Making strides

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Mankato East brought the best group of sprinters in the Big Nine, and Rochester Century had some of the top throwers.

It left the Albert Lea Tigers and Faribault Falcons to fight for third.

The young Tigers had some bright spots but finished last in a four-team track and field meet at Hammer Field Tuesday.

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East won with 125 points. Century had 76, Faribault 51, Albert Lea 30.

&uot;This was our most aggressive effort off and on the track this year,&uot; said Tigers head coach Lon Nelson. &uot;We just really did well. The points don’t indicate it, but we were ready for the home meet.&uot;

It was the lone home meet of the year for the Tigers, who won’t compete again until the Big Nine meet May 24 at Century.

Tyler Young and Ben Woodside had the Tigers’ top performances Tuesday.

Young was second in the discus with a personal-best 148 feet, 4 inches, while Woodside was second in the high jump at 5-8. Woodside was third in the 100-meter dash in 12.03 seconds.

Woodside, Jake Abrego, Jason Kuipers and Josh More combined for third in the 4×100 relay in 47.7. Joe Squires, Chris Jackson, Cory Kuipers and Michael Carr were third in the 4×200 in a season-best 1:40. Andrew Stapleton was third in the triple jump at 37-2.

Squires ran the 200 for the first time this year and finished fourth in 23.9, an Albert Lea season best.

Other Albert Lea places: Nate Lombardi, fourth, 100, 12.04; Sean Harms, fourth, 1600, 4:59; Matt Olson, fourth, 800, 2:13; Nick Garcia, fifth, 110 hurdles, 17.8; Lionel Thomas, fifth, 300 hurdles, 46.8.

&uot;I think the guys are really coming into their own now,&uot; said Nelson. &uot;The weight lifting and intervals are giving us better times and performances all the way through the lineup.&uot;