ST. PAUL -- Jordan Mann proved to be one of the fastest girls in Minnesota on Friday.
The Bemidji High School senior ran a 12.20 100-meter dash at the Class AA state track and field prelims at Hamline University in St. Paul, and she’ll be back on the track Saturday, June 8, to race in her first-ever finals.
“Being a senior and being down here in the years prior, she had motivation this whole year to get down to state,” BHS girls coach Chris Lehman said of Mann, now a three-year state veteran. “That was one of her goals, to make finals. She’s made finals now, and we definitely think she can top a few girls.”
Mann placed third in the first of three heats, just 0.06 seconds shy of an automatic bid reserved for the top two finishers. But she secured her spot in the finals as one of the three next-best times, and she ranked fifth out of the nine qualifying prelim times.
Shaliciah Jones of North High School in St. Paul topped all qualifiers with an 11.77 mark, which was 0.28 seconds ahead of second-place Alexis Pratt of Stillwater.
For Mann, there’s still room for improvement, too.
“She just needs to be patient with her start and go through the drive phase. Today, she kind of stood up a little bit too early,” Lehman said. “She didn’t have the greatest of starts, but she recovered really nicely and ended up running a really good race.”
The 100m finals are set for 10:10 a.m. Saturday, where Mann will close her Lumberjack career -- hopefully in style, Lehman said.
“The goal was to make finals, and she made finals,” he said. “She’s had a great career for us, and we’re very excited for what she’s going to do tomorrow.”
The BHS boys team had a healthy representative of its own, though none advanced past the prelims. The 4x100 relay team of Gemini Ellis, Matt Arel, Will Falldorf and Ryan Bieberdorf highlighted the day by tying the school-record time of 43.73 for 13th place.
“They definitely performed how we were hoping today,” boys coach Steve Sneide said. “They had real clean handoffs. … They improved on their time, and that’s all you can ask for. The kids were happy that they tied the school record. They’re definitely happy with how they did.”
Jacob Kelly placed 16th in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.38, and Bieberdorf took 17th in the 200-meter dash at 23.04.
“Once you get down to state, there’s a lot of really quality teams and athletes down there,” Sneide said. “In general, we had a lot of young kids, and they performed as well as you could expect today. Hopefully we can get some of those kids back down next year and perform even better.”