Halbur takes all-state honors in long jump; 4x100 makes finals
ST. PAUL - There were two birds killed with one stone by the Detroit Lakes 4x100 relay team Friday during the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Not only did the Laker foursome break the DLHS 4x100 record with their 49.37 time in the preliminaries, they qualified for the finals Saturday by finishing in the top eight.
The 4x100 team of sophomores Natalie Hoffert, Jessica Stelter, junior Bre Halbur and freshman Rose Jackson will race in the finals Saturday at 10:46 a.m.
"I was just thinking and hoping we wouldn't take last in our heat," Jackson said. "I really want that shiny medal."
With Friday's performance, all four of the Lakers have a chance for that "shiny medal" after having a race in which improvements were still apparent for Saturday's finals.
Most of the handoffs were clean, as Hoffert bolted out of the starting blocks to put DL in contention with a top three start.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Hoffert, who was feeling the nerves of her first state track meet.
"I was feeling nervous already and we had the seventh lane, which there isn't anyone to race against on your right since it's the outside lane," Hoffert said. "Then a judge came up to me and said something about having a ponytail in to race, so that just rattled me more."
But the rattling didn't affect the start, as Hoffert made a clean handoff to Stelter, who maintained DL's pace with the front two runners.
"It felt nice, I thought I ran fast," Stelter added.
Next up was Halbur, who was fighting distractions of her own, as she had to bounce back and forth from the long jump to 4x100.
"I was a little nervous and was distracted, but I was able to keep our place in the race and get it to Rose," Halbur said of her leg of the event.
The anchor, Jackson, had the opportunity to see her teammates round the track and head to her.
Nerves were definitely hitting her, but by the time Halbur was racing towards her, she was calm and collect and ready to go.
"I was so nervous before the race, but then by the time they got to me, no nerves," Jackson said. "When I got the baton, I was just thinking to keep my head down and not come in last place."
The Lakers have the first lane for Saturday's meet, so that was a welcome site, since it gives the opportunity for the racers to run against someone on their hip.
"The only thing they need to do (Saturday) is get the baton around the track to medal," said DL head coach Mike Labine. "They broke the school record and made the second day, that was their goals.
"Natalie got us our signature start and Bre was phenomenal around the curve again. Rose was running against 100-meter finalists, too, and she was able to maintain our spot."
The team added a goal to their list, to go along with that "shiny medal".
"We want to hit in the .48's," Hoffert included.
Halbur already made a climb up on the Class 2A podium after finishing fifth overall in the long jump event with a mark of 17-01.5.
The Laker junior -- who has now qualified for state in all her three sports this year -- was fighting plenty of distractions, since the long jump overlapped the 4x100.
"I watching when the 4x100 was going to go off and even was planning on skipping a jump," Halbur said. "But I was able to get all three of my final jumps off."
Halbur scratched on her first attempt, something that she has never done before.
So her jump coach Pete Paulson and Labine pushed her back a little further from her usual starting point, just so she could make the finals and gain three more jumps.
"After I scratched on my first attempt, I got pretty scared," Halbur said. "So I went more conservative so I could make it to the finals."
On her final preliminary attempt, she hit her 17-01.25 and the finals.
Despite medaling with a fifth-place finish, Halbur believed she could have done better, but was more than satisfied to gain a medal.
"I was distracted the entire time, but I just tried to keep my composure," Halbur included. "I can't be disappointed, though, I made it to the podium."
Labine agreed making the podium is just another feather in Halbur's hat.
"She is an all-state long jumper and it's another step in her progression (as an athlete)," Labine said.
With Friday being Stelter's first time on the state track, her 100-meter high hurdle event didn't go off as planned.
Stelter finished 15th overall with a time of 16.49, which was 1.15 of a second off of her section time.
"I didn't know what to expect, so it wasn't my best race," Stelter said. "I didn't run my fastest. But I was just going out to have a fun time and use it as a learning experience if I can hopefully make it back next year."
Stelter will also pole vault Saturday, along with running in the 4x100 finals.
Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul, Friday-Saturday, June 11-12.
Detroit Lakes girls results --
Long jump: 5. Bre Halbur 17-01.25 (All-State)...4x100: 8. DL (Natalie Hoffert, Jess Stelter, Bre Halbur, Rose Jackson) 49.37 (qualified for finals)...100 high hurdles: 15. Stelter 16.49 (preliminaries).