TRACK AND FIELD: Area track teams meet at BSU for Little Amik

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State was the spot to be for area high school track and field teams on Tuesday. The Bagley/Fosston boys (35 points) placed seventh, and the Northome/Kelliher-Blackduck girls (28) were ninth to headline the top area teams at the...

Monica Johnson, a freshman from Kelliher, competes in the shot put at the Little Amik on Tuesday at Bemidji State’s Gillett Wellness Center. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State was the spot to be for area high school track and field teams on Tuesday.

The Bagley/Fosston boys (35 points) placed seventh, and the Northome/Kelliher-Blackduck girls (28) were ninth to headline the top area teams at the Little Amik meet at the Gillett Wellness Center.

“Going to the meet at BSU, you usually have a lot bigger schools, so you never know quite what to expect,” NKB girls head coach Sarah Waldo said. “We’re such a small school that we usually don’t place real high. But I was very proud of all my girls and their achievements today.”

Elsewhere in the field, the Clearbrook-Gonvick girls (26 points) took 10th, while the C-G boys (27) were 11th. The Bagley/Fosston girls (19.5) finished 12th, as well.

For the Bulldogs, both Monica Johnson and Zoey Mills topped the podium. Johnson’s 36-foot throw in the shot put was good for first place in the event, while Mills won the 3,200-meter run in 12:48.58 and claimed second for the 1,600-meter run in 5:46.04.


“(Mills) had very excellent, strategic runs,” Waldo said. “I knew that (both) were capable of placing high, and I’m just very proud of those girls for how well they did today.”

On the boys side, Alex Fahey’s 57.56 time in the 400-meter dash was good for 10th to pace Northome/Kelliher-Blackduck finishers.

The meet also served as the season opener for NKB, which served as a good opportunity to shake off the rust from the offseason.

“This was our first meet of the year,” Waldo said. “My older girls, who have the experience, went out and performed as they should have. My young girls, who have never really even been on a track before, they exceeded my expectations.”

And the times compiled on the day can work as a starting block heading into the rest of the season.

“We look at this as kind of our baseline,” Waldo said. “We hope and expect that all athletes will continue to improve as the year goes on. (Today was) to create a baseline that we can improve on in every meet that we attend.”

For Bagley/Fosston, Roni Tirkkonen placed first in the boys’ 800-meter run with a 2:06.74 mark. Grant Hemberger (11:01.04 in the 3200) and William Snobl (55.52 in the 400) both earned second-place finishes, and the 4x800 relay team was third with a 9:22.18 time.

Kolten Schultz also earned a trio of points for the team score with his 5-06.00 high jump, good for sixth.


Emma Drellack led the girls team after a 4-08.00 mark in the high jump, putting her in a tie for second. Chloe McLean was fourth in the 200-meter dash at 28.68, and the 4x400 relay team came in fifth at 4:49.65.

Others contributed to the team score, as well, including Jenna Maecke in the 1,600 (6:04.55, seventh), Amelia Landsverk in the 800 (2:43.47, eighth) and Teegan Noel in the high jump (4-04.00, tied for ninth).

Hunter Ehlers led all Clearbrook-Gonvick finishers, taking first in the boys’ long jump (20-08.00) and third in the 60-meter dash (7.58). Josiah Hubbard added a pair of top-eight marks in the 60-meter hurdles (fourth, 9.53) and 400 (eighth, 57.23), while Levi Nelson came in fourth in the shot put at 42-09.00.

On the girls side for the Bears, Danae Stenzel (34-11.00) and Ella Engen (29-04.50) slotted second and seventh, respectively, in the shot put. Jackielynn Taflin was third in the 400 at 1:04.83, while Alexie Molden slotted into fifth in the high jump at 4-06.00.

Jenni Lavin clocked in at 2:39.89 in the 800 for sixth, matching the place of C-G’s 4x200 relay team with its 2:01.22 finish.

Thief River Falls won the event on the girls side with 85 points, while Park Rapids (54.5) and Frazee (53) rounded out the top three.

For the boys, Park Rapids was victorious with 81.5 points, while Pillager edged out Wadena-Deer Creek for second place with a 58-57 advantage.

Girls team results


1-Thief River Falls 85; 2-Park Rapids 54.5; 3-Frazee 53; 4-Pillager 48.5; 5-Pequot Lakes 48; 6-Wadena-Deer Creek 44; 7-International Falls 38; 8-Cromwell-Wright 29; 9-Northome/Kelliher-Blackduck 28; 10-Clearbrook-Gonvick 26; 11-United North Central 21; 12-Bagley/Fosston 19.5; 13-Pine River-Backus 18; 14-West Marshall Fusion 15.5; 15-New York Mills 15; 16-Lake of the Woods/Rainy River 14; 17-Staples-Motley 10; 18-BGMR/Freeze 9; 18-Roseau 9.

Boys team results

1-Park Rapids 81.5; 2-Pillager 58; 3-Wadena-Deer Creek 57; 4-Frazee 52; 5-International Falls 39.5; 6-Staples-Motley 39; 7-Bagley/Fosston 35; 8-Roseau 34; 9-Thief River Falls 32; 10-Cromwell-Wright 29; 11-Clearbrook-Gonvick 27; 12-United North Central 24; 13-Lake of the Woods/Rainy River 21; 14-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 18; 15-Pine River-Backus 15; 16-Pequot Lakes 12; 17-West Marshall Fusion 8; 18-New York Mills 2.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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