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Bemidji HS track and field: Jacks state participation grows with more qualifiers

Bemidji's participation at the state track and field meet next weekend in Blaine grew Saturday as Allie Heifort, Alex Shoneberger and the boys 4x800 relay team captured event titles and Ryan Rude finished second at the Section 8AAA meet in Brainerd.

Those athletes will head to Blaine along with Selina Gilbertson who captured the girls discus on Wednesday. The top two finishers in the individual events advanced to the state meet along with only the winning relay teams.

Heifort earned her state berth by winning the shot with a personal record throw of 36-6.75.

Schoneberg was the top seed in the 800 after Wednesday's preliminaries and he maintained that status with a time of 2:02.76 Saturday. In Wednesday's preliminaries he ran 1:56.45 but Saturday's pace was much slower and Schoneberger maintained a comfortable lead from start to finish.

Rude finished 13th in the long jump on Wednesday but he fared much better in Saturday's triple jump, placing second in the event with a distance of 42-1. His previous personal best was 41-9.5.

Manning the boys 4x800 relay were Matt Lee, Jacob Urban, John Buckanaga and Schoneberger and the foursome blew away the competition.

"The 800 relay team went into the race with the idea that no one was going to stop them," said BHS coach Steve Sneide. "They were not going to be denied and they made sure of that by bettering their personal record by 17 seconds and winning the race by more than 10 seconds."

As a team Bemidji's boys finished fifth of 15 teams with 46 points.

"I was elated with how we performed," Sneide said. "The guys stepped up and executed. They lived up to all of their expectations. They all performed like they knew they could and made things happen today."

Equally pleased with the day's events was Bemidji girls coach Chris Lehman.

"It was a wonderful day of competition," Lehman said. "The kids finished the year by running their best races. Everybody gave it their all and that is all a coach can ask for."

The Jacks placed eighth in the team standings with 39.5 points.

Lehman was especially excited about Heifort's performance.

"Allie, although she is only a freshman, was focused the entire day," the coach said. "All three of her throws were over 36 feet."

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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