Anderson wins 800m; girls 4x800 takes title

By John George Maddie McClellan grabbed the baton with an unfamiliar view. The lead-leg runner on the Yellowjackets' 3,200-meter relay team all season, McClellan was moved to third on Thursday and found herself in fifth place as sh...

By John George

Maddie McClellan grabbed the baton with an unfamiliar view.

The lead-leg runner on the Yellowjackets' 3,200-meter relay team all season, McClellan was moved to third on Thursday and found herself in fifth place as she took the handoff.

"When I was No. 1, I usually got the lead," McClellan said. "When I got the baton in my hand, I wanted to get the lead again."


McClellan quickly erased the deficit and took the lead before handing off to junior Brittany Gigstead, who broke away from the pack in Perham's come-from-behind victory at the Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet at Klas Field.

The Yellowjackets won the event in 9:31.62. East Grand Forks finished second at 9:40.05 and Sauk Centre was third at 9:40.21.

"It's amazing," said Gigstead, who also finished third in the 800. "We knew we had a shot coming in. It felt very good."

With three eighth-graders, Perham looked as if it lacked the experience to pull off a victory at the biggest meet of the year.

Eighth grader Holly Sheets started the race and led early on before handing the baton off to Jenna Gigstead, Brittany's younger sister, in fourth place.

"I was feeling pretty good at the start," Sheets said. "Once I got going, the pace was pretty good, so I just stayed with it. That was my best run in a while.

Gigstead maintained the pace set by Sheets.

"I was thinking just go out aggressive and try to stay with the lead," Jenna said "Once a few people passed me, I just decided to run my own race and let everyone else take care of their own race."


From there, McClellan regained the lead and didn't give it back up.

"It was my first time going third," McClellan said. "(Coach Jeff) Morris figured if there was any ground to make up, that would be the best spot for me. It was weird having to catch-up, but once I got off to a fast start, it just felt good to keep going."

Despite their novice status at the state track meet, the young group has logged plenty of miles at the state cross country meet the past two seasons. It was there they learned to stay calm under pressure, Gigstead said.

"The three 8th graders ran amazing. I can't give them enough credit," Brittany said. "They all went out and ran P.R.'s (personal records) and ran amazing under the pressure. For 8th grade, it's astonishing, they are so mature. To have that ability at that age. You don't find many 8th graders who can go out and do what they did.

"By the time I got the baton, I was like, 'Wow, we can do this'," Gigstead continued. "I just had to stay relaxed and not go out to hard and stride it in."

Like sister, like brother

Caleb Anderson followed in sister Gabrielle's footsteps with a victory in the boys 800 with a time of 1:58.32.

A former Yellowjackets standout, Gabrielle won the girls Class A state 800m title in 2004. She now runs at the University of Minnesota.


"She set the bar high for me," Caleb said. "There was a little pressure on me, so this was a big relief."

Anderson made his move to the front with about 150 meters remaining.

"I told coach Morris, I'd stay with the pack for about 600m," Anderson said. "I didn't think anybody would be able to lose me by there. Then I didn't care how my legs felt, I was going to give it everything I had. Threw my heart out there."

The senior, who is headed to Macalester to play basketball and football, held off La Crescent's Wade Ekstrom with a lean at the finish line. Ekstrom finished with a time of 1:58.81. He is undecided on whether or not he'll try to run track as well at Macalester.

"I was always doubting myself," Anderson said. "I had to tell myself not to. I told myself this is my last meet, so I have to finish strong. This is the culmination of my whole career. It's unbelievable."

Anderson began his career as a sprinter, but made the move to mid-distance last year.

"I started thinking about it last year when I started getting splits of 1:58-1:59 in the 4x800," Anderson said. "That was the time that won the 800 last year. I figured that was an event where I'd have a shot. I thought about the 400 too, but figured this is where I'd have my best shot (at a championship)."

He was right.

Gigstead earns two medals

Brittany Gigstead's day wasn't over after helping win the 4x800 relay, later in the day, she finished third in the 800m run with a time of 2:14.58.

After hanging with the pack for the first lap, Gigstead fell behind by a few strides before making a kick to the finish.

"I thought we went out a little bit fast and I was trying to hold back a little bit and go out in a 1:04 or 1:05 (in the first 400m) and I did," Gigstead said. "Then I fell back a bit and told myself, 'I have to get up there, I have to get up there'. I had to start grinding it a little bit and get past a few girls.

"I was able to make a final push (about 80m before the finish)," she added. "I just tried to dig as deep as I could, then time ran out."

She finished fourth in the event last year at State.

Lachowitzer 6th in 3200m

Having ran in the State Cross Country meet a number of times helped sophomore Kevin Lachowitzer as he finished 6th in the 3200m run in his first State Track appearance.

Lachowitzer led the lead pack for much of the race before falling back in the final lap.

"I was going good for a while, but I know I don't have a strong kick at the end," Lachowitzer said. "Coach (Jeff Morris) was yelling at me to go, go. I was just in front of a big pack waiting to kick, and I wasn't kicking it in. I tried to go down the stretch and feel good about how I finished."

The main pack of runners was well behind eventual champ, Mike Torchia of Rochester Lourdes, who set an all-time Minnesota record in the event with a time of 8:59.19. Lachowitzer finished with a 9:43.91.

"It feels awesome. It caps off all my accomplishments from the year," Lachowitzer said.

"This is as good as I think I could have done. It's my P.R. by about 11 seconds, so it's better than I thought I'd do."

Lillis 9th in pole vault

Perham junior Nathan Lillis tied a career high by clearing 13 feet as he finished ninth in the pole vault.

Perham's other individual competitor, Maddie McClellan, finished 12th in the 1600m run with a time of 5:19.18.

Around the area

Andrew Daggett of Frazee turned in a strong performance in the high jump, finishing second with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches.

Also a member of Frazee's state qualifying 800- and 1,600-relay teams, Daggett said he enjoyed the busy day.

"I was running back and forth between events," he said. "It helps keep your mind off everything. It's pretty cool."

Frazee's 800 relay set a school record with a time of 1:32.97.

New York Mills senior Ted Rud, who won the Class 1A long and triple jumps last season, was denied a repeat in both events. Rud, who was second in the triple jump Friday, finished third in the long jump on Saturday. He was also 12th in the high jump.

Wadena-Deer Creek senior Eric Asfeld defended his state titles in the 110 and 300 hurdles to end his prep career with four championships.

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton junior sprinter Omar Longoria earned all-state honors - given to the top eight placers - in four events.

Luverne won the boys team title and Blake won the girls crown. The total attendance for Saturday's two sessions was 6,048.

(Fargo Forum reporter Heath Hotzler contributed to this story.)

State Class A Track & Field Meet

Hamline University, St. Paul

June 9-10

Boys Top-10 Teams (and area teams)

1, Luverne 36. 2, Fairmont 35. 3, Plainview 30. 4, DeLaSalle 29. 4, G-F-W/McLeod West 29. 6, Wadena-Deer Creek 28. 7, Holy Family Catholic 26.5. 8, La Crescent 26. 9, Foley 25. 10. Frazee 24. 10, Meadow Creek Christian 24. 10, Rochester Lourdes 24. 10, Warroad 14. 19, New York Mills 18. 21, Perham 17. 42, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 9. 44, Breckenridge/C-T 8. 61, Norman County 3. 66, Mahnomen-Waubun 2. 73, Fertile-Beltrami 1.

Individual results (Winners and area finishers)

3,200 relay: 1, Fairmont 8:08.97.

110 hurdles: 1, Asfeld, Wadena-Deer Creek, 15.48. 3, Daggett, Frazee, 15.63. 8, McArthur, Mahnomen-Waubun, 16.06.

100: 1, Bradford, Minnehaha Academy, 11.53. 8, Longoria, D-G-F, 11.93.

800 relay: 1, Holy Family Catholic 1:30.44. 6, Frazee (Daggett, Sandberg, Jackson, Laine) 1:32.97. 9, Fertile-Beltrami (Gullickson, Ranz, Kise, Henderson) 1:36.24.

1,600: 1, Torchia, Rochester Lourdes, 4:15.78. 5, Herrick, Breckenridge/C-T, 4:28.08. 7, Tim Wagner, Norman County, 4:29.25.

400 relay: 1, Foley 43.55. 7, D-G-F 44.62.

400: 1, Flies, Plainview, 49.77.

High jump: 1, Knott, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Yankton, 6-5. 2, Daggett, Frazee, 6-4. 12, Rud, New York Mills, 6-0. 15, Buchholz, Ottertail Central, 5-10.

Long jump: 1, Schwecke, G-F-W/McLeod West, 22-3.75. 3, Rud, New York Mills, 21-6.25. 8, Longoria, D-G-F, 20-8.

300 hurdles: 1, Asfeld, Wadena-Deer Creek, 38.87.

800: 1, Anderson, Perham, 1:58.32. 7, Herrick, Breckenridge/C-T, 2:00.84.

200: 1, Mignard, Meadow Creek Christian, 22.33. 8, Longoria, D-G-F, 23.46.

Discus: 1, Brown, Rushford-Peterson/Houston, 157-1. 11, Busse, Mahnomen-Waubun, 133. 14, Roelofs, D-G-F, 126-5.

1,600 relay: 1, Mayer Lutheran 3:25.28. 7, Frazee (Jelitto, Daggett, Sandberg, Laine) 3:31.36.

Girls Top-10 Teams (and area teams)

1, Blake 52. 2, Litchfield 44.5. 3, Watertown-Meyer 40. 4, Pillager 36.5. 5, Jackson County Central 36. 6, Sauk Centre 33. 7, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Yankton 31. 8, St. Cloud Cathedral 29. 9, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland 28. 9, United South Central/AC 28. 19, Perham 20. 19, Lake Park-Audubon 20. 38, Crookston 8. 50, Breckenridge/C-T 4. 57, Fertile-Beltrami 2.

Individual results (Winners and area finishers)

3,200 relay: 1, Perham (Sheets, J. Gigstead, McClennan, B. Gigstead) 9:31.62.

100 hurdles: 1, Pace, Pillager, 15.27. 4, Wahlin, Crookston, 16.19.

100: 1, Geyen, Watertown-Meyer, 12.73.

800 relay: 1, Sauk Centre 1:46.95.

1,600: 1, Wetsch, Holy Family Catholic, 4:49.42. 12, McClellan, Perham, 5:19.18.

400 relay: 1, Sauk Centre 50.46.

Shot put: 1, Komarek, Blake, 40-6.50. 11, Crane, Crookston, 35-0.75. 14, Jegtvig, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal, 32-3.25.

400: Geyen, Watertown-Meyer, 57.03.

Triple jump: 1, Pace, Pillager, 37-8.25. 11, Vertin, Breckenridge/C-T, 34-2.

300 hurdles: 1, Rasmussen, Kasson-Mantorville, 44.84. 8, Wahlin, Crookston, 48.11. 9, Vertin, Breckenridge/C-T, 49.21.

800: 1, Swenson, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, 2:12.08. 3, B. Gigstead, Perham, 2:14.58.

200: 1, Geyen, Watertown-Meyer, 25.23. 6, Tingelstad, Lake Park-Audubon, 26.66.

Pole vault: 1, Kvanli, Kingsland, 10-9. 8, Tollefson, Fertile-Beltrami, 9-6. 11, Bell, Frazee, 9-0.

1,600 relay: 1, Pine Island 4:04.31.

Full results can be found at

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