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Halbur pulls off state trifecta; Stelter in 3 state events

There was more than enough grit and determination for the Detroit Lakes 4x100 relay team during the Section 8-2A finals in Brainerd Saturday, after several frustrating near misses for state occurred before the race.

The frustration started accumulating in the 100-meter dash, led into the 4x200, but was all but erased with a Section 8-2A 4x100 relay championship, which will send the Laker foursome to the state meet this weekend at Hamline University.

The DL four of sophomores Natalie Hoffert, Jessica Stelter, junior Bre Halbur and freshman Rose Jackson won the 4x100 by .38 of a second over Brainerd Saturday, making it one of four state events which will have Laker girls competing in.

The victory followed a 4x200 race in which the Lakers finished second and just missed another state berth by nary a second.

"They didn't have a perfect handoff between the third and fourth runner, but lucky for us, Rose (Jackson) wasn't going to be second again," said DL head coach Mike Labine. "But all four ran well, but their best time is still coming."

Jackson, who was the anchor in each the 4x100 and 4x200, also experienced a near-miss in qualifying for state in the 100 dash by .23 of a second. The 4x200 is a new DLHS record time of 1:45.45 (Lindsey Heinecke ran in the 4x200 along with Hoffert, Halbur and Jackson).

But she wasn't going to be denied in the 4x100, which was her last event of the day.

"I was frustrated," Jackson said. "The handoff was a bit shaky (in the 4x100), but I was able to pass the Sartell runner in the last 50 meters and part of it was just willing to get past her."

Hoffert, who started the race, said the motivation was high for making state in the 4x100.

"It was our last shot, so we wanted it bad."

For Halbur, being a part of a state team will be her first of her career -- despite this being her eighth state meet appearance.

Amazingly, as well, Halbur -- who also qualified for the state in the long jump -- this will be her third state meet of the year after she made the state Class 1A state diving meet and Class 1A gymnastics.

But in every one of her state experiences, it's been as an individual.

"I've wanted to go to state with a relay for a long time," Halbur said. "This is my first time going to state with a team and I'm very excited for that."

After missing state last year after injuries forced her to compete at less than 100-percent, this year she was healthy and the dividends paid off.

She still had an ankle injury this year, but was able to recover to take second in the long jump last Wednesday.

The track and field season was also right behind the gymnastics season, where Halbur finished second in the state on vault.

"After the gymnastics season, I was worn out," Halbur said. "It took some time to get back to 100 percent and I had some intense workouts after I started feeling better."

She survived the field of 45 long jumpers, as well, in a section which is considered one of the best in the state.

"I was just relieved to make it," Halbur said.

Stelter will also be a busy Laker, with three state events pegged for her schedule.

But the Laker sophomore made state the hard way in her two individual events -- the 100 hurdles and pole vault -- by qualifying by eclipsing the state standard cut.

The state cut is determined by taking the average time, distance or height of the top five finishers in state from a year ago.

Stelter also is dealing with an ankle injury, but she was able to overcome it when she had to perform in the section.

"Going in, I just mentally prepared myself by believing I was the fastest (100 hurdler) in the section," Stelter said. "At first, my goal was to finish in the top two, but after awhile, I just wanted to make the state cut."

That's exactly what she did, by matching the state cut time of 15.34 and behind two of the best hurdlers in the state in Brainerd's Kelsi Ring and Madison Smith.

"I figured there was a good chance of the section sending three hurdlers to state," Labine said.

Stelter repeated her state-cut performance on pole vault, by hitting a personal-best mark of 10-07 -- which was once again the state cut.

"I just used a bigger pole and had better technique," Stelter said of her pole vault performance.

The Class 2A meet will be held at Hamline University, with preliminaries starting Friday.

Stelter will run the 100 hurdles at 9:40 a.m. Friday, while Halbur will compete in the long jump finals at 9 a.m.

The prelim 4x100 relay race is at 10:50 a.m. and the pole vault for Stelter is Saturday at 9 a.m.

Laker results

Section 8-2A finals at Brainerd, Saturday, June 5.

Laker girls results (*state qualifiers) -- 100 dash: 4. Rose Jackson 12.86...200 dash: 6. Linsdey Heinecke 26.56...400 dash: 6. Emma Erholtz 1:03.43...1,600 run: 15. Marie Yokan 5:35.65; 20. McKenzie Foltz 5:41.86; 29. Veronica Haverkamp 6:04.43...3,200 run: 17. Miranda Olson 12:33.50; 26. Foltz 12:56.57; 27. Anne Holzgrove 13:01.42...100 hurdles: *3. Jessica Stelter 15.34 (State cut time)...4x100: *1. DL (Natalie Hoffert, Stelter, Bre Halbur, Jackson) 49.71...4x200: 2. DL (Hoffert, Halbur, Heinecke, Jackson) 1:45.45...4x800: 7. DL (Abby Ullyott, Olson, Haverkamp, Katie Larson) 10:34.63...High jump: 6. Alexis Schermer 5-0; 7. Kayla Lang 5-0...Pole vault: *3. Stelter 10-07 (State cut height)...Long jump: *2. Halbur 17-07.25 (Wednesday, June 2)...Shot put: 9. Jen Matter 32-02; 12. Shay Nielsen 32-0; 29. Brooklyn Thompson 27-09.5.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.