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Esko scratches out section win, plenty of state bids

It was a wild scene at Cloquet High School on Thursday as Cloquet hosted the Section 7A boys and girls track meet. Champions and team winners were crowned in a myriad of events. Winning the Section 7A girls championship was Esko with 93.40 points, with Proctor taking second with 90 points.

"It has been a great year for our girls; the hard work and focus they've put in from Day 1 has turned our program around this spring," said Esko girls coach Matt Peterson. "Winning the Polar League and subsection titles for the first time since 2016 and finishing it off with winning the Section 7A championship for the first time since 2012 was an exclamation point."

The boys title went to Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin with 82, with Esko finishing a close second with 78.50 points.

On the girls side, top local finishers included Emily Rengo of Esko, who captured the 100-meter dash in 13.07 seconds.

"Emily Rengo is our quiet leader in our girls program, and she is not only the section champion in the 100-meter dash, but she is our rock in our relays as well," Peterson said. "She makes running look effortless, and never does she seem to be straining."

Esko's Kaitlyn McConnell took second in the 200-meter dash in 26.89. Ingrid Hexum, also of Esko, was second in the 800-meter run.

In the 100 hurdles, Esko's Gwendolyn Lilly was second in 16.86. Allie Thornton of Esko captured second in the high jump with a jump of 4-feet, 10-inches and Barnum's Brooke Doran was second in the long jump with a leap of 15-10.

Esko and South Ridge both had second-place finishes in the relays: the Eskomos in the 4x100 event, and the Panthers in the 4x400 relay.

Skyla Thompson of ML/WR was runner-up in the pole vault with a vault of 8-6.

Zoie Johnson of Esko took top honors in the shot put with a throw of 37 feet even, and finished second in the discus to Elle Ridge of South Ridge.

Elle Ridge had a winning throw of 118-11 in the discus and Johnson was runner-up with a toss of 116-02.