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Class 2A Track and Field: Hebert 5th, Smith 7th at state meet

ST. PAUL--Ethan Hebert secured another podium finish and Gabbie Smith enjoyed another successful state experience Friday, June 7, in the Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University.

Brainerd's Gabbie Smith flys through the air during the Class 2A State Track and Field Meet Friday, June 7, at Hamline University, St. Paul. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!
Brainerd's Gabbie Smith flys through the air during the Class 2A State Track and Field Meet Friday, June 7, at Hamline University, St. Paul. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

ST. PAUL-Ethan Hebert secured another podium finish and Gabbie Smith enjoyed another successful state experience Friday, June 7, in the Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University.

Hebert placed fifth in the pole vault with a 14-foot-3 effort. The senior tied for fifth last year with a 13-6 effort. As a sophomore he was 16th with a 12-0.

East Ridge's Alec Wittman repeated as state champion. He went 15-0 this year.

"(Hebert) looked good," Warriors boys coach Rod Reuer said. "It was a perfect day to vault. It was nice and warm with a tail wind. I know he went through a number of poles to settle on one and get to where he was at. His final three attempts he was over on each one and just couldn't get the hands back off the release of the pole quick enough. He bumped it each time and each time it bounced, but it wouldn't settle. It ended up rolling off, but a good finish.

"There were seven guys over 14 feet today. The vault went really well today. With that many guys clearing 14 feet you have to be on."

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Smith landed a 17-4 on her second jump to advance to finals. She couldn't better it, however, as she was running two sprint relays while jumping and finished seventh.

"She looked very good," Warriors head girls coach Howie Jacobs said. "She was having to deal with running in the relay as well so that kind of hindered her a little bit in the finals, but it was nice to see her jumping in the 17s again."

Smith entered with a seed distance of 16-10. Her personal best is a 17-7.5 effort last year. This is Smith's second state tournament appearance this school year. She was a member of Brainerd's second-place girls hockey team.

"I told her after she was done that she beat 98.8 percent of all the girls that started during the sections and I think she was happy with that," Jacobs said.

Smith led off Brainerd's 4x100 relay that won the first heat in Friday's prelims with a new school record time of 48.64. North won the second heat with a 48.19 to claim the top seed for Saturday's finals.

The foursome of Smith, Kayla Deason, Myah Nelson and Brenna Deason broke their old school record they set in the Section 8-2A meet of 48.89.

"I think there was some frustration in that we couldn't really run anyone down, but we made up time with our handoffs, which were really good," Jacobs said. "Once the baton got into Brenna's hands she knew we had to finish in the top two of our heat and she poured it on. We won our heat and so we'll be in the fifth lane with a rare opportunity to go for a state championship."

Brainerd's 4x200 relay placed 14th in 1:45.75. The foursome of Smith, Ellie Selisker, Kayla Deason and Brenna Deason couldn't match their school record time of 1:44.33

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Little Falls Flyers' Dani Schirmers qualified for the 100 hurdles finals with her 15.57. Evelyn Adams of Edina secured the top spot in the prelims with a time of 14.47.

Zach Henke posted the second fastest time in the 300 hurdles prelims with his 38.80. The senior trails only George Jackson of Hopkins, who ran a 38.41.

Henke is only .06 seconds away from Jeff Spieker's school record of 38.74. Henke did supplant James Strand for No. 2 on Brainerd's all-time list. Henke's previous best time was 39.19, which he ran in last year's state prelims.

Henke ended up sixth last year.

"He looked good," Reuer said. "I think he had a little bit of a misstep on his second hurdle, but after that he ran clean and fast. When you're in a situation where there is a guy in front of you that's fast, Zach's always been in the case where he's always been in the lead. Now you have a guy you can chase and you use that to your advantage.

"Saturday, will be the same situation. There will be eighth guys chasing that top guy."

The senior then led off the Warriors 4x400 relay that placed eighth and qualified for Saturday's finals. The foursome of Henke, Hebert, Ben Renner and Hunter Turcotte ran a 3:25.57. They bettered their Section 8-2A winning time of 3:26.46 by almost a second. That time puts them fifth all time on Brainerd's honor roll.

"Luckily we were in a fast heat so the teams out in front kind of pushed that pace and we got ourselves in a race," Reuer said. "We were able to finish pretty strong down the stretch and it was enough. We knew we had to run a 3:25. I was thinking maybe even faster, but we made the finals."

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Boys results

Finals

Pole vault: 1-Alec Wittman (East Ridge) 15-0, 5-Ethan Hebert (Brd) 14-3

Prelims

110 hurdles: 1-Josh Sampson (Mounds View) 14.27, 12-Zach Henke (Brd) 15.04

300 hurdles: 1-George Jackson (Hopkins) 38.41, 3-Henke 38.80

4x400 relay: 1- Brainerd (Henke, Hebert, Ben Renner, Hunter Turcotte)

Girls results

Finals

Long jump: 1-Annike Wendt (Rochester Mayo) 18-8.5, 7-Gabbie Smith (Brd) 17-4

Prelims

100 hurdles: 1-Evelyn Adams (Edina) 14.47, 8-Dani Schirmers (LF) 15.57

100 dash: 1-Shaliciah Jones (North) 11.77, 11-Brenna Deason (Brd) 12.47

4x100 relay: 1-North 48.19, 2-Brainerd (Gabbie Smith, Kayla Deason, Myah Nelson, Brenna Deason) 48.64

4x200 relay: 1-Minnetonka 1:41.76, 14-Brainerd (Smith, Ellie Selisker, Kayla Deason, Brenna Deason) 1:45.75

Next: Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University, St. Paul 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8.

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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