Track and Field: Warriors’ relay runs to a 3rd-place showing

The Brainerd Warriors competed in the Class 2A State track and field meet.

IMG_0697 (2).JPG
Brainerd Warrior Brenna Deason (second from right) takes the baton from teammate Madison Genz (right) during the 4x100-meter relay Saturday, June 19, at the Class 2A State Track and Field Meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

ST. MICHAEL — It was a bit of redemption for the Brainerd Warriors girls 4x100 relay Saturday, June 19 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

With a time of 48.83, the foursome of Molly Hagelie, Myah Nelson, Madison Genz and Brenna Deason captured third place to lead the Brainerd Warriors girls to 11th place in the Class 2A State meet.

The foursome entered with a seed time of 49.64 and shaved almost a second off of that. They were only one of three teams to break the 49-second mark. St. Michael-Albertville won the event in 48.28.

“The 4x100 relay was an incredible race by our girls,” Warriors head girls coach Ashley Rutman said. “There were definitely nerves -- some due to the caliber of the meet. Other nerves present were due to the desire to perform to their own high expectations. Each member was solid in their leg. Handoffs were solid as well.

“The emotions for Madi Genz were high as she handed the baton to Brenna realizing the last effort of her high school career. The girls were thrilled with their performance and proud that they met their goal for a medal and top three honor to boot.”


Two years ago, the Warriors were in contention for a top finish at state, but a dropped baton ended that threat. Deason and Nelson were on that team along with Gabbie Smith and Deason’s older sister, Kayla Deason.

“Those girls wanted a long time to run after the mishap in 2019,” Warrior boys head coach and relay coach Rod Reuer said. “They pieced it together all year and we finally settled on this four. Last week (in the Section 8-2A meet) they ran pretty well and Saturday they got out and the exchanges were right on.

“They were pretty overjoyed, obviously for themselves, but I think also for the fact of what happened two years ago. For them, it was for all the girls who were part of that relay the past few years.”

The foursome of Baden Bastian, Brandon Stark, Ethan Klisch and Thomas Ruhl shaved almost two seconds off their seed time to post a sixth-place 8:04.35 in the 4x800 relay.

“Overall it was very good because our goal was to get a medal around every kid’s neck and we accomplished that,” Reuer said. Our goal was to see if we could get close to that eight-minute mark.

“Baden got us out and into the heat of the competition and Brandon ran second for us and got us right where we needed to be. Ethan had a nice time drop and Thomas held his own at the end. They were pretty excited.”

It was just the third time that relay ran together.

Brainerd was less than a second from a top-five finish, but scored four team points as did teammate Dylan Gross. The freshman launched the shot put 51-0.75 to also place sixth.


“Realistically you don’t see too many freshmen in the state meet for shot put,” Reuer said. “Dylan is a pretty good, fit athlete as a ninth grader. The best thing he accomplished Saturday was his first couple of throws were around 48 feet and that’s now where he has been. He wasn’t happy with it. Then his third throw was a foul so it didn’t count. Then on his fourth throw, he throws 51 feet.

“He’s not happy because he didn’t throw what he did in sections at 53 feet. He wanted to at least do that or better. Obviously, as a freshman in his first state meet in a senior and junior dominated event, to pull that out on his final throw is pretty good.”

The Warrior boys’ combined eight points landed the team in 41st place.

Hannah Caughey posted a sixth-place shot put of 38-2.5 which was three feet farther than her seed length of 35-3. The junior was also seventh in the discus with a 120-8, which was a seven-inch improvement from her seed.

“Hanna was fun to watch and performed so well,” Rutman said. “She is deserving of some recognition no doubt. Hanna works hard and sets a high bar for herself, always wanting to better her best.

“She was a little short of her goal of 40 feet, but she was proud of her effort and final place. She was our last athlete to compete in the discus. She had two fouls, but that didn’t keep her from going after it and truly competing with the field. It was such an honor to bring Hanna to the state meet and I have a feeling she’ll be back there again.”

Deason added two points to the Warriors’ total with her eight-place 12.29 in the 100 dash. She ran a 12.36. The sophomore matched her seed height in the pole vault to finish 12th. She cleared 10-feet.

“Brenna had an explosive start in the 100 dash,” Rutman said. “So explosive she caught the eyes of those around me in the stands. She’s a powerful athlete who absolutely deserved a medal for her efforts and speed. Placing eighth amongst the field required a good race and she rose to the occasion like she always does.”


The Little Falls Flyers’ Danielle Schirmers finished 14th in the pole vault with a 9-6 effort.

Boys team scores: 1-Rosemount 55, 2-Hopkins 49, 3-Farmington 34, 4-Mounds View 33, 5-Prior Lake 32, 41-Brainerd 8
110 hurdles: 1-George Jackson (Hopkins) 14.09
300 hurdles: 1-Samuel Duffing (Hopkins) 39.15
100 dash: 1-Gary Afram (Rosemount) 10.70
200 dash: 1- Liu Landen (Centennial) 22.13
400 dash: 1-Gus Langford (DeLaSalle) 48.64
800 run: 1-Will Skelly (Mounds View) 1:53.46
1600 run: 1-Gabe Smit (Prior Lake) 4:15.96
4x100 relay: 1-Champlin Park 42.34
4x200 relay: 1-Farmington 1:28.14
4x400 relay: 1-Farmington 3:22.34
4x800 relay: 1-Andover 7:54.58, 6-Brainerd (Baden Bastian, Brandon Stark, Ethan Klisch, Thomas Ruhl) 8:04.35
Shot put: 1-Marcus Hansen (Waseca) 63-2.25, 6-Dylan Gross (Brainerd) 51-0.75
Discus: 1-Hansen 178-8
Long jump: 1-William Hanson (Edina) 22-3.25
Triple jump: 1-William Heydt (Alexandria) 45-4.5
High jump: 1-Jacob Ziebarth (Cambridge) 6-7
Pole vault: 1-Jack Helmich (Wayzata) 14-6

Girls team scores: 1-Rosemount 86, 2-St. Michael-Albertville 65, 3t-Minnetonka 56, 3t-Edina 56, 5-Stillwater 48, 11-Brainerd 17
100 hurdles: 1-Ava Cinnamo (Rosemount) 14.49
300 hurdles: 1-Cinnamo 44.01
100 dash: 1-Maddie Dahlien (Edina) 11.99, 8-Brenna Deason (Brainerd) 12.29
200 dash: 1-Dahlien 24.45
400 dash: 1-Dahlien 55.48
800 run: 1-Zoie Dundon (Burnsville) 2:10.54
1600 run: 1-Alexandra Weimer (St. Michael-Albertville) 4:49.93
4x100 relay: 1-St. Michael-Albertville 48.28, 3-Brainerd (Molly Hagelie, Myah Nelson, Madison Genz, Deason) 48.83
4x200 relay: 1-Park Center 1:42.39
4x400 relay: 1-Edina 3:54.75
4x800 relay: 1-Wayzata 9:08.02
Shot put: 1- Hadley Streit (Mounds View) 41-4.25, 6-Hannah Caughey (Brainerd) 38-2.5
Discus: 1-Jordan Hecht (Rosemount) 7-Caughey 120-8
Long jump: 1-Olivia Peal (St. MIchael-Albertville) 18-1.75
Triple jump: 1-Samantha Barrett (Prior Lake) 39-6.25
High jump: 1-Niamya Holloway (Eden Prairie) 5-8
Pole vault: 1-Julia Gherardi (Hibbing) 12-6, 12-Deason 10-0, 14-Danielle Schirmers (LF) 9-6

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
What To Read Next
Get Local