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Track & Field: Brittnie Menze going to State

Brittnie Menze had a State qualifying throw in the shot put in her 1st attempt at the Section 6A Championships at MSU-Moorhead last week. She finished 2nd overall to advance to State.

By Dan Schik

The lone Eagle making the trek down to the State Track and Field meet is junior thrower Brittnie Menze. She had the second best throw coming into the section meet right behind Perham's Heather Schultz. Menze said she wasn't nervous coming into the Section 6A Meet at MSU-Moorhead last Thursday, she tried her best and see what happens.

What happened was she needed only one warm-up throw to get down to business. Her first throw was nothing short of amazing as she launched the shot over 39 feet, insuring her an automatic state birth. After the throw Brittnie didn't know what to expect, she said it seemed to fly off her fingertips effortlessly, and after releasing it she didn't even watch it land. All she heard was the screams and cheers from family, teammates and even a few competitors.

When she finally looked to see how far it went it took her breath away. She proved that her first throw wasn't a fluke, with four other throws within a foot of her state-qualifying throw with her best being 39'7". With that distance that made here the section runner-up only three inches Schultz's first place throw of 39'10".

The top two finishers and all time or distance qualifiers advance to State from the section meet.

" I think I'm still in shock, it really hasn't sank in yet, probably won't hit me till I am on the track," Menze said of qualifying for the state meet.

One thing she is looking forward to is competing against the best girls shot-putters in the state, for most girls it's very intimating. For Brittnie she has shown in the last couple of meets that when she has strong competition it motivates her to push a little harder and throw farther to propel her to the next level. Heading into the state track meet Brittnie's game plan is to, " Don't think about it, just get in there and throw."

"The goal I set at the beginning of the season was to make it to state, now since I have done that, the sky is the limit," she said.

Schultz and Menze are ranked 1-2 heading into State. The third best throw heading into State was 39'5" by Litchfield's Abby Goraczkowski. Schultz finished third at last year's State meet with a throw of 39'9.75".

Last year's State champ, Liberty Slinden of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, is ranked fourth this year with a section throw of 39'4.75". She won last year's title with a throw of 41'11". The 2008 runner-up, Leah Dietel of Jordan, is ranked No. 8 this year (38'8"). Her second place throw last year was 40'5.5".

The State Track and Field Meet is at Hamline University in St. Paul. The girls shot put competition at state will be Saturday, June 6 at 3 p.m.

Other section finishes

Brittnie's older brother, Brandon, just missed a trip to State. The senior finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 45'4". He was more than a foot and a half from second place (47'0.5"), and more than six feet from the State qualifying distance (51'9"). Menze finished seventh in the discus (124'2").

Alicia Boe just missed a trip to State as well. The freshman was third in the 1600m (5:22.37). She led during the last lap, but fell back on the back stretch to finish nine seconds behind second place (5:13.31).

Boe was also 13th in the 800m run (2:36.40). Megan Cole finished 12th in the 100m dash with a time of 13.61. For the boys, Ben Jacobson finished 11th in the 110m hurdles (17.71), and in the 300m hurdles (46.28).