Class 1A Track and Field: Pierzinski strikes gold in 3 events
ST. PAUL--Reid Pierzinski completed a nearly flawless season Saturday at the Class 1A state meet at Hamline University. The Pequot Lakes junior, who helped the Patriots to second place in the team standings, lost only one hurdles race all season....
ST. PAUL-Reid Pierzinski completed a nearly flawless season Saturday at the Class 1A state meet at Hamline University.
The Pequot Lakes junior, who helped the Patriots to second place in the team standings, lost only one hurdles race all season. His only hiccup was at the Hamline Elite Meet in April when he fell and placed ninth in the 300 hurdles.
Saturday, his first of three victories was in the 110 high hurdles with a clocking of 14.67.
"I think it's fun that you can call yourself a state champion," Pierzinski said. "That's what everybody's here for. At the beginning of the season, that's what I wrote as my No. 1 goal, to put a blue medal around my neck, and I finally achieved that."
Later he added gold in the 300s with a time of 38.66. His anticipated duel with Staples-Motley's Max Giza failed to materialize as the Cardinal junior finished ninth. After Friday's prelims, Pierzinski and Giza were seeded 1-2.
"The key for me in hurdles is to get out of the blocks," Pierzinski said. "I had a strong start. I was going over them and I clipped a couple. I got through the fifth hurdle and that's been hard for me to go over on this track. I hit the second-to-last hurdle really hard, but I think because of my good start I was able to recover and had enough time to get across the line first."
In the meet's final event, Pierzinski anchored the Patriots' 4x400 relay to victory. Teammates Ben Nelson, Robbie Hendrickson and Cody Huss preceded him in the relay. The Patriots were running second when Pierzinski took the handoff from Huss and he proceeded to eventually motor past runner-up Pipestone anchor Devin Tinklenberg for the win.
"We've been talking about this since Day One after last year's track season," Pierzinski said. "We've been playing out all these different scenarios-'What if we get the baton in first?' 'What if we get it in second?' I knew if got it in second I was going to run behind him and take his pace into that last turn and hopefully have enough to sprint out and get past him in the end."
Pierzinski has been dialed in since the first day of the season.
"Starting at winter practice, talking to coaches to (Jaimie) Wagner and (Dave) Gunther, we set early season goals, midseason goals, late-season goals. I completed all my late-season goals," Pierzinski said. "I'm ready to make some new ones next year."
Moore's the man
Junior Samuel Moore of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale added the discus title to his weekend hardware.
Moore flung the disc 180 feet, 6 inches, to beat runner-up Mitchell Weber of St. Clair by 15 feet during a competition that lasted about 2.5 hours.
"There were not a lot of great throws today," Moore said. "I hit 180, my best is 188. I stayed in first the whole time.
"I haven't been throwing so well. I threw 167-170 to get here, and I hit 180, so I'm happy with that."
Moore paced the shot put competition Friday with a heave of 59-11.75.
"It was just a great day, a great couple days," he said.
Wadena-Deer Creek's 4x200 relay of Jonathan Pantages, Bereket Loer, Josh Daigneault and Konnor Stueve finished 58/100ths of a second behind champion Foley.
"To me it looked like we were sitting third or fourth," Stueve said when he got the baton. "I knew if I wanted to put us into contention I had to give everything I had one last time."
Stueve said the Wolverines' thought they had a chance for a gold medal.
"We felt really good because in prelims we had a horrible handoff," he said. "Our second-leg runner had to come to a complete stop to get a handloff. We figured that took about a second and a half off our time. We thought we were right there behind the first-place people if we didn't have that one hiccup.
"We made up a lot of time. Everyone stepped up. They ran the races of their lives."
Additional all-state finishers from the area included Stueve (ninth) in the 100 dash; Daigneault in the 400 dash; and Giza (ninth) in the 300 hurdles.
Boys Final Team Scores: 1-Plainview-Elgin-Millville 58, 2-Pequot Lakes 42, 3-Pipestone 40, 4-Ottertail Central 35, 5-Esko, 11-Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 24
110 hurdles: 1-Reid Pierzinski (Pequot Lakes) 14.67
100 dash: 1-Marlon Wiley (Jordan) 10.75, 9-Konnor Stueve (WDC) 11.27
4x200 relay: 1-Foley 1:30.31, 2-Wadena-Deer Creek (Jonathan Pantages, Bereket Loer, Josh Daigneault, Stueve) 1:30.89
400 dash: 1-Tysen Schmidt (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 48.61, 5-Josh Daigneault (WDC) 51.07
300 hurdles: 1-Pierzinski 38.66, 9-Max Giza (Staples-Motley) 41.67
4x400 relay: 1-Pequot Lakes (Ben Nelson, Robbie Hendrickson, Cody Huss, Pierzinski) 3:23.40
Discus: 1-Samuel Moore (Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale) 180-6