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Track gears up for BRC Meet

Hudson sophomore Alicia Belany leads the pack in the girls' 4x1,600-meter run relay at the Stan Barr Relays Friday, May 3, in New Richmond. Belany finished second to teammate Rachel Ball to combine with Hannah Burns and Lizzy Bond a first place team finish in the race. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Hudson freshman Owen Marnell takes off for a personal best distance of 37 feet, 9 inches in the triple jump at the Stan Barr Relays Friday, May 3, in New Richmond. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The race for the Big Rivers Conference track and field titles figures to come down to Hudson and River Falls this season, and with the BRC Championships coming up Monday, May 13, the Raider girls made a statement by beating out the Wildcats for first place while the boys finished a close second to the Wildcats at the Stan Barr Relays Friday, May 13, in New Richmond.

Hudson won the girls' team title with 93 points followed by Anoka with 84 and River Falls with 74. River Falls took the boys title with 70 while Hudson was second with 66.

"The (Stan Barr Relays) are always a meet that we circle on the calendar," Raider boy's coach Nate Kirkpatrick said. "The coaches and staff up at the Stan Barr Relays always put on a well-run meet, and the events are always highly competitive. It's a great chance to run some unique events like the hurdle relays and sprint medleys, but it's also our opportunity as a team to firm up relays and lineups as we approach the end of the season, and look to the conference meet and beyond."

The Raider girls picked up first place finishes in the 4x200-, 4x800- and 4x1,600-meter relays, highlighted by Rachel Ball and Alicia Belany turning in the top two 1,600 times. Ball took first in the 1,600 in 5 minutes, 18.84 seconds while Belany was second in 5:19.96.

Emma Olson, Molly Kallenbach, Rose Giblin and Bailee Dierks combined for a first place time of 1:46.53 in the 4x200 while Ball, Emma Filipiak, Belany and Anna Czupryna took first in the 4x800 in 10:13.37.

"The girls went out hard to compete and came back with a good number of PRs, including the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relays, as well as a really good number in our field events," girls' coach Jami Holum said. "All three relays along with the 4x800 are currently on the state honor roll."

The girls' 4x100 relay team of Ava Wilber, Kallenbach, Amber Robey and Olson finished combined for a second place time of 50.06 seconds while the 4x400 team of Mikayla Kallenbach, Giblin, Olson and Dierks was second in 4:09.88.

Hudson also earned a second place finish in the 3x100 shuttle hurdle relay with Ave Jensen, Noelle Wiste and Dierks teaming up for a time of 49.69 seconds.

Holum said while the team win was nice, the Raider girls' focus remains on winning a fourth straight conference title.

"All of our meets are leading up to conference and then the tournament series, and that is really always the focus," she said. "The team has done a great job of learning on the fly this year, with a good majority of our team being freshmen and sophomores. The upperclassmen have shown good leadership up to this point, and it is really awesome to see the team having fun and showing each other a lot of support."

Hudson's boys received strong efforts in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays as well as the distance races to finish just four points behind defending conference champion River Falls.

"The boys team has been led by some amazing upperclassmen, who have continued to improve throughout the season," Kirkpatrick said.

The 4x400 team of Rocco Huppert, Torin Phillips, Carter Maack and Jacob Daulton posted a fourth place time of 3:30.92, and the 4x100 team of Landen Bilse, Daulton, Jakes Assembo and Charles Pierce was fifth in 45.19 seconds while the 4x800 team of Tyler Auge, Tony Weeks, Carsten Bentley and Max Bevers took fifth in 8:44.12.

Tony Weeks led the 4x1,600 relay with a first place time of 4:35.03 and Noah Lundeen was third in 4:36.29.

"Our distance guys have really carried us this season, with Tony, Noah, and Tyler all having excellent performances again," Kirkpatrick said. "We also got a big boost from our underclassmen, who competed in triple jump, high jump, and our distance races. It was a great team effort."

The BRC Championships will take place Monday, May 13, at Eau Claire North.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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