Track and Field: In a class of his own: Pierzinski wins state team title by himself
Pequot Lakes' Reid Pierzinski made Minnesota boys track and field history over the weekend.
In the Class A state meet Saturday, June 9, at Hamline University, the Patriots senior won three titles and scored 39 points, capturing the state team championship for Pequot Lakes all by himself. He was the Patriots' only state competitor on the boys' side.
The feat had been done twice before on the girls' side - first in 1987 and again in 2013 - but Pierzinski is the first boys track competitor in state history to single-handedly win a team title.
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 totals by runners-up Mora and Southwest Christian.
--- --- --- --- ---
KLICK! Photo Gallery - State Class A Track and Field meet - June 8, 2018
248 photos - Klick here to view!
--- --- --- --- ---
"The coaches and I went over all of the seed times, and we thought if we got around 40 points, we could possibly take home the title," Pierzinski said. "On that first day, taking seventh in the triple jump - that's only three points - we knew we really had to show up (on Saturday). We knew if we battled it out, there was a chance. It was definitely a goal and plan."
"On Friday, after the prelims, we knew he would be scoring some points," boys coach Dave Guenther said. "When he placed seventh in the triple jump, we knew that we would be in that upper part. This has happened before - not on the boys side - but I thought something might happen here."
In the 110 hurdles, Pierzinski narrowly beat Staples-Motley senior and longtime rival Max Giza for the title. Pierzinski was clocked at 14.84 while Giza finished 0.16 seconds behind.
In the 300 hurdles, Pierzinski finished in 38.48 and Giza fourth at 40.45.
"There were a lot of nerves," Pierzinski said. "I don't like to blame the conditions, because everyone had to run in the rain, but I had a couple of good hurdles and a couple of bad ones. In the end, the good ones outweighed the bad ones. My main goal was just to stay on my feet."
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 seconds.
Patriot girls third in state
The Pequot Lakes girls track team, which finished third in the team standings, defended its 4x400 relay title on Saturday. Seniors Grace McGuire and Kristin Skog, along with freshman Lydia Hubbard and sophomore anchor Cassidy Chaney, finished the race in 3:57.37.
"It was a pretty crazy weekend," girls coach Jamie Wagner said. "We had our ups and downs, and there were some really awesome surprises."
Earlier in the meet, the 4x200 defending champion Patriots - composed of McGuire, Skog, Chaney and Mirjana Ganley - finished third. The 4x400 relay was the final race of the meet.
"The strength of our program has been our relays and those senior girls - Grace and Kristin - all the way through," Wagner said. "To see them go out and end the night with a championship - and on Friday night, to run the time they did - was a lot of fun."
Derera Engholm was fourth in the discus (124-11) and seventh in the shot put (39-7.25). Adelaide Hubbard did not qualify for the finals in either hurdle race, but finished eighth in the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 7.25 inches. Junior Britt Kratochvil also finished eighth in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 2 inches.
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
300 hurdles: 1-Reid Pierzinski 38.48, 4-Max Giza (SM) 40.45
200 dash: 1-Reid Pierzinski (PL) 22.33
Triple jump: Finals: 1-Jake Marzinske (St. Croix Lutheran) 46-10.50, 7-Reid Pierzinski (PL) 44-4.50, 8-Matthias Algarin (Prz) 44-3.50
Class 1A Girls Finals
Final girls team scores: 1-Blake 46, 2-Winona Cotter 42, 3-Pequot Lakes 38.75, 4-Mesabi East 32, 5-(t) Stewartville and Belle Plaine 31, 19-Pierz 16.75, 48-(t) C-I 6, 61-(t) Pillager 4
4x800 relay: 1-Luverne 9:29.56; 6-Pequot Lakes (Cassidy Chaney, Kristin Skog, Lydia Hubbard, Carly Chaney) 9:43.16
4x200 relay: 1-Grand Meadow 1:45.23; 3-Pequot Lakes (Mirjana Ganley, Kristin Skog, Cassidy Chaney, Grace McGuire) 1:45.61
400 dash: 1-Kya Phillips (Cristo Rey Jesui) 56.61, 7-Grace McGuire (PL) 59.70
4x400 relay: 1-Pequot Lakes (Grace McGuire, Kristin Skog, Lydia Hubbard, Cassidy Chaney) 3:57.37
Shot put: 1-Beth-el Algarin (Prz) 44-1.25, 7-Desera Engholm (PL) 39-7.25
Triple jump: 1-Ailsa Gilbert (Watertown-Mayer) 37-5.25, 4-Kylie Monson (C-I) 36-6, 8-Adelaide Hubbard (PL) 35-07.25
Discus: Finals: 1-Julie Overton (Lac qui Parle Va) 130-08, 4-Derera Engholm (PL) 124.11, 6-Beth-el Algarin (Prz) 122-9, 9-Ellie Miron (WDC) 116-04
High jump: Finals: 1-Jok Nyalaam (Annandale) 5-09, 5(t)-Julia Johnson 5-02, 8(t) Britt Kratochvil (PL) 5-02, Chelsie Kurtz (Prz) 5-02, 22-Kathryn Ireland (C-I)