Kelsey VonBerge (right) ran head-to-head with Pine Islandís Eliza Warneke in the 100M hurdles. VonBerge held on to win and qualify for state. Photo by Keith Garvens.
By David Richards
Their season isn't done yet.
Thirteen athletes will represent Byron High School at state events, 11 in track and field and two more in golf.
"The whole team all season has done a great job," said head track and field coach Charro Coleman. "There's a lot of seniors who have been with us a long time, so it's good to see them finish their high school careers at the state meet.
Section finals for track were held May 30 in Winona; while sections for golf were held at Eastwood Golf Course in Rochester May 29.
Out of 27 teams, at the section track meet, the boys placed first and the girls took third. The state track meet will be held June 7-8 at Hamline University, while the state Class AA golf tournament is set for Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, June 11-12.
Last year, the Bears track team sent 14 members to state, and won a state title in the girls 4x100 relay, which qualified again this year.
"We did well," Coleman said of sections this year. "I was very proud of the kids. Any time you're in a competition of that magnitude things go your way sometimes, and sometimes they don't."
A lot did.
On the girls side, the 4x100 team of junior Kelsey VonBerge, senior Jillian Krier, junior Anne Christofferson and senior Camille Fawcett finished first at sections in a time of 50.57.
Only VonBerge is new to this year's relay team, replacing graduated Morgan Savage as the lead off runner.
VonBerge also qualified in the 100 hurdles, winning the event with a time of 16.05.
"That was probably the biggest surprise of the day," Coleman said. "She was seeded fourth going into it."
In addition to the relay, Krier qualified in the pole vault (10'2), an event she won at sections, and in the 100 meter dash, where she came in second with a time of 13.18.
Christofferson won the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 3 3/4 inches to earn a state berth there as well.
On the boys side, the 4x100 relay team made of up senior Thor Knutson, senior Jordan Hickey, junior Nate Bahr and senior Drew Fuchs broke its own school record with a time of 44.17.
"They should be one of the top three teams," Coleman said. "They will probably have to break 44 to win it, but if they have a good day, I like their chances."
The 4x200 team also advanced, winning the race in a school-record time of 1:30.53. For that relay, senior Ricky Brown, who also qualified in the 110 hurdles (16.11; second place) runs in the place of Bahr.
Junior Nick Seagrist placed first in the 300 hurdles in 40.57, earning a state berth, while Robert Mesenburg qualified by placing second in the pole vault (13 feet).
In golf, junior Kelsey Hedlund once again advanced to the state tournament for the girls with an 85, while Jacob Boe advanced to state for the boys team with a round of 77 and won in a playoff.
"That was pretty intense," head boys golf coach Mike Nelson said.