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Class 1A Track and Field: Klefsaas sets another meet record on way to another state title

ST. PAUL--Millie Klefsaas suffered a severe ankle injury and missed about a month of her senior season for the Staples-Motley Cardinals. Based on her postseason performance, you would never have known. Klefsaas won the pole vault and 100 hurdles ...

Bill Johnson - Picture Day Pro! Staples-Motley senior Millie Klefsaas is all smiles after setting a Class 1A meet record and winning the state pole vault championship.
Bill Johnson - Picture Day Pro! Staples-Motley senior Millie Klefsaas is all smiles after setting a Class 1A meet record and winning the state pole vault championship.

ST. PAUL-Millie Klefsaas suffered a severe ankle injury and missed about a month of her senior season for the Staples-Motley Cardinals.

Based on her postseason performance, you would never have known.

Klefsaas won the pole vault and 100 hurdles at the Subsection 23 and Section 6-1A meets and went out as a state champion in pole vault during Saturday's Class 1A meet at Hamline University.

The Cardinals' standout set a 1A meet record Saturday clearing the bar at 12 feet, 3 inches. She set the meet record a year ago at 12 feet.

Klefsaas injured her left ankle pole vaulting in less than ideal conditions during a regular-season meet earlier this spring.

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"I went up, came down and my ankle turned," she said. "It got caught in the pit, then I rolled it or sprained it pretty bad. It was really hard to just sit out my senior year but my coaches said ... 'You can repeat as state champion if you wait or you can get hurt again' and I was like, 'All right.'"

In the midst of pole vaulting Saturday, Klefsaas had to sprint to the track and run the 100 hurdles. The defending state champion finished sixth.

"After hurdles, I was definitely disappointed," she said. "I was thankful I got to run, but it's also really hard to not do your best. Going into pole vault I said 'All right, Millie, leave it all out there. It will be the last time you will be vaulting as a high schooler.' My coach has been real good about pumping me up. He was like 'All right, that's over. There's nothing you can do about how you did there.'

"So I focused on staying positive about pole vault and not really talking about hurdles. Then I had a miss at 11-3 but I wasn't worried about it. I like jumping in this weather which is weird. The wind was a little funky but I like this weather. I stayed hydrated, and felt good.

"I definitely loved the fact that I (got a personal record). That was my goal coming in. I always say this to myself: 'If I PR and don't win, that's going to be fine because I know I did my best.' To PR and to end my senior year with a state record is awesome."

Klefsaas said the ankle definitely bothered her more while hurdling.

"There was a doctor here (Friday) who I'm friends with and he said I'm definitely favoring my right leg, which is to be expected," she said. "I felt good about my prelim race, then I ended up hitting a hurdle in the finals, which is a bummer. But I didn't think I was going to be here at all this year so to come back in the final, and to win the pole vault, it's been awesome."

Klefsaas heads to North Greenville University in South Carolina in the fall where she will hurdle and pole vault. In her high school track career, she won three state championships.

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"To make it to state for the last five years has been awesome," she said. "I love Minnesota. It will be sad to leave but I'm excited to see what my future holds. I'm excited to continue track. It's cool that this isn't my last track meet ever. I think it's a little easier for me to say goodbye to high school track because I know there's something in my future."

Saturday Finals:

100 hurdles: 1-Clair Shepardson (LaCrescent) 14.55, 6-Millie Klefsaas (Staples-Motley) 15-10

Pole vault: 1-Klefsaas (SM) 12-3

Related Topics: STAPLES-MOTLEY CARDINALS
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