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Albert Lea track competes in Big Nine meet

The Albert Lea boys’ track and field teams traveled to Owatonna Thursday morning for the Big Nine Conference meet.

The Tigers finished the meet much improved over the last two years, totaling 74 points good for 11th place.

The top place winner for Albert Lea was junior Janyjor Ruei, who placed second in the triple jump with an attempt of 42’7.5”. His second-place finish earned him an All-Conference nod. He was also named All-Conference honorable mention with a fourth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles, coming in with a time of 16.15. Ruei also placed eighth in the high jump with a leap of 5’09”.

Junior Sonny Ortega-Roselli took sixth place in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:21.64 and junior Andrew Willner finished seventh in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:04.12.

According to head coach Kevin Gentz, the Tigers relay teams finished last in every race in the two years prior to 2019. This year they took two sixth-place finishes, a seventh-place finish and an eighth-place finish.

The 4×800-meter relay team of Ortega-Roselli, Willner, Aaron Bauers and Travis Jensen finished with a time of 8:34.23 in sixth place. Gay Nay Htoo, Dane Brownlow, Braden Kraft and JJ Mucha Owens took seventh in the 4×200-meter relay with a time of 1:37.45. The second sixth-place team was the 4×400-meter relay team of Kraft, Brownlow, Willner and Bauers with a time of 3:38.19.

The final relay team was Nay Htoo, Brownlow, Kraft and Mucha-Owens in the 4×100-meter relay. The squad came in eighth with a time of 46.72.

Kahn Mut and Mucha-Owens just missed out on scoring for the team as individuals. Mut placed eighth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.11, and Mucha-Owens placed 10th in the triple jump with an attempt of 38’5.75”.

“Fun night with lots of personal best performances,” Gentz said. “Proud of the team. They looked like they belonged on the Big Nine.”

The Tigers will compete again Thursday for their chance to move on to state at the Section 1AA meet at Lakeville South.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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