A relatively young yet experienced team of Bluejacket girls track athletes started the season with a strong showing against conference rivals Monticello and Big Lake, along with a couple non-conference opponents at the Monticello Tootsie Pop Invitational on March 29.
The final score of the meet had Cambridge-Isanti in first place with 114 points, followed by Monticello at 94.5, Maple Lake at 58, Melrose Area at 34 and Big Lake at 24.5.
“The athletes and coaching staff are very excited about the performances in this first scored meet,” said head coach Michael Galligan. “We look to capitalize on this early success as motivation to work hard and continue to improve.”
The Bluejackets were paced by junior Char Morke and freshman Kaylee Clement, each of them taking scoring places in four events. Veteran returner Morke took first in the pole vault, matching her 11’6” state entrant/school record vault of last season. She also took second in the high jump, third in the triple jump and shared a first place with the 4x200 relay as the opening leg.
Making an immediate impact in her rookie debut, Clement sped to a first place in the 55m dash and second place in the 200m dash, grabbed second place in the long jump and also ran a leg of the first place 4x200 relay.
Other high-impact performances included junior Shelby Orr’s first-place 16’4” leap in the long jump, combined with her opening leg of the first-place 4x300 relay; sophomore AnnaGrace Nelson’s first-place high jump of 5’0” and 55 hurdle second place; sophomore Chloe Nelson’s double relay first places anchoring both the 4x200 and 4x300, along with a fourth place in the triple jump, and sophomore rookie runner Molly Hennen coming on strong to earn a spot in two varsity relays, also taking the double relay first places in the 4x200 and 4x300.
Additional places for the Bluejackets came from seniors Kelese Patton earning second in the shot put with a toss of 35’1.5”, and Marisa Coffman taking second in the pole vault. Junior Avari Johnson took fourth in the pole vault and fifth in the triple jump. Sophomores Ashley Lawrence took fifth in the 400m dash, and Hannah Cahoe sixth in the pole vault.
Freshmen Larissa Block took fourth in the 55m dash, third in the long jump; and Ashton Parnell had a first-place leg in the 4x300 relay. Seventh grader Kendl Izzo took fourth in the 800m run, and 7th grader Ada Schlenker took fourth in the long jump and fifth in the high jump. Izzo also placed third in the 4x600 relay, along with sophomore Jordan Merwin and freshmen Gabby Foley and Britt Erickson.
The team’s next meet will be Thursday, April 12, at 4 p.m. when they compete in the “Mora Bad Weather Indoor Invite” held at their new field house facility.