Albert Lea boys track sends athlete to state

Published 9:36 am Monday, June 2, 2008

Albert Lea sophomore Matt Tiegs moved on to state with a convincing win in the 400 meter dash Saturday at the Section 1AA meet in Lakeville.

Tiegs finished the race with a time of 50.97 only one-hundreth of a second slower than his qualifying time.

Tiegs was the only runner to finish in less than 51 seconds to earn a trip to state.

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“We’re thrilled,” said Albert Lea boys track head coach Lisa Deyak. “He was out and out the front runner in that race.”

The top two finishers in an individual event move on to state and the top relay team advances.

The Albert Lea 4×400 relay team nearly made a trip to state with a third place finish.

The team of Tiegs, freshman Joe Daniels, junior Jordan Smerud and senior Richie Needham turned in a time of 3:29.73 to finish just over four tenths of a second behind the second place team from Winona. Austin won the event by more than two seconds.

“It was a great race, they ran a season best time,” Deyak said.

Junior Ethan Marquardt had a fourth place finish in the 1,600 race with a time of 4:38.68.

The meet served as another example of success for a team on the rise.

“It’s special for us as a team because we’re starting to see the fruits of our efforts,” Deyak said. “We’re knocking on the door.”

After scoring just four points at the section meet last year, the Tigers improved that mark to 37.

Tiegs will begin the entire process all over again as he will try to qualify for the finals in the 400 at state Friday.

“He’s happy,” Deyak said. “We have to get him through another round of prelims. He’s going to have to run another personal best.”