By Gary Larson
Mille Lacs County Times
Milaca’s girls track and field team placed seventh at the eight team Granite Ridge Conference Indoor Track and Field Meet Saturday at the Foley Fieldhouse.
But, the seventh-place tag was a little deceiving as Milaca finished just seven points behind third-place Mora. The Wolves followed their strong showing at the St. Cloud State University Husky Invitational March 24 with another strong effort Saturday.
“The conference meet was very close and a couple more improved performances could have moved us up to third place,” said Milaca Co-Coach Jeremy Mikla. “We had several great efforts and, overall, we had several personal bests.”
Zimmerman nudged out Princeton to win the first GRC indoor girls title. The Thunder scored 87.5 points while the Tigers scored 87.
Mora was third with 69 points, Little Falls was fourth with 67, St. Cloud Cathedral placed fifth with 66.5, Foley was sixth with 64, Milaca was seventh with 62 and Albany placed eighth with 36 points.
The Wolves boys placed eighth.
Little Falls won the boys title with 131.5 points, with Foley placing second with 100 and Mora finishing third with 83.5. Zimmerman and Albany tied for fourth place with 58.5 points each, Cathedral was sixth with 42, Princeton was seventh with 37 and Milaca totaled 33 points.
Junior Kaija Crowe led Milaca’s girls as she won the 200-meter dash in 27.86 seconds and the high jump at 5-feet, 2-inches.
Claire Gapinski of Foley was second in the 200 in 28.15 while Rachael Anderson of Mora was third in 28.62.
Alexis Good of Mora placed second in the high jump at 5-0 while Shelby Nelson of Cathedral was third at 4-10.
Crowe, ninth-grader Allie Terpstra, ninth-grader Irina Danilyuk and sophomore Sarah Forker teamed up to win the 4×200 meter relay in 1:53.43. Princeton was second in 1:54.58 and Foley was third in 1:59.17.
In other events:
•Terpstra placed second in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.84. Cassandra Ortberg of Zimmerman placed first in 9.03 and Leigh Bristow of Cathedral was third in 9.88.
•Ninth-grader Tara Airhart placed second in the pole vault at 9-0 while Forker was fourth at 8-0 and junior Clair Coffee placed fifth, also at 8-0.
Rachelle LeBlanc of Little Falls won the event at 10-0 and Alisha Stemper of Foley was third at 9-0.
•Forker placed seventh in the 55 dash in 8.10. Foley’s Gapinski was first in 7.73 and Jacqueline Dubois of Mora was second in 7.95.
•Crowe, Danilyuk, Forker and Terpstra teamed up to place fourth in the 4×400 relay in 4:32.98. Princeton won the event in 4:26.68.
Seniors Marty Stellmach and Bryan Hanenburg led Milaca’s boys.
Stellmach won the pole vault at 12-0. Luke Pennington of Little Falls placed second at 11-6.
Hanenburg scored in three events as he placed second in the triple jump (35-07), third in the 400 dash (57.07) and sixth in the high jump (5-6).
Travis Spillum of Little Falls won the triple jump at 38–01.75, Derek Toso of Little Falls won the 400 in 54.90 and Justin O’Bert of Mora won the high jump at 5-10.
In other events:
•Sophomore Jeson Erickson placed eighth in the 55 dash in 7.13. Tyler Beehler of Foley was first in 6.71.
Milaca is scheduled to move outdoors when it hosts Princeton, Zimmerman and Mora in a quadrangular Tuesday, April 10, at 4:15 p.m. The Wolves travel to the annual Pierz Invitational Friday, April 13, at 4:15 p.m.