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After a tough opening day at state, Jacks track team looking to Saturday

Bemidji's Alex Shoneberger races during the 800-meter run preliminaries Friday at the State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. Forum Communications Co.?Photo/Megan Jensen

The Bemidji track and field athletes failed to qualify for their event finals during Friday's state meet.

The Lumberjacks will hope for better results today when Allie Heifort competes in the shot put at 9 a.m. and the boys 4x800 relay team hits the track at 9:13 a.m. The relay team features Matt Lee, Jake Urban, John Buckanaga and Alex Schoneberger.

At Friday's boys meet Schoneberger finished the 800 in 1:58.56 and failed to qualify for today's final.

"With 300 meters left it looked like Alex's arms and legs became tight and he couldn't stay with the pack," said BHS coach Steve Sneide.

Schoneberger finished seventh in his heat and 14th overall. Placing ninth and gaining the last spot in today's final was Justin Weigel of Forest Lake who was timed in 1:56.89. Sam Miner of Winona was the clear-cut winner of Friday's preliminaries as he hit the finish line in 1:54.13. Jesse Fenstermacher will own the second seed today after finishing in 1:56.06 Friday.

"Alex looked frustrated but I know he'll be hungry for the 4x800 relay today," Sneide added.

Ryan Rude also saw action Friday in the triple jump and his best effort was 41-6.25, a distance about six inches shy of his runner-up Section 8AA jump.

Rude placed 13th overall and did not qualify for the triple jump final.

"Ryan's jump was seven inches short of his personal record but being at the state meet was great experience for him," Sneide said. "He was able to see and compete against the best in the state."

Among the best in the state was Michael Sandle of Eden Prairie who dominated the event with a winning distance of 49-5.5. The jump not only won the competition, it established a new state record, eclipsing the 49-0 jump accomplished by Pat Akpaette of Richfield in 2001.

In the girls division Selina Gilbertson threw the discus 104-3, well short of the 122-11 distance that earned the senior the Section 8AA title last week.

Gilbertson did not qualify for Friday's discus final as she placed 16th.

Maggie Ewen of St. Francis captured the state title with a throw of 159-4. Kim Hovey of Red Wing was second at 152-1.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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