State Class 2A Track and Field: 10 Warrior track and field athletes to compete in state

10 Brainerd athletes and one Little Falls athlete compete in the Class 2A track and field state championship Saturday, June 19

Brainerd Warriors Molly Hagelie (left) Kate Stadum, Madi Genz, Myah Nelson, Brenna Deason and Hanna Caughey train Monday, June 14, 2021 for the state tack meet. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Brenna Deason is fast.

The Brainerd sophomore ran a school record time of 12.29 in the 100-meter dash in the Section 8-2A finals to qualify for the Class 2A state tournament.

“We didn’t quite understand that she broke the record until we were checking the results,” Warriors girls head coach Ashley Rutman said. “It wasn’t a surprising time, but I think a lot of us didn’t understand how fast everyone was moving. She is a quick athlete and works hard at her technique and her starts.”

The Class 2A state track and field tournament will be run Saturday, June 19, at St. Michael-Albertville High School with the boys competing at 10 a.m. and the girls at 3 p.m.

Deason will be joined by her teammates in the 4x100 relay, which she anchors for the Warriors. Molly Hagelie, Myah Nelson, Madi Genz and Deason ran a second-place time of 49.64 at sections to qualify.


“There’s a little redemption with the 4x100 team after they dropped the baton a couple years ago,” Rutman said. “So sealing the deal on that relay was crucial for a couple of kids who I know were on the relay team a couple years ago.”

Deason will also compete in a third event at state, which is pole vault. She recorded a score of 10 feet at sections which was good for second to qualify.

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“One of the big things we did at sections was trying to get her to balance everything,” Rutman said. “A lot of her events were at the same time with not a lot of breaks in between. One of the things that’s always impressive with her is her ability to balance it all and perform well with whatever is thrown at her.”

Rutman is excited to see how Deason and the 4x100 team does at a high competition meet like state.

“This year we haven’t had a high competition meet,” she said. “So I think sections was a good opportunity to see this team compete in a competitive field. I think the state meet is just another opportunity to compete with athletes of the same caliber.”

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Two Brainerd throwers will be headed to state as well Saturday. Hanna Caughey will participate in both the discus and the shot put. She finished second in the shot put with a throw of 35 feet-3 inches at sections and second in the discus with a 120 feet-1 inch throw.

“Hanna is a very wonderful, down-to-earth kind of person,” girls throw coach Tracy Riley said. “She sets goals and is so humble when she makes them. She celebrates, but is not one to brag. She works so hard in practice all the time. Stays after practice and has a great attitude.”

One of the goals for Caughey at state is to get a new personal record in both events. Her current personal record in the discus is 130 feet-6 inches and in the shot put it’s 39 feet-8 inches.


“For her just making state was a huge accomplishment,” Tracy Riley said. “She wants to go there and have fun.”

Dylan Gross (back left), Brandon Stark, Thomas Ruhl, Baden Bastian (bottom left) and Ethan Klisch Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at Adamson Field in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Freshman Dylan Gross joins Caughey as the other Warrior thrower in the shot put. He threw a personal record 53 feet-4 inches in the sections which put him second to qualify for state.

“With Dylan, one thing I’ve learned from him is that he listens and wants to learn the craft,” boys throw coach Will Riley said. “He hurt himself playing basketball in January so he didn’t get to practice with track until the meet before conference. He was way behind everybody, but worked his tail off in practice to get to where is now.”

Brainerd’s boys 4x800 relay team of Baden Bastian, Ethan Klisch, Brandon Stark and Thomas Ruhl will also compete in state after their second-place time of 8:06.12 in sections.

The long distance relay team has come together nicely to make their state run.

“Only one of the four guys has any real high school track meet experience, so it’s been a big learning curve,” Brainerd long distance coach Dave Herath said. “Ethan Klisch ran two years ago, but all the other boys are in other sports, but have never ran track until this year. Thankfully it’s a group of four really smart kids.”


Herath mentioned the intelligence of the 4x800 team as one of the key reasons for their success.

“The 800 can go in so many different ways that you always have to be reacting to it,” he said. “It’s nice to have a group of smart kids that can remember all the different things that can happen and respond to it.”

Little Falls’ Danielle Schirmers will compete in the Class 2A state championship as well in the pole vault.

Class 2A State Track and Field

Where: St. Michael-Albertville High School

When: Saturday, June 19, Boys 10 a.m., Girls 3:30 p.m.

Who: Brainerd’s Brenna Deason (100 dash, pole vault), girls 4x100 team (Molly Hagelie, Myah Nelson, Madi Genz, Deason), Hanna Caughey (shot put, discus), Dylan Gross (shot put), boys 4x800 relay team (Baden Bastian, Ethan Klisch, Brandon Stark, Thomas Ruhl), Little Falls’ Danielle Schirmers.


CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

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