You can call Milaca girls STATE champs!

A week ago you could call Milaca’s girls team Section 5A Track and Field champions.

Now, and for all time, you can call the Wolves girls 2013 Class A STATE Track and Field champions!

Milaca’s four-girl delegation racked up 42 points to tie Warroad for the Class A title at Hamline University in St. Paul. The two schools will go down as co-champions.

“I think everyone on the team feels an extreme sense of pride and accomplishment,” said co-head coach Jeremy Mikla. “We feel proud of how we represented our school and community.

“Knowing that so few from Milaca have had the opportunity to achieve what these girls, and their coaches, have accomplished makes it even more special. On a personal level I can’t think of a group that I would rather have my picture displayed with in the trophy case at the school.”

It was Milaca’s second state team championship. The 1982 girls golf team won Class AA state honors.

Milaca scored in five events. All the places were crucial.

Senior Kaija Crowe placed first in the 200-meter dash (12 points) Saturday, third in the high jump Friday (8 points), fourth in the 100-meter dash Saturday (6 points) and teamed with junior Sarah Forker and sophomores Allie Terpstra and Irina Danilyuk to notch fourth in the 4×200 relay (6 points) Saturday. Terpstra was second in the 100-meter hurdles (10 points) Saturday.

The pressure was on all four Milaca athletes, especially Crowe, who scored Milaca’s final 12 points in the 200 dash, one of the final events Saturday. Neither Milaca or Warroad had competitors in the events following the 200. Warroad senior Deidre Hahn, who had already won the high jump and long jump and placed third in 100 dash,   was lined up alongside Crowe in the 200. Those 200 meters would decide the team championship.

Crowe won the race in 25.38 seconds while Hahn, who scored all 42 Warroad points, placed second in 25.60.

Did Crowe know what was at stake in the 200?

“One of the runners on the relay team mentioned it to me, but I had totally forgotten by the time I was at the starting line,” said Crowe. “I really wasn’t aware of the team scores until Deidre and I were coming down from the podium and an official pulled us over and told us to get our team and coaches together because we had tied for the team title.

“Winning an individual event and winning the team title with a great bunch of teammates and coaches felt great. It was great to see all our hard work pay off.”

“Kaija has been our superstar the last three years and she didn’t disappoint at state,” said Mikla.

Crowe went 5-feet, 5-inches to place third in the high jump. Hahn was first at 5-6 and senior Emma Lange of Caledonia was second, also at 5-5. Lange cleared 5-5 in fewer jumps than Crowe.

Terpstra looked like a rocket as she placed second in the 100 hurdles in 15.54 seconds, a new Milaca record. Staples-Motley junior Jaelin Beachy, the defending champion, was first in 15.12.

“I knew how important it was for me to do well,” said Terpstra. “I was hoping I wouldn’t hit a hurdle.”

Terpstra was seeded ninth in the event heading into the state meet and seventh after Friday’s prelims.

“I felt good and gave it my best,” she said.

Crowe’s time in the 100 dash was 12.77. She had set a Milaca record of 12.65 in the prelims.

Junior Vanessa Lane of Pequot Lakes won the 100 in 12.53. Sophomore Haley Jensen of Martin County West was second in 12.65 and Hahn was third in 12.75.

Milaca’s 4×200 relay posted a time of 1:45.85. Chatfield was first in 1:44.79.

Blake School finished a close third with 41 points.

A welcome home celebration was held for the team Sunday at the high school cafeteria.

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