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UPDATE: NHRA honors BIR owner Jed Copham's memory - Dead at 46, Copham was innovator at race track, association president says

Class 1A Girls Track: State title belated birthday present for Pierz senior

Pierz senior Beth-el Algarin won the Class 1A shot put competition at the state meet in St. Paul with a throw of 44-1.25. Bill Johnson Picture Day Pro

ST. PAUL—Pierz Pioneers senior Beth-el Algarin turned 18 Friday, June 8, but had to wait a day to celebrate.

Saturday, June 9, Algarin celebrated by winning the state shot put championship in the Class 1A meet at Hamline University. She put the shot a career best 44-1.25 to outdistance runner-up Emma Gilbert of International Falls who threw 43-7.

"I wasn't leading until my third throw I believe," Algarin said. "I hurt my back last week so I would have been hoping for a little more. I was hoping to get the state record but I still did well today and I won so I'm really happy. I can't complain."

Algarin, who will attend the University of Nebraska in the fall, was making her third trip to state in shot put. She qualified for discus as a sophomore and this year, an event in which she placed sixth Friday.

Algarin said her back was bothering her Friday.

"I just felt a little off because I hadn't been able to practice because it hurt my back," she said. "So I was a little off. My back was still hurting. (Saturday) I had very little back pain. It felt a lot better."

Winning a state championship capped off a successful career for Algarin.

"It's been a goal for a long time because (throwers) are all really close," she said. "Then once it comes to meet day then we kind of separate. If you look at everyone's (personal record) each time, everyone is really close.

"I've known all these girls for a long time. If someone else would have won, I would have been happy for them, but I'm happy I finally won."

Pequot Lakes, which finished third in the team standings, defended its 4x4x400 relay state title by capturing the area's other girls championship Saturday. The foursome of seniors Grace McGuire and Kristin Skog, freshman Lydia Hubbard and sophomore anchor Cassidy Chaney finished in 3:57.37. McGuire, a member of multiple state relay title teams, said it was unbelievable to repeat.

"Senior year, I went out and said 'Girls, let's do it. This is our year,'" said McGuire, who heads to the University of St. Thomas in the fall. "We wanted to finish on a high note.

"I knew I had to get the baton handed off in first place. At the 300 (meter) mark, I said, 'Come on Grace. You told yourself you're going to be giving the handoff in first. You've got to go.' It's just an unbelievable experience to be back here."

Earlier in the meet, the 4x200 defending champion Patriots finished third. McGuire anchored the foursome that included Mirjana Ganley, Skog and Chaney.

"It happens," McGuire said of not repeating. "Kristin and Mirjana and I are back but it's different. We gave it our all. It was awesome to still come out with third place."

The area's next-highest finisher was Crosby-Ironton's Kylie Monson who placed fourth with a triple jump of 36-6.

The top nine finishers in each event earn all-state recognition.

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

100 dash: 1-T'Nia Riley (Mpls North) 11.96, 8-Mikaela Malone (WDC) 12.96

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

Pole vault: 1-Ashley Hokanson (Perham) 11-7, 15-Brooklyn Jones (C-I) 9-0

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