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Wolverines preparing for Class A Championships

Wadena-Deer Creek's Kennedy Gravelle puts the pressure on Perham's Liz Birkeland as they run to the finish of the 3200m run at the Section 6A Championships. Brooke Kern / Forum News Service1 / 2
Wadena-Deer Creek's Mikaela Malone passes the competition during the 400m relay race at the Section 6A Championships. Brooke Kern / Forum News Service2 / 2

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will have eight athletes competing in seven different events at the Class A Championships at Hamline University on June 8 and 9.

Ellie Miron, Mikaela Malone and Kennedy Gravelle will be joined by Jonathan Pantages, Bereket Loer, Hunter Hawkins, Chase Domier and Isaac Hale will be representing the Wolverines at the state meet.

The Wolverines have high expectations heading into the championships after a strong performance at the section championships.

“We qualified three male relays and they are all running really well, maybe a bit better than I expected,” Wadena-DC head coach Marc Reynolds said. “They just came out with the seeds for the meet and they are all seeded in the top three right now. They are going to have to really bring it come Friday for prelims and back it up on Saturday in the finals if they can come through.”

Reynolds said reminds the team that they don’t always see the competition that the other schools get to see on a regular basis. He said once they get surrounded by other fast schools they can rise up to that. Reynolds said he thinks the best is yet to come for the relay teams.

The 800m relay team of Pantages, Loer, Domier and Hawkins are seeded No. 1 in the event with a time of 1:31.20. Last year’s team of Pantages, Loer, Konnor Stueve and Josh Daigneault placed second in the Class A Championships.

The 400m relay team of Pantages, Domier, Hale and Loer are seeded second with a time of 44.11 seconds. The top seed is a team from Southwest Christian, who enters with a race time of 43.43.

The 1600m relay team of Pantages, Hunter Hawkins, Domier and Loer enter with the second fastest time in that event as well. They have a time of 3:28.20 and trail a team from Rochester Lourdes, who enters with a time of 3:27.98.

Pantages earned top honors in the section in the high jump when he set a new personal record at six feet, five inches. He is seeded fourth overall entering the finals. Reynolds said he almost hit six feet, six inches at the section meet and that he has been jumping really well the past few weeks.

Wadena-Deer Creek's Chase Domier passes the baton off to Hunter Hawkins for the final leg of the 800m relay.

“If he can continue to do that, he should be right in the mix to place,” Reynolds said.

Ellie Miron returns to the state championships in the discus. She finished with a throw of 124 feet, one inch to beat the qualifying standard when she finished third. She is seeded fifth and hopes to build on her eighth place finish from a year ago in the championships.

Her toss at the section meet was a personal record and a school record.

“She should be right in the mix and hopefully, she can continue on and get a high finish there as she finishes off her high school career,” Reynolds said of Miron.

Malone advanced in the 100m dash with a time of 13.19. Reynolds said they hope to get her through into the finals and said it will be a good experience for the ninth-grader, who will be making her first appearance at state.

Gravelle advanced in the 3200m run after finishing second at the section. She finished with a time of 12:05.73 and has ran well when surrounded by other competition, according to Reynolds. The 3200m run is a new event for Gravelle and is building off her best time in the section meet.

The Class A Championships begin on Friday, June 8 at 3:30 p.m. and conclude on Saturday, June 9 at 3:30 p.m. at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.  

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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