Mound Westonka High School sent a record 13 athletes to the 2022 MSHSL State Track and Field Meet June 9-11 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. The White Hawks' state lineup included four individual event participants and three relay teams.
The Top 9 finishers in each event stand on the heralded podium and are named All-State. In the end, 10 MWHS competitors earned All-State honors. It is estimated that over 25,000 spectators visited the stadium over the three days to cheer on the state’s top athletes.
The girls 4x100 relay of junior Micah Boyce, junior Ellen Pruitt, ninth-grader Avery Olson and senior Bella Lund have had been top placers all season long and entered the meet heavily favored. With the completion of the qualifying heats, the White Hawks speedsters were seeded first heading into the finals. The first three legs of the championship race ran strong, giving Boyce the baton, tied for the lead, into the final stretch. In a dramatic sprint to the finish, amidst the cheers of thousands in the stands, the team was rewarded with second place in an All-State performance of 49:4, breaking the school record set in the previous meet. This is only the second time in MWHS track program history for a second-place finish.
It had been 14 years since the White Hawks sent a thrower to state, but junior and two-sport state qualifier (wrestling, track & field) Sam Dioszeghy ended that drought. Making it past the qualifying rounds, Dioszeghy’s first throw in the finals, a 150’, was enough to earn him an All-State. He finished fifth overall.
The school pole vault record holder, junior Payton Kasper, also surpassed qualifying and sailed for a spot on the podium. Kasper battled 'til the bitter end with the state’s premier vaulters and catapulted himself to third place overall with All-State honors in his first year in the sport.
Coming off their school record performance from the previous week’s section meet, the boys 4x800 realy team was not to be denied the podium. The race was a two-heat final with the White Hawks boys featured in the second, faster heat. Junior Jack Markstrom ran a solid opening leg with junior Logan Kevitt and senior Josh Engesser keeping them on pace. In his final race as a White Hawk, three-sport state qualifier (cross country, Nordic, track & field) senior Lance Nemecek brought the baton around the track two times quickly enough to secure an eighth-place, All-State finish.
In another program first, the White Hawks sent two runners to the same running event. In addition to qualifying in the 4x800, Nemecek and Markstom placed first and second, respectively, in the 800-meter run at Sections, earning them both a spot representing 6AA at state. Markstrom delivered a PR run in qualifications with a 2:00:35, and Nemecek ran a 2:00:84, placing them 11th and 12th, respectively.
When asked her thoughts about the team’s performance, an enormously proud head coach Sara Schwartz exclaimed:
“The White Hawks competed great at the state meet. To have 13 kids earn a trip to state and have 10 of them earn All-State is amazing! They have worked so hard all season and it really paid off. They are a great group of athletes and people. We will miss our seniors next season but have a strong group coming back.”
Tag(s): Track & Field