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Track runs to relay titles

River Falls' Ryan Bjornstal, left, hands the baton to teammate Brad Freeborn to start the second leg of the boys' 4x100 meter relay at the Stan Barr Relays in New Richmond Monday afternoon. Bjornstal and Freeborn teamed up with Jon Helgeson and John Maillette for a first place time of 43.58 seconds to help the Cats edge Hudson by 2.5 points for the team title. <i>Bob Burrows photos</i>1 / 2
River Falls' Tim Rixmann stretches to reach 40-feet, 0.5-inches in the triple jump at the Stan Barr Relays Monday afternoon in New Richmond.2 / 2

The Wildcat track and field teams' depth was on full display Monday, May 6, as the Cats swept the boys' and girls' titles at the Stan Barr Relays in New Richmond.

The Wildcat boys edged Hudson by 2.5 points, winning the team title with a total of 103.5, while the girls' finished with 104 points, five ahead on Hudson. Ten boys' teams and nine girls' teams competed in the meet, which was previously known as the New Richmond Relays.

The Wildcats' speed was on full display in the 4x100 meter relay, where both the girls' and boys' posted first place times with new school records.

In the girls' 4x100, Annie Wagner, Amelia Kjos, Karissa Murphy and Karle Place shattered the previous school mark of 52.1 seconds set in 2004 by combining for a time of 50.43.

In the boys' race, Ryan Bjornstal, Brad Freeborn, Jon Helgeson and John Maillette broke the 14 year-old record of 43.6 seconds by turning in a time of 43.58.

The Wildcat boys' also took first in the 4x800 meter relay, where Mitch Lenneman, Trent Powell, Tom Ramquist and Gabe Nelson combined for a time of 8 minutes, 12.41 seconds, and the 4x1600 meter relay, where Sterling Just, Jacob Putzier, Liam Dangeur and Chris Anderson posted a time of 19:37.13.

The boys' 1600 sprint medley relay team of Bjornstal, Freeborn, Josiah Harris and Lenneman finished second with a new school mark of 3:35.69, breaking the old mark of 3:37.1 set in 2006. The 4x200 meter relay team of Bjornstal, Freeborn, Helgeson and Maillette also took second with a time of 1:31.48, less than three-tenths of a second off the existing school record.

Paige Skorseth, Annie Frisbie, Ali Casey and Shayna Ziriax teamed up for a second place time of 23:37.3 in the girls' 4x1600 meter relay, while Murphy, Courtney Kempf, Rachel Shew and Kjos took second in the 4x200 meter relay in 1:52.09.

In the 4x400 meter relay, Megan Pechacek, Murphy, Kjos and Shew took second in 4:18.75.

Place and Annie Wagner turned in the two best girls' triple jumps of the day, with Place clearing 35-feet, 9.75-inches and Wagner 34-0. Place also cleared 16-feet, 7.25-inches to win the individual long jump competition while Riley Claude cleared 9-6 in the pole vault to take first.

Karly Murphy had the second-best discus throw of the day for the girls -- 108.1.25, while in the boys' long jump, Maillette went 20-8.75 to grab the top spot, and in the boys' shot put, Tiano Pupungatoa was second with a throw of 49-11.

Next up for the Wildcats is the Big Rivers Conference Championship Meet Tuesday, May 14, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Hudson.

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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