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Relays lead Wildcat boys

Wildcat Jon Helgeson stretches for more distance while competing in the long jump at the Border Battle Track and Field Meet last Friday at UW-River Falls Knowles Fieldhouse. Helgeson finished second to Wildcat teammate Tim Rixmann in the event. <i>Bob Burrows photo</i>

The Wildcat boys' 4x200 and 4x400 meter relay teams both set new school records and Trent Powell set a new school mark in the 3200 meter run as River Falls finished second at the 8-team Border Battle Track and Field Meet Friday, April 19 at UW-River Falls' Knowles Fieldhouse.

The event was moved from the high school track indoors to the Knowles Fieldhouse due to inclement weather.

Hudson won the team title with 125 points while River Falls was second with 108. Somerset took third with 103 and Hastings was fourth with 82.5 followed by East Ridge with 77, Park-Cottage Grove with 34.5, Osceola with 33 and Hill-Murray with 22.

The Cats 4x200 meter relay team of Ryan Bjornstal, Jon Helgeson, Josiah Harris and Brad Freeborn broke a two-week old school record to take first with a time of 1 minute, 33.64 seconds, while the 4x400 meter relay team of Nick Dildy, Harris, Freeborn and Mitch Lenneman took first with a school record time of 3:33.33. The old mark of 3:35.2 was attained earlier this season at the All-American Invitational.

The Cats' also turned in a strong performance in the 4x800 meter relay, where Jacob Putzier, Sterling Just, Liam Dangeur and Gabe Nelson combined for a second place time of 8:41.27.

Powell's school record came in the 3200 meter run, where three Wildcats finished in the top six. Powell broke the mark of 9:47.0 set by Colin Rogers in 2009 by finishing in 9:44.56 Friday to place second, just .15 of a second behind the winner. Putzier placed fourth in the race with a time of 10:52.45 while Just was sixth in 10:55.46.

Tim Rixmann and Helgeson swept the top two spots in the long jump, with Rixmann winning with a leap of 20-feet, 4-inches and Helgeson second with 20-2.5, while in the 1600 meter run, Mitch Lenneman was first with a time of 4:22.64 and Chris Anderson was sixth in 5:03.02.

Tiano Pupungatoa threw the shot 53-8.5 to finish second and Max Haskins was fifth with a throw of 45-9.25, while Rixmann took fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 39-0.75 and Dildy tied for eighth in the high jump by clearing 5-5.

The Cats had two of the top five finishers in the 55 meter dash, as Freeborn took third in 6.79 seconds and Bjornstal was fifth in 6.9, while Dangeur placed sixth in the 800 meter run in 2:13.87 and Nelson was seventh in 2:14.57.

Jackson Vanderhagen contributed an eighth place time of 8.79 seconds in the 55 meter hurdles, while Ben Klimpke was the Cats' highest finisher in the 400 meter dash with an 11th place time of 56.52 seconds and Rixmann was the highest Wildcat in the 200 with an 11th place time of 24.99 seconds.

The Cats are scheduled to compete at the Park-Cottage Grove Invitational this Friday, April 26, beginning at 3:45 p.m.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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