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Keeghan Hurley and Billy Beseman battled each other for the top spot in the Section 6A 1,600m run taking the top two spots. Robert Williams/FOCUS

Ukkelberg helps OTC nab 6A track title; Hurley sweeps; both Perham teams send athletes to state

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MOORHEAD – Sophomore Tony Ukkelberg had waited over a year for his chance to get to the Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet. As a freshman with the Ottertail Central track team, Ukkelberg found out five days before the beginning of the track postseason he had a stress fracture in his back.

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No conference meet, no sub-section meet, no section meet, no state meet. An entire season was lost and as if that weren’t enough, the Bulldogs lost on the final event in the Class 1A, Section 6 meet to Perham, finishing in second by a score of 84-81.

“I was actually just figuring stuff out with my triple jump and I (had a personal record) by a long ways, so I was excited to get to subsections,” Ukkelberg said. “It was a letdown that I was unable to compete.”

Ukkelberg made his return count Thursday at the Class 1A, Section 6 meet at Minnesota State Moorhead, winning section titles individually in the high jump and long jump and with the 400- and 800-meter OTC relay teams. It was part of a dominant performance for the Bulldogs as they finished 54 points ahead of everyone for the section title.

Ukkelberg won the long jump with a mark of 21 feet, 9 inches and the triple jump with a jump of 44 feet, 1 inch.

Area athletes ready for redemption at state Perham’s Keeghan Hurley has not forgotten the feeling of missing out on a state title by 0.94 seconds in the 3,200-meter run last season.

“You lose by that much and it sticks with you,” Hurley said after winning Class 1A, Section 6 titles in the 1,600 and the 3,200 Thursday at MSUM. “You put in so many miles and to get beat like that...it scars you.”

Hurley has the top Class 1A times in the state this season in the 1,600 and 3,200 and took home section titles in both on Thursday with times of 4 minutes, 22.54 seconds and 9 minutes, 59.18 seconds, respectively.

Hurley's closest competitors were teammates. Billy Beseman finished runner-up in the 1,600m running 4:26.90 to Hurley's 4:22.54, two seconds off the 6A record set by Perham's Eddy Stenger in 2008.

Jayden Cullen was runner-up in the 3,200m running 10:10.38 to Hurley's 9:59.18.

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville’s Caroline Jansen and New York Mills’ Lydia Rutten feel Hurley’s pain. Jansen finished third at the state meet in the triple jump last season and Rutten finished second in the 400-meter dash.

“I have to give my all and hope for the best,” Jansen said. “I never thought I’d ever be here. The cool thing about track is anything is possible. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Jansen is headed back to state with section titles Thursday in the long jump (16-11) and triple jump (36-09.25) and she also qualified in the 100-meter hurdles (16.11 seconds).

Rutten, a freshman, won a section title Thursday in the 400-meter dash (1:00.72) and a second-place finish in the 200-meter dash (27.58).

“I wasn’t really experienced last year, but now I’ve been there before,” Rutten said.

The Perham 4x800 girls relay team of Lizzie Fudge, Brynnan Covington, Caitlin Covington and Sydney Karels qualified for state in a photo finish edging out rival Pelican Rapids by .01 seconds in a time of 10:06.47 to the Vikings' 10:06.48.

Perham's boys 4x800m relay won the section title running 8:25.08 to beat Ottertail Central by a second (8:26.16). Perham team consists of Chris Knutson, Carson Speicher, Jayden Cullen and Leighton Covington, who will try to make it two state titles in a row in this race.

The 2013 4x800m relay team of Billy Beseman, Dalton Dahms, Nick Carignan and Brady Speicher set the school record winning the Class A title in 7:57.58, a second off the state record time.

Senior Eli Beachy set a new Perham school record in the pole vault clearing 13-09 to finish second to Tyler Tappe of Pequot Lakes who vaulted 14-06. Beachy has been progressing toward teh 14-foot pole and has set himself up to make his final attempt at the state meet next weekend. The former record of 13-feet, 8-inches was held by Nathan Lillis.

The girls team placed fifth overall with 34 points.

The boys team scored 81 points to finish in second place.

In state near misses for the Yellowajckets, Natalie Murphy placed fourth in the 100m hurdles. 

Hailey Wegscheid, Lizzie Fudge and Jenna Wegscheid put three Pehram girls on the podium in third through fifth places, respectively, in the 1,600m run.

Caitlin Covington missed by one place in the 3,200 finishing third in a time of 12:37.37.

Cole Schmitz placed fourth in the pole vault at 13-feet, nine inches off of Beachy's school record.

Troy Telliunghuisen had a fourth place shot put of 46-feet, one-half inch.

Boys Team scores: 1, Ottertail Central 135. 2, Perham 81. 3, Pequot Lakes 64. 4, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 55. 5, Staples-Motley 35. 6, West Central Area 32. 7, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 25. 8, Pelican Rapids 24. 9, Pine River-Backus 18. 10, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale. 11, Benson-KMS 13. 12t, Wadena-Deer Creek 12. 12t, Minnewaska Area 12. 14, Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 11. 15, Osakis 8. 16, Browerville 6. 17t, Breckenridge-Campbell-Tintah 2. 17t, Pillager 2. 17t, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 2. 20t, United North Central 1. 20t, Rothsay 1. 20t, Prairie Valley 1. 20t, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville 1. 20t, Sauk Centre 1.

State qualifiers

100: 1, Schultenover, Minnewaska, 11.93. 2, Mickelson, Pelican Rapids, 12.00.

200: 1, Maanum, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 24.02. 2, Stueve, Ottertail Central, 24.23.

400: 1, Maanum, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 50.97. 2, Hofmann, Staples Motley, 51.49.

800: 1, Montonye, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 2:00.36. 2, Himmelspach, Ottertail Central, 2:02.29.

1,600: 1, Hurley, Perham, 4:22.54. 2, Beseman, Perham, 4:26.90.

3,200: 1, Hurley, Perham, 9:59.18. 2, Cullen, Perham, 10:10.38.

110 hurdles: 1, Wangsness, Wadena-Deer Creek, 16.22. 2, Combellick, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 16.55.

300 hurdles: 1, Combellick, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 41.37. 2, Smith, Ottertail Central, 41.75.

400 relay: 1, Ottertail Central, 45.20. 2, Pequot Lakes (Blaesar, Borleis, Tappe, Funk), 45.22.

800 relay: 1, Ottertail Central, 1:33.48. 2, Pine River-Backus (Krecklau, Sepin, Harper, Bestgen), 1:34.70.

1,600 relay: 1, Ottertail Central, 3:34.54. 2, Staples-Motley (Rivetts, R. Johnson, T. Johnson, Hofmann), 3:34.71

3,200 relay: 1, Perham, 8:25.08. 2, Ottertail Central, 8:26.16.

High jump: 1, Schack, West Central Area, 6-05. 2, Gordan, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale, 6-03. 3(t), Lind, Long Prairie, 6-03. 3(t), Eric VanErp, Ottertail Central, 6-03.

Long jump: 1, Ukkelberg, Ottertail Central, 21-09. 2, Schack, West Central Area, 21-02.75. 3, Petric VanErp, Ottertail Central, 21-01.75.

Triple jump: 1, Ukkelberg, Ottertail Central, 44-01. 2, Petric VanErp, Ottertail Central, 42-08.50.

Discus: 1, Jacobson, Pequot Lakes, 142-09. 2, Moore, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale, 142-06.

Shot put: 1, Jacobson, Pequot Lakes, 51-05. 2, Kollar, Ottertail Central, 47-00.50.

Pole vault: 1, Tappe, Pequot Lakes, 14-06. 2, Beachy, Perham, 13-09.

Girls Team scores: 1, Pequot Lakes 89. 2, Osakis 67. 3, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville 51. 4, Staples-Motley 38. 5, Perham 34. 6, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 32. 7, Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 26. 8, Pillager 25. 9, West Central Area 24. 10t, United North Central 20. 10t, New York Mills 20. 12, Benson-KMS 17. 13, Wadena-Deer Creek 16. 14t, Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 14. 14t, Pelican Rapids 14. 16, Ottertail Central 12. 17, Minnewaska Area 11. 18t, Breckenridge-Campbell-Tintah 10. 18t, Sauk Centre 10. 20t, Pine River-Backus 8. 20t, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 8. 22, Prairie Valley 6. 23, Upsala-Swanville 5. 24, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 1.

State qualifiers

100: 1, Lane, Pequot Lakes, 13.07. 2, Bermel, Pequot Lakes, 13.49.

200: 1, Lane, Pequot Lakes, 27.02. 2, Rutten, New York Mills, 27.58.

400: 1, Rutten, New York Mills, 1:00.72. 2, Ecker, Long Prairie, 1:01.30.

800: 1, Korvela, United North Central, 2:24.90. 2, Schmidt, Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, 2:24.94.

1,600: 1, Greenwaldt, Sauk Centre, 5:36.53. 2, Savageau, Osakis, 5:39.65.

3,200: 1, Van Kempen, West Central Area, 12:23.83. 2, Posner, Pillager, 12:24.37.

100 hurdles: 1, Beachy, Staples-Motley, 15.99. 2, Jansen, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 16.11

300 hurdles: 1, Beachy, Staples-Motley, 47.81. 2, Willis, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale, 49.04.

400 relay: 1, Pequot Lakes (Allen, Rudlang, Bermel, Lane), 50.39. 2, Osakis, 51.05.

800 relay: 1, Osakis, 1:46.86. 2, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (Ecker, Gamradt, Liebsch, Rohr), 1:47.45.

1,600 relay: 1, Osakis, 4:08.82. 2, Pequot Lakes (McGuire, Rudlang, Johnson, Bermel), 4:09.00.

3,200 relay: 1, Osakis, 10:04.23. 2, Perham, 10:06.47.

High jump: 1, Hesse, United North Central, 5-05. 2, Sorenson, Osakis, 5-03. 3, Fernhoz, West Central Area, 5-03. 4, Koetter, Upsala-Swanville, 5-03.

Long jump: 1, Jansen, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 16-11. 2, Lane, Pequot Lakes, 16-05.50

Triple jump: 1, Jansen, Ashby-Brando, 36-09.25. 2, Post, Wadena-Deer Creek, 35-02.25.

Discus: 1, Erholtz, Pequot Lakes, 112-06. 2, Campbell, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 112-02.

Shot put: 1, Ricard, Benson-KMS 36-09. 2, Erholtz, Pequot Lakes, 35-06.

Pole vault: 1, Klefsaas, Staples-Motley, 10-02. 2, Jahnke, Wadena-Deer Creek, 9-08.

Other Perham results:

Girls 100m dash

7. Ashley Zitzow 14.05

Boys 100m dash

7. Cole Schmitz 12.35

Girls 4x200m Relay

6. Perham 1:53.29

Boys 4x200m Relay

7. Perham 1:38.22

Girls 100m Hurdles

4. Natalie Murphy 17.33

Boys 110m Hurdles

6. Cole Carignan 18.04

Girls 1,600m Run

3. Hailey Wegscheid 5:41.10

4. Lizzie Fudge 5:50.60

5. Jenna Wegscheid 5:50.75

Boys 1,600m Run

6. Jacob Dickerson 4:52.30

Boys 4x100m Relay

4. Perham 45.62

Boys 400m Dash

5. Leighton Covington 53.36

Girls 300m Hurdles

8. Olivia Nelson 52.19

Boys 300m Hurdles

6. Nick Winkels 45.73

8. Cole Carignan 45.98

Boys 800m Run

6. Billy Beseman 2:09.50

8. Chris Knutson 2:12.05

Girls 200m Dash

8. Amanda Winkels 28.66

Boys 200m Dash

5. William Vana 24.65

Girls 3,200m Run

3. Caitlin Covington 12:37.37

6. Jenna Wegscheid 12:56.01

Boys 3,200m Run

12. Carson Speicher 11:35.55

Boys 4x400m Relay

6. Perham 3:43.04

Girls High Jump

11. Olivia Strand 4-09

Girls Pole Vault

7. Sydney Bahls 8-02

Girls Long Jump

5. Mesa Schultz 16-01

Boys Discus Throw

5. William Parks 133-06

7. Jonathon Siira 128-09

12. Austin Ashcraft 114-05

Boys Pole Vault

4. Cole Schmitz 13-00

7. Patrick Glynn 11-06

Girls Discus Throw

7. Sasha Sazama 98-10

12. Abby Thompson 90-02

Boys Shot Put

4. Troy Tellinghuisen 46-00.50

Perham Sports Editor Robert Williams contributed to this story and photos.

Photo of 4x800m boys relay team by Brian Hansel/Forum News Service

Troy Ukkelberg photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum News Service

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Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy is the Minnesota preps and Fargo Force beat reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota for the last five years and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so. If reading him in the paper and online isn't enough, you can read more of him at the Forum Preps Blog: http://forumpreps.areavoices.com/  
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