Cloquet well represented at State
June 9, 2023
The Cloquet boys and girls track teams had impressive showings at the Section 7AA meet held at Hibbing High School on Saturday. The Lumberjacks boys team took second place behind Rock Ridge and will compete in the state track meet. The 'Jacks girls team finished third behind North Branch and Chisago Lakes and did not qualify as a team for state.
That wasn't necessarily the goal, said Cloquet head coach Tim Prosen.
"We do not try to win as a team," Prosen said. "This meet is about getting individuals to the state meet. If we were trying to win as a team we would do our lineup much different."
Numerous Cloquet athletes qualified for this week's state meet as individuals, including several who will compete in more than one event.
Girls state qualifiers
Taylor Wick had an impressive first-place showing in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet,11 inches, over 2 feet farther than the runner-up. Wick also won the high jump with a jump of 5-1 and qualified in the long jump with a second-place finish.
"I have never seen Taylor so excited at a track meet after her triple jump record," Prosen said. "She is a phenomenal athlete, and this year really upped her game in workouts, she truly loves jumping. To break a school record like she did when it was held by Olivia Jameson, we know it was a heck of a jump."
Alexa Shepherd won the 400-meter dash, narrowly nipping Derrian Dick of North Branch at the finish line.
"Alexa is so fun to watch for all of our fans and team; she is just so gritty, a fighter," Prosen said.
Seija Souminen won discus and qualified for state for the second year in a row with a throw of 116-5.
"She has the tools to place highly or even win the whole thing this year at state," Prosen said. "We have seen her throw some that end up out of bounds. If she can mark one of these big ones in-bounds, it could be a very exciting day."
The girls Cloquet 4x800 relay team raced to a victory with the team of Lauren Hughes, Erin Loeb, Charlotte Ripp and Alexa Shepherd.
"Our 4x800 has been a wild card - we had no clue what they were capable of doing," Prosen said. "It is the first time they have run together all year."
He explained that Lauren Hughes pulled a hamstring back in late April at a cold meet in Superior. She worked to rehab it and worked out on a bike.
"She ran her first 800 this year in this race and had a 2:26 split, a fantastic time," Prosen said. "The other three did exactly what they had to do and cruised to a win."
Boys state qualifiers
Jordan Aultman raced to a win in the boys 100-meter dash with a time of 11.03 seconds, which was just 0.7 seconds faster than runner-up Edmond Morris of Chisago Lakes.
"Jordan's race in the 100 was fun to watch. He had a slow start out of the blocks but also set a school record in the process," said Prosen. "If we get a good start out of him, his time will be incredible."
Miles Fischer ran a tough race and gutted out a win in the 3,200. The senior then took a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:22.80 to qualify in two events for state.
"Coming into the section meet there were some excited fans to watch Miles and the distance runners," said Prosen. "Rock Ridge star Cameron Stocke has not been pushed for the majority of the year. It was fun to watch Miles dominate the 3,200 and at least make Stocke work for his win in the 1,600."
The Lumberjacks also took first place in both the 4x100 and 4x200 relay events. In the 4x100 it was Jordan Aultman, Elijah Aultman, Noah Hansen and Reese Sheldon taking first. The 4x200 saw the Aultmans, Sheldon and Miigwan Tanner-Wostrel race to first.
"Relays are running well at the right time," Prosen said. "It was good to see our boys 4x100 improve upon last year with two new faces (Elijah Aultman and Noah Hansen). We knew we could have a nice 4x200 also; we ran it at a 'last chance meet' in Hermantown the week before and the guys were really fast on the track. We did feel all we had to do was not screw up, drop a baton, or make a mistake, and we could push both of these teams to state, and they did."
Matthew Erickson won the triple jump for the 'Jacks with an impressive leap of 43-8.
"Matthew is still such a raw jumper, and yet he is so talented," Prosen said. "Once he figures out his technique in these events, the sky is the limit."
The state meet for both the boys and girls was scheduled to be held June 8-10 at the St. Michael-Albertville track.