Six members of the Litchfield track and field team advanced to the State Class A Meet with strong performances in sections.
Landon Wagner and TJ Christensen advanced to the state meet on the boys side, with both earning second-place finishes in throwing events during the Section 5A Meet last week. Wagner, a senior, took second in the shot put, while Christensen, a sophomore, was second in the discus.
Meanwhile, on the girls side, Litchfield’s 800-meter relay team of Lillia Chvatal, Raina Kaping, Lily Osterberg and Vail Kaping cruised to a runner-up finish.
The State Track and Field Meet is set for Thursday through Saturday at St. Michael-Albertville High School this year, with the Litchfield qualifiers all competing on Friday.
Wagner will compete along with other boys Class A shot putters at 10 a.m. Friday. He earned his spot at state with a toss of 50-feet 11.25 inches during the Section 5A meet. Wagner finished second to East Central’s Trevor Christensen, who went 51-7.25.
Meanwhile, Litchfield’s Christensen also earned second place and a state meet berth with a toss of 140-feet-2 in the discus. East Central’s Christensen also won the discus with a throw of 154-7. Those two throws kept the Wagner out of qualifying for state in two events, as he finished third with a throw of 134-2.
The boys discus state competition is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Litchfield’s girls 800 relay team will take the track with the rest of the state meet qualifiers at 4:26 p.m. Friday at St. Michael-Albertville. They earned that spot by finishing .94 seconds behind Rockford’s Section 5A-winning 800 relay team.
The Dragons’ combination of two seniors – Osterberg and Vail Kaping – and two sophomores – Raina Kaping and Lillia Chvatal – has competed well all season. The quartet posted a double win in the Subsection 20 meet, claiming both the 400 and 800 relay crowns.
Though they couldn’t repeat the feat at sections, they narrowly missed qualifying for state in both events. The relay team finished third in the 400 with a time of 51.61 seconds, just behind runner-up Annandale’s qualifying time of 50.85. Rockford won the event in 50.57.
The sprinters earned their state meet berth in the 800, however, as they shaved more than two seconds off their subsection time, finishing in 1:48.01 in the Section 5A meet.
Along with their relay, three of the group also competed in other events during the Section 5A meet.
Raina Kaping competed in the 100 and the pole vault. She finished 10th in the pole vault at a height of 7-feet-8, while Paynesville’s Rebekah Walz won the event at 10-2.
The 100 featured both Kaping sisters, and they ran neck-and-neck in both the preliminary and finals. The Kapings finished seventh and eighth in the preliminary race, filling the last two spots for the finals. There, they ran fifth and sixth, with Raina posting a time of 13.22 seconds and Vail one-tenth of a second behind. Rockford’s Cassia Cady won the event in 12.63 seconds.
Chvatal was also busy on the day, competing in the 200 and long jump, in addition to her relay duties. Chvatal, who won the subsection 200 with a time of 27.63, cut about a half-second off that time in the Section 5A meet. Her time of 26.99 was good for fifth place, with Rockford’s Sara Byers winning the event in 26.24.
Chvatal also finished fifth in the long jump with a distance of 16-feet-4 ½ — a quarter of an inch better than her subsection runner-up distance.
Other Litchfield girls competing in the Section 5A meet included sophomore Jaelyn Baseman and senior Sydney Jackman, who finished fifth and seventh, respectively in the shot put. Freshman Grace Schmidt, meanwhile, earned a fifth-place finish in the discus.
Sophomore Greta Hansen posted a 10th place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 32-1 ¾, an event won by Maple Lake’s Maggie Larson with a leap of 38-0.75.
For Litchfield’s boys, sophomore Lukas Kuehl competed in the 400, finishing 10th, and long jump, where his leap of 19-0.5 was good for seventh place. Junior Brenden Smith finished 11th in the 300 hurdles and junior Logan King took 11th in the pole vault.
Freshman Ole Rogness earned a sixth-place finish in the 1,600, an Shelby Lund took 11th in the high jump. Sophomore Jacob Dietel rounded out the Dragons’ day with a 12th place finish in the shot put.