ST. MICHAEL -- The Bemidji High School track and field teams represented the Northland well on Saturday, producing three top-five finishes at the Class AA state meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Behind top-10 marks in all seven of the Lumberjacks’ events, the boys also tied for 14th and the girls 22nd on the team leaderboards.
“The coolest thing today was that every one of our athletes who competed medaled,” boys head coach Steve Sneide said. “We’re just real proud of all the guys. They’re all really happy they medaled. And we get to go home and finish our season on a high note.”
The boys’ 4x800 relay team of Brooks Matetich, Paul Louvar, Isaak McDonald, and Nick Youso finished second in the state with a time of 7:56.38. Andover ran away with the state title on the third leg, ultimately winning in 7:54.58, but second place is the best finish for any BHS representative since the 4x800 relay team won state in 2017.
“It was a great race by them today. They all ran their personal bests,” Sneide said. “They PR’d by six seconds, so that’s really all you can ask out of them. … They were in the hunt. That was the best part.”
On the girls side, Lauren Berg broke the school’s 300-meter hurdles record for the third time in 11 days. She clocked a finish of 44.76, shattering her own previous best to place fourth overall and better her own standard by 0.76 seconds. The old program record, which Berg beat out by 1.20 seconds on Saturday, had stood for 26 years until June 9.
“She had a great year. Each race this year, she’s improved,” Bemidji girls coach Chris Lehman said. “I’m just very proud of her, the way she’s raced all year and improved in the hurdles. … It’s fun to get a hurdler to break (the school record) since there have been many who have been close.”
Jacob Kelly also posted a top-five finish for the BHS boys, coming in fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.95. He was 0.01 shy of a top-three mark.
“The biggest thing is that he’s been struggling with a bad ankle for the past month,” Sneide said. “The fact that he was able to gut out a race like he did, it just shows you how strong and tough of a kid he is.”
Elsewhere throughout the boys meet, Cole Matetich came in sixth in the high jump after clearing 6-foot-2. He got over the bar at 6-0 and 6-2 with ease, both on the first try, before bowing out at 6-3.
Youso also placed 10th in the 800-meter run at 1:58.83 to round out the boys’ results.
For the girls, Mady Schmidt came within 0.05 seconds of the school record in the 100-meter hurdles. Nevertheless, her 14.74 finish was good for sixth in the state.
“(Mady) wanted to break the school record, too, and she was just off of that. That’s something to shoot for next year,” Lehman said. “Very, very close race in the hurdles. I’m very proud of what she’s done this year, too, just really progressed nicely and did well.”
The 4x400 relay team featuring Josie Aitken, Mary Beth Mathews, Regan DeWitt and Berg also tacked on a team point with a ninth-place finish of 4:04.15, which was four hundredths of a second shy of winning their heat.
“All of them ran their personal-best splits,” Lehman said. “They improved by two seconds off their best time this year. They all ran really well and got out very fast and ran very fast. I’m very proud of all four of them.”
Rosemount swept the Class AA team titles for both boys and girls. The boys registered 55 points to edge out Hopkins’ 49, while the Rosemount girls tallied 86 to beat the rest of the field by 21 points.
Boys Team Results (Top 10)
1-Rosemount 55; 2-Hopkins 49; 3-Farmington 34; 4-Mounds View 33; 5-Prior Lake 32; T6-Waseca 29; T6-Monticello 29; T6-Lakeville North 29; T9-Anoka 28; T9-Moorhead 28; T14-Bemidji 20.
Girls Team Results (Top 10)
1-Rosemount 86; 2-St. Michael-Albertville 65; T3-Minnetonka 56; T3-Edina 56; 5-Stillwater 48; 6-Eden Prairie 43; 7-Wayzata 41; 8-Prior Lake 38; 9-Park Center 36; 10-Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village 24.5; T22-Bemidji 11.