Class 1A Boys Track: Pequot Lakes' Pierzinski puts on historic show at state meet
ST. PAUL—Reid Pierzinski of Pequot Lakes put on a show seen only once before in Minnesota State High School League track and field history.
In the Class 1A state meet Saturday, June 9, at Hamline University, the Patriots' senior won three titles and captured the state team championship for Pequot Lakes all by himself. He was the Patriots' only state competitor.
In 1987, Heather Van Norman of Windom won the 1A girls team championship scoring 30 points all by herself.
Pierzinski, who finished seventh in triple jump Friday, June 8, earned 12 team points with each of his first-place finishes and added three points in triple jump. His 39 points eclipsed team runners-up Mora and Southwest Christian by seven points.
"It's a lot of work," Pierzinski said of what it takes to be a 3-time champion. "It definitely was a lot of work at the beginning. Now it's fun to, what our coach would say, get paid."
Saturday, Pierzinski's work ethic paid off in the 110 and 300 hurdles and 200 dash.
In the 110s, he edged Staples-Motley senior Max Giza for the title. Pierzinski was clocked at 14.84 while Giza finished 16/100ths of a second behind.
"It rained but I didn't think it was too bad," Pierzinski said. "The track was wet. I hit a couple hurdles. It wasn't clean. I would love to have made it clean but it was enough to do the job. You've got to be happy with it."
In the 300s, Pierzinski finished in 38.48 and Giza fourth at 40.45.
"I knew I had to focus on my start, make sure I get out and get around that turn," Pierzinski said. "That's been a killer for me. Once I got in the final stretch, I knew I had to make it over the hurdles and come in."
The 300s marked the final time Pierzinski and Giza squared off against each other in high school. They competed against each other frequently in Mid-State Conference and Section 6-1A meets.
"I love Max," Pierzinski said. "He's awesome competition. I cannot say how much respect I have for him. It's just too much."
Giza was pleased with both of his final hurdle duels against Pierzinski.
"He doesn't seem to get tired at all," Giza said. "I was pretty happy about (the 110s) because this is my first year qualifying for state (in that event).
"My coach had me work on lead leg stuff and on corners (in the 300s). I did better than I usually do there. I was still happy with the 300s too."
Pierzinski, who will compete at South Dakota State University next season, capped his high school career with a victory in the 200 at 22.33.
"I just started that event this year," he said. "That took me off the 4x400 from last year. We graduated two seniors from (the 4x400). I tried the 200 this year and it worked. It's a fun race, but it's probably the craziest race I've ever done."
B-H/V's Moore Mr. Track
Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale senior Sam Moore was named the state's first winner of the Mr. Track award. He won shot put and discus last year, added a title in shot put Friday and a runner-up finish in discus Saturday.
Mitchell Weber of St. Clair paced the discus with a mark of 185-8 to Moore's 180-4.
"That was kind of disappointing honestly," said Moore, who will play football and throw at North Dakota State University next season. "I threw 194 last week at sections. I was hoping for at least the state record (194-6).
"It was not a good day for throwing discus. It was muggy, the air was heavy, so I'm happy with what I got. I'm happy to be a finalist and not choke at state. I've just had great competition especially from Mitch. I've competed against him since eighth grade. It's been great."
Friday, Moore put the shot 62-3.50 to beat Weber who threw 61-0.
"Friday was intense, a lot of fun," Moore said. "Right away I popped a good throw, 60-foot-10. That was my best all season except for the first meet. I was pretty happy with that throw.
"Then Mitch threw 61-flat. He went from 2 inches behind me to 2 inches ahead of me. My last throw I was just praying that I have to get a good throw in. I need a miracle and I got it. I got 62 feet and I knew it right away. It was just awesome."
Wolverines win 2
Wadena-Deer Creek relays secured the area's other state titles Saturday.
The Wolverines' 4x200 unit of senior Jonathan Pantages, and sophomores Bereket Loer, Chase Domier and Hunter Hawkins churned out a time of 1:29.83.
"That's our bread and butter," Loer said of the 4x2. "For years now, that's been WDC's relay so now finally getting a state championship, that's what we've been working for, day in and day out, all year long."
Pantages, Hawkins, Domier and Loer teamed up to win the 4x400 at 3:24.26 in the meet's final event.
"The 4x4 is one of the hardest races in track," Loer said. "None of us like it. It hurts so bad. This is what all those painful practices were for."
The top nine finishers in each event earn all-state honors.
Class 1A Boys Finals
Boys final team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 39, 2-(t) Mora and Southwest Minnesota Christian 32, 4-Jordan 29, 5-Staples-Motley 28, 10-Wadena-Deer Creek 25, 11-(t) Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale and Mounds Park Academy 24, 52-(t) Pierz 5
110 hurdles: 1-Reid Pierzinski (PL) 14.84, 2-Max Giza (SM) 15.02
4x200 relay: 1-Wadena-Deer Creek (Jonathan Pantages, Bereket Loer, Chase Domier, Hunter Hawkins) 1:29.83
4x100 relay: 1-Southwest MN Christian 42.88; 7-Pierz (Matthias Algarin, Benjamin Herold, Carter Moulzolf, Alex Gross) 44.71, 9-Wadena-Deer Creek (Jonathan Pantages, Chase Domier, Isaac Hale, Bereket Loer) 45.36
400 dash: 1-Cal Wright (Mora) 48.92, 8-Brett Jansen (BHV) 51.74
300 hurdles: 1-Reid Pierzinski 38.48, 4-Max Giza (SM) 40.45
200 dash: 1-Reid Pierzinski (PL) 22.33
4x400 relay: 1-Wadena-Deer Creek (Jonathan Pantages, Hunter Hawkins, Chase Domier, Bereket Loer) 3:24.26
High jump: 1-Ethan Heitman (Lake City) 6-06, 12-Jonathan Pantages (WDC) 6-00
Long jump: 1-Martin LaFond (Perham) 22-03.75, 11-Matthias Algarin (Prz) 20-07.50
Discus: 1-Mitchell Weber (St. Clair) 185-08, 2-Samuel Moore (BHV) 180-04