Meara Beighley

Grand Rapids senior Meara Beighley qualified for state in both the 100 and 300 hurdles at the Section 7AA meet Saturday.

Grand Rapids senior Meara Beighley saved her best performances of the season, running to a pair of second place finishes in the hurdle events, qualifying her for state at the Section 7AA track and field meet held in Lindstrom Saturday.

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for state last year with a third place finish in the 300 hurdles, Beighley broke through, qualifying first in the 100. She ran to a personal best time of 15.67 to finish second behind Cloquet’s Olivia Jameson (15.59).

Although it was a relief to earn the state berth in the 100, the main challenge Beighley wanted to overcome was qualifying in the 300, an event she’s excelled in most in her high school career.

“Before the race (coach Kevin Johnson) said to me, ‘do you really want it,’” Beighley said.

“We’ve been chasing the 300s for years,” Johnson said. “We tried to change some stuff last year but it didn’t go as well. “She had six years of experience coming into that race, she’s going to be calm, she going to be confident and she wants it and hopefully she knows how to handle the pressure.”

As Beighley reached the turn towards the final 100 meters, she was in fourth place, but was determined to finish strong.  

“The pressure was on, she was in fourth (at the curve),” Johnson said. “But I could tell she put on the jets and passed the other two girls that were ahead of her.”

“I wasn’t really concerned with any of the other girls I was just going to chase the girl in front of me and I got second,” Beighley said.

Beighley came in with another personal best time of 46.67, trailing Andover’s Claire Beckman (45.75), but more importantly finished three tenths of a second in front of Elk River’s Angel Fredin (46.97).

Beighley credited her work with Johnson this past season on improving her technique and pacing in the 300 for the success she had at sections.

“The technique of getting lower on the hurdles and the high hurdles and then (my) steps in the 300 hurdles,” she said.

Beighley said her main focus at state is to improve on her times and see where she ends up.

I’m looking forward to running my best times of the year, even if I don’t place, I just want to run the best I can.”

The Grand Rapids girls also had a fourth place finish in the 4x200 (1:49.92) and Josie Hanttula was fifth in the pole vault (10 feet, 1 inch).

The Thunderhawk boys had a couple of third place finishers who just missed out on qualifying for state.

Sam Stertz was third in the 800 in a time of 2:00.90. He finished less than a second behind Andover’s Cameron Heppner (2:00.15), while Big Lake’s Nathan Clausing won the race (1:58.48).

In the 300 hurdles, Nate Huju finished third in 40.02. He was fourth tenths of a second behind Brennen Welle of Big Lake (39.62). Forest Lake’s Keanu Zurita won the race in 39.47.

The 4x100 meter relay had a fourth place finish in 44.58. Isaiah Edel was sixth in the high jump (6 feet, 1 inch) and Kam Jaeger was seventh in the long jump (20 feet, 7 inches). In the 1600, Garrett Beckrich finished 10th (4:44.74) and Tyler Norgord was 12th (4:48.00).

Section 7AA Finals

Boys

100-meter dash: 1. Gaven Ziebarth, CI, 11.02; 2. Derek Daniels, DE, 11.30; 3. Gabriel Brisbois, FL, 11.40.

200-meter dash: 1. Wryott Gerson, DD, 22.19; 2. Dylan Jones, CI, 22.46; 3. Darby Gamradt, HER, 22.87.

400-meter dash: 1. Gerson, DD, 49.30; 2. Jack Anderson, FL, 50.62; 3. Matt Schoessow, 51.35.

110-meter hurdles: 1. Jorge Olivo Cabrera, AND, 14.76; 2. Blake Nyenti, AND, 14.93; 3. Kevin Egbujor, ER, 15.13.

300-meter hurdles: 1. Keanu Zurita, FL, 39.47; 2. Brennen Welle, BL, 39.62; 3. Aric David, GR, 40.02.

800-meter run: 1. Nathan Clausing, BL, 1:58.48; 2. Cameron Heppner, AND, 2:00.15; 3. Sam Stertz, GR, 2:00.90.

1600-meter run: 1. Lucas Gustafson, ER, 4:27.98; 2. Max Charlsen, FL, 4:32.14; 3. Matthew Stuber, NB, 4:33.51; 10. Garrett Beckrich, GR, 4:44.74; 12. Tyler Norgord, GR, 4:48.00; 20. Ian Anderson, GR, 4:55.20.

4x100 meter relay: 1. FL, 43.01; 2. CI, 43.07; 3. AND, 43.76; 4. GR, 44.58.

4x200 meter relay: 1. FL, 1:29.66; 2. CI, 1:30.17; 3. AND, 1:31.58; 4. BL, 1:32.94; 5. ER, 1:34.40; 6. GR, 1:34.46.

4x400 meter relay: 1. FL, 3:26.63; 2. BL, 3:28.39; 3. CI, 3:29.84; 10. GR, 3:28.04.

4x800 meter relay: 1. FL, 8:18.07; 2. CLO, 8:21.79; 3. ER, 8:25.26; 8. GR, 8:48.76.

High jump: 1. Eli Hylen, SF, 6-08; 2. Slade Heald, FL, 6-02; 3. Matthew Thompson, DE, 6-01; 6. Isaiah Edel, GR, 6-01.

Long jump: Gerson, DD, 22-10; 2. Heald, FL, 21-11.25; 3. Zurita, FL, 21-08; 7. Kam Jaeger, GR, 20-07; 17. Zac Ortman, GR, 19-01.25; 33. Haydn Anderson, GR, 17-11.

Discus: 1. Beau Backes, CL, 161-11; 2. Blaze Krueger, CI, 155-01; 3. Ryley Nelson, CI, 146-11; 12. Jackson Weston, GR, 121-01.50; 14. Andy Thomsen, GR, 119-01; 36. August Arsenault, GR, 90-06.

Girls

100-meter dash: 1. Kaylee Clement, CI, 12.60; 2. Kellyn Biondi, HER, 12.87; 3. Katelyn Kelley, CLO, 12.89.

200-meter dash: 1. Alexandra Niska, DE, 26.01; 2. Ava Grimm, ER, 26.17; 3. Jacqueline Olander, CI, 26.23.

400-meter dash: 1. Ayva Burkes, HIB, 58.52; 2. Grimm, ER, 58.65; 3. Alexa Snesrud, CLO, 59.19.

100-meter hurdles: 1. Olivia Jameson, CLO, 15.59; 2. Meara Beighley, GR, 15.67; 3. AnnaGrace Nelson, CI, 16.02.

300-meter hurdles: Claire Beckman, AND, 45.75; 2. Beighley, GR, 46.67; 3. Angel Fredin, ER, 46.97.

800-meter run: 1. Alexa Havon, AND, 2:13.79; 2. Brita Birkland, HER,, 2:18.69; 3. Ella Niznik, FL, 2:19.17.

1600-meter run: 1. Cheresa Bouley, ZIM, 5:13.86; 2. Alyssa Gerth, AND, 5:14.41; 3. Regan Duffey, FL, 5:14.58; 17. Lucia Wyland, GR, 5:50.35; 21. Elsa Viren, GR, 5:54.58; 25. Avery Beyer, GR, 5:58.36.

4x100 meter relay: 1. FL, 49.80; 2. CI., 50.17; 3. ER, 50.26; 10. GR, 53.63.

4x200 meter relay: 1. CI, 1:44.18; 2. ER, 1:46.57; 3. NB, 1:49.19; 4. GR, 1:49.92.

4x400 meter relay: 1. AND, 4:01.91; 2. HIB, 4:03.74; 3. CI, 4:10.61; 9. GR, 4:26.15.

4x800 meter relay: 1. AND, 9:31.47; 2. FL, 9:37.78; 3. HER, 10:11.54; 13. GR, 11:31.98.

Long jump: 1. Jen Valley, FL, 16-09.75; 2. Cedar Jorgenson, AND, 16-09; 3. Kaitlyn Sautter, PR, 16-04.50; 30. Sheyenne Erb, GR, 13-06.75; 32. Tara Wilkinson, GR, 13-04.75; 42. Ainsley Olson, GR, 12-04.75.

Triple jump: 1. Valley, FL< 36-04.50; 2. Nelson, CI, 35-10.75; 3. Emily Jones, CI, 35-10; 34. Lilly Watkins, GR, 27-11.50.

Pole vault: 1. Char Morke, CI, 12-03; 2. Paige Bauer, NB, 11-01; 3. Sofia Dodge, FL, 10-07; 5. Josie Hanttula, GR, 10-01; 22. Noelle Gunderson, GR, 8-01.

Shot put: 1. Annika Poe, BL, 40-05; 2. Nadia Sanford, SF, 40-01; 3. Maddie Dosdall, CLO, 39-06; 12. Merica Beighley, 34-01; 18. Rowan Krueger-Barth, 32-04.50; 26. Ella Falardeau, GR, 30-04.50.

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