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LaFond leaps to the front

Perham's Martin LaFond receives his medal from the Class A Championships. LaFond won the long jump with a winning jump of 22 feet, 3.75 inches. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Perham senior Martin LaFond was not happy with his performance in the triple jump portion of the opening night of the Class A Championships. However, he was plenty happy with his performance in the long jump, capturing the Class A title with a leap of 22 feet, 3.75 inches on June 9 at Klas Field at Hamline University.  

“From last night to this morning, I had one thing on my mind,” LaFond said. “(Which was) to go out there and win state.”

Perham's Martin LaFond hits the landing in the Class A Championships. Joe Brown/FNS

LaFond finished the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, 5.75 inches, which put him in 12th place overall. His finish in that event, may have set the tone for his big day in the long jump. The senior said he focused overnight on just one thing, which was the championship in the long jump. LaFond said the 12th place finish in the triple jump gave him more grit for the event.

His goal was to get a big jump right away and beat everyone else. He was he hoping for 22 and was able to get that with his winning jump.

“It means a lot to me,” LaFond said. “It was a goal of mine since freshman year and it feels really good.”

LaFond said he was able to watch most of the jumpers as he was seeded second in the long jump, which put him in the second flight. He said it was a little bit easier, knowing the distance he needed to win the championship.  LaFond was able to hit his winning jump on his second attempt, which became the number everyone had to shoot for. The senior was able to hold off Pipestone Area’s Tyl Woelber, who finished second with a jump of 21 feet, 7.25 inches. LaFond said there wasn’t any extra pressure and said he felt really good. Woelber was the No. 1 seed in the state entering the contest.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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