Tigers qualify two runners for state track meet

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, May 28, 2009

Albert Lea senior Ethan Marquardt got what he’s been seeking since his sophomore year Thursday when he qualified for the state track and field meet.

Marquardt ran a determined race in the 3,200-meters and set a new personal best by 12 seconds with a time of 9 minutes, 32.68 seconds as he won the event at the Section 1AA track and field meet at Lakeville South High School.

Marquardt had just set a personal best at the Big Nine Conference meet less than a week earlier, but eyeing one of his final chances at the state meet he elevated to a new level.

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“Ethan was totally ready for this race today,” said Tigers head coach Lisa Deyak. “I think he knew going into that race today he had a chance to win it.”

Faribault’s Jason Coffin was the second place finisher and he finished four seconds behind Marquardt.

At the seventh lap of the race Coffin made a move to jump into the lead, but Marquardt slowly made his move during the final lap. On the last lap with Marquardt running third behind Coffin and Owatonna’s Jacob Bastyr, Marquardt showed his closing ability as he moved past Bastyr and on the final turn he chased down Coffin for the win.

“I think it was almost a good thing Coffin did it (making an early move) because it made Ethan make a move,” Deyak said.

Albert Lea eighth-grader Chrissy Monson will join Marquardt at the state meet in the 3,200 after she finished second to Waseca’s Hannah McRaith.

Monson, who also set a personal best in the 3,200 at the conference meet last Friday, cut two seconds off that time to turn in an 11:24.84.

McRaith, the defending section champ, ran a 11:13.69 and Monson finished nearly 10 seconds in front of Kayla Uphoff of Lakeville South.

Last season Monson placed fifth.

Three other Albert Lea runners advanced to the finals in their events.

Junior Matt Tiegs qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash with his time of 51.03. Tiegs, the defending section champion, has the third-best qualifying time for the finals.

Junior Trevor Rasmussen also qualified for the finals by winning his heat in the 800. Rasmussen ran a 2:01.25, which was three seconds faster than his seed tim. He had the fourth-best qualifying time in the event.

Junior Sarah Wenum made her way through to the finals in the 800-meters. She ran a 2:25.52 which put her as the ninth qualifier, but in a pack of runners separated by eight seconds from first to ninth.

The Tigers will conclude the meet Saturday with relays, sprint event finals, middle distance finals and field event finals.