Boys and girls track and field
The Vikings faced some tough competition in two meets last week while competing in the St. Michael-Albertville Invite on Tuesday, April 23, and the Bluejacket True Team Meet on Thursday.
At STMA, the boys placed fourth out of six teams, while the girls placed sixth. Both teams had one athlete take home first place in the meet. For the girls, Paige Bauer won the pole vault by clearing 10 feet, 6 inches. Matthew Stuber took first in the 1600 for the boys with a time of 4:40.54.
Debra Thayer (discus) and Abby Schulte (shot put) added second-place finishes for the girls, while the next-best finishes for the boys was third place by Rylen Nelson in the high jump, Stuber in the 800, Alex Puckett in the 400 and Joseph Nihart in the 3200.
At the 10-team Bluejacket True Team, the Vikings were shut out of earning gold, with the girls 4x200 taking the only second place finish. No other individual finished higher than fourth place in the meet.
The following day, Bauer was the only Viking to earn a chance to compete at the illustrious Hamline Elite Meet. The sophomore finished in 14th place in the pole vault.
The Vikings were able to play in three matches last week, going 1-2 as a team. The Vikings lost to STMA 5-2 and Buffalo 6-1, but then rebounded with a 7-0 shutout win over Duluth Denfeld.
Against STMA, North Branch got wins from Bradey Swanson in singles action and Gabe Zderad and Noah Schwartzrock in doubles.
In the loss to Buffalo, John Paul Rossini picked up the lone win for the Vikings.
North Branch had a pair of 4-1 scores in games last week, with one of them going the Vikings’ way and one of them not so much.
The win came against Big Lake. After exchanging single runs in the first inning, North Branch plated three unanswered runs in the sixth to put the game away. Makenna Runk had a solo home run for the Vikings, with Emma Hurd, Macy Brodin and Mckenzie Richter also picking up RBIs.
The loss came to an always-tough Buffalo at home. North Branch held a 1-0 lead against the Bison heading into the fifth inning, but the visitors scored all of their runs that inning to earn the win. Buffalo’s pitcher only allowed two North Branch hits, with the Vikings only run being unearned.
North Branch’s defensive woes continue, with the team continuing to give up an average of over 10 runs per game. Last week, the Vikings fell three times, with lopsided losses to Buffalo by a score of 18-3 and Grand Rapids 13-6.
Their lone close loss came to Big Lake by a score of 9-8. In that game, the Vikings jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the third inning, but saw the Hornets score four in the sixth and three in the seventh to earn a walk-off win. Gavyn Jensen-Schneider had a bases-clearing double to power the Vikings offensively, with Jordan Axberg and Benjamin Huth also picking up RBIs.
The Vikings finally managed to avoid inclement weather and soggy courses long enough to hold their first meet of the season, a home conference meet held at Rush City. In that meet, the Vikings placed fourth out of five teams with a team score of 356. Josh Armistead led the way for North Branch, shooting an 88.
The next day, the Vikings again finished fourth in a five-team conference meet, with this one held at Chisago Lakes. Armistead was again the low scorer, carding an 85. Jeremy Iverson scored an 88.
The Vikings girls team competed in three meets last week, at Chisago Lakes, Milaca and at home. No team or individual scores for the Vikings were released for these meets.