldt and Jordan or Hernesman in the 4 x 2, Schoneberger, Saugbjerg, Humeniuk and McGriff, Buckanaga or Jordan in the 4 x 4 and Lee, Chris Bowman, Buckanaga and Saugbjerg in the 4 x 8.

In the field, Joe Kingery, Jordan and Derek Davis will high jump, McGriff, Lee and Dahl will long jump and Kingery, Christian Graefe and Kevin Nelson will triple jump.

The pole vaulters are Bruns, Robinson and Dylan Jones with Greenwaldt, Andrew Cable and Wes Mason in the shot and Kingery, Mason and Cable in the discus.

Meet history

The True Team was created by the High School Track Coaches Association in 1987 to reward full teams rather than the individual heroics of two or three performers that frequently determined section and state meet titles under the MSHSL format.

It came shortly after Crookston Cathedral won a state title with only one entrant who won three events and placed high in a fourth.

One of the leaders in the move was BHS track coach Dick Phelps.

Bemidji had early success when it competed in Class 2A but has had far less since being elevated to 3A in1992.

Before that, the boys had won three section titles and the girls one with the girls adding the state title in1988.

The boys were second in the state that year after taking fourth in the previous two years.

While the MSTCA has long sought to have the meet sponsored by the High School League, as yet that has not happened.

Bemidji was not allowed to enter the first meet but has been a regular every year since.

While the lack of depth has hurt Bemidji teams badly the past few years, both seem capable of making a more serious challenge this spring to gain the top five.

The meet will also give both coaches a chance to evaluate the younger performers and prepare the team for the Section 8-3A meet later this month.

Moorhead has dominated the meet, winning nine titles in both boys and girls divisions.

Alexandria is second in the boys division with four crowns. Bemidji has three and Brainerd two.

Grand Rapids, no longer in the section, has four girls crowns and St. Cloud Tech and Brainerd two.