ALHS boys prevail at NR

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 14, 2004

NEW RICHLAND &045; The last time the Albert Lea High School boys’ track and field team took home a trophy? Don’t ask head coach Lon Nelson. It was well before he took over the program three years ago.

The Tigers picked up a long-awaited victory and their first under Nelson, winning the NRHEG Invitational at New Richland Tuesday.

&uot;We just came off a week of school vacation, and some of the boys were out of state, so I wasn’t sure how they’d perform,&uot; said Nelson. &uot;The team was second here last year and it was one of our early-season goals to look good tonight.&uot;

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The Tigers won with 164 points, well ahead of second-place St. Clair’s 125. Following were NRHEG with 106, Medford 54, Maple River 50, JWP 27 and Minnesota Academy for the Deaf 12.

Eight firsts were taken by Albert Lea, two by Taylor Zimmerman in the 1600 and 3200 meters. The others: Lionel Thomas, 110 hurdles; Mike Veldman, shot put; Corey Berggren, 400; Sean Harms, 800; the 4×200 relay team of Andrew Irvine, Harms, Nate Lombardi and Cory Kuipers; and the 4×100 team of Irvine, Andrew Stapleton, Lombardi and Kuipers.

&uot;Veldman, Kuipers, Berggren and Harms were at their best tonight,&uot; said Nelson. &uot;Berggren was behind by about 10 meters in the 400 with 60 meters to go and he caught the leader for a great win.&uot;

Taking second were Wade Kolling, discus; Harms, high jump; Thomas, 300 hurdles; and the 4×100 crew of Jon Friday, Tom Steele, Levi Budd and Kuipers.

Third places: Veldman, discus; Berggren, 100; Kolling, shot put; Budd, 1600; Lombardi, 200; and Matt Morris, pole vault.

&uot;These guys are working hard and it shows,&uot; said Nelson. &uot;It’s exciting to think about the rest of the season because our times and distances are only going to get better.&uot;

The Tigers’ next meet is Tuesday, April 27 at Faribault.