Male Area Athlete of the Week: Pillager’s Laveau shines at Park Region meet
Pillager senior is area athlete of the week.
Quintin Laveau wants to finish big.
The Pillager senior finished the Park Region Conference meet last week with three wins in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.7, the 200 dash in 23.38 and is the first runner on Pillager’s 4x200 relay which won in 1:33.72.
Laveau also finished second in the long jump at 19-foot-10.5.
“I felt good that day and I was fired up,” Laveau said. “I don’t really know why, I just did well.”
The 100 dash at the Park Region Conference meet was close with Laveau taking the title by 0.01 seconds. One of the runners he narrowly beat teammate Bryce Hutchinson who anchors the 4x200 relay.
“My buddy Bryce has really stepped it up this year,” Laveau said. “He’s running right next to me and he’s having a big impact. Our coach always pushes us at practice and we have to get everything perfect for him to like it.”
Pillager head coach Jim Bentson said the 4x200 relay team is in good form.
“That 4x200 ran at Park Region meet just three tenths slower than they did at the state meet last year,” Bentson said. “They are a week or two ahead and that’s a credit to (Laveau) and the other seniors on that relay. It took a little while to get in the groove, but they are realizing they can do some special things.
“I think they push each other to excel and get to that next level. They've been good leaders and leading by example.”
Last year, Laveau made the Class 1A state meet in four events. He finished 10th in the 200 dash in 22.98 and 14th in the long jump at 19-4.25. He also anchored the 4x100 relay which finished eighth in 44.86 and the 4x200 relay which raced to eighth in 1:33.45.
“The state experience helps him a lot because they know what the competition is like,” Bentson said. “Quintin has been allowed to see what state champions look like and what it takes to be a state champion.”
Laveau perked up when talking about being at state last year.
“I had an amazing state experience,” he said. “I got to spend time with my buddies because we went to state in our relays. That was fun and we would hang out at the motel and we went to Red Lobster to have all-you-can-eat shrimp and just competing at state was fun because everyone there had gotten first or second place all year.”
At the Section 7-1A True Team meet May 10, Laveau won the long jump at 20-3.25, finished third in the 100 dash in 11.49 and second in the 200 dash in 23.30.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the weight room and at practice, I really push myself and my teammates to get them faster,” Laveau said. “I have to go fast in practice because I’m the one my teammates try to catch. Right now, I’m slowly getting my way back up to my prime times.”
At the Sebeka Invite May 3, he won the 200 dash and was second in the long jump and 100.
In Pillager’s home meet April 28, Laveau was second in the 100 dash and long jump and third in the 200 dash.
“He’s pretty versatile, really,” Bentson said. “He ran a beautiful 400 and we were looking at that as well. We weren’t sure where we were going to put him at first, but he’s a work-hard kind of kid and willing to get his teammates wherever they can go too.”
Laveau usually was a three-sport athlete at Pillager playing football in the fall and basketball in the winter. After a knee injury this year in football, he decided to rest during the winter. He doesn’t know if it was the right choice or not.
“My knee has kind of held me back a little bit,” Laveau said. “I started this year kind of slow because I wasn’t doing much in the winter. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working hard at practice and getting back to where I want to be.”
To start the season at an indoor meet in Bemidji March 21, Laveau finished first in the 60-meter dash in 7.42, third in the 200 dash in 24.31 and second in the long jump at 19-4.75.
“The biggest improvement he’s made is lengthening his strides,” Bentson said. “He’s shown his work ethic and his versatility. It’s good to see and it shows the other kids what it takes to be competitive.”
On the gridiron, Laveau led Pillager in rushing with 600 yards on 107 carries for a 5.6 average and three touchdowns.
Bentson called Laveau a quiet leader.
“He’s so quiet sometimes you don’t even know that he’s there,” Bentson said. “He doesn’t question and having been around this long he understands what it takes to get to the next level and get down to the state track meet.
“I can tell him what to do and as long as he’s willing to follow along everyone else will follow him. They know who the natural-born leaders are. He's not going to bark, but he’s going to lead by example and help the younger kids do better.”
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Corbin Knapp, Pine River-Backus, went 3-for-5 including the walk-off hit against Blackduck.
Payton Rondestvedt, Wadena-Deer Creek, struck out right and tallied a double with three RBIs against Ottertail Central.
Matt Filippi, Little Falls, smashed a home run against Pierz and went 2-5 with a double and threw a complete game against Cathedral.
Nic Kotaska, Pequot Lakes, recorded two doubles and struck out 10 over two games against Staples-Motley.
Landon Janzen, Aitkin, went 5-7 with a home run, two doubles and seven RBIs against Staples-Motley.
Carson Kullhem, Aitkin, went 11-16 with a home run, nine runs and two RBIs over five games.
Golf: Grant Bestland, Staples-Motley, won the Mid-Minn Conference meet at Cuyuna Rolling Hills with a 76.
Carter White, Staples-Motley, won the Mid-State Conference title with a 73.
Track and Field: Cruz Megazzini, Pequot Lakes, won three events in the Mid-State Conference meet.
Sport: Track and field
Highlights: He won three events in the Park Region Conference meet