Lakers make big jump at state True Team

The Detroit Lakes boys track and field team entered the Class AA state True Team meet as the last seed gaining entry by nabbing the fourth and final wild card. From there, the Lakers used some strong performances to jump to the middle of the pack...

Senior Jay Nielsen scored more than 10 percent of the Lakers' total points by sweeping the state True Team shot put and discus throw Saturday in Stillwater. Robert Williams / Tribune

The Detroit Lakes boys track and field team entered the Class AA state True Team meet as the last seed gaining entry by nabbing the fourth and final wild card. From there, the Lakers used some strong performances to jump to the middle of the pack and place sixth overall Saturday, May 19 at Stillwater high school.

“We had a great day” head coach Bill Kvebak said. “Being the last team in and moving up to sixth place and to be in the running for fourth late in the meet was big for this program.”

Team photo courtesy Twitter / @BillKvebak

The Lakers were in fourth place after 16 events with two to go before dropping behind Fairmont and Hutchinson late. The three teams finishes within less than 30 points of each other Fairmont taking fourth place with 459, Hutchinson in fifth with 442 and the Lakers in sixth with 433.50.


Willmar won the state title scoring 588 points, followed  by Jordan 531 and Rocori in third place with 479.5.

DL lost to Perham by a small margin in the section meet, but bested the Yellowjackets at state. Perham placed ninth scoring 381.5 points.

Senior throwers continued to be the strongest part of Laker track this season. Jay Nielsen swept shot put and discus to put up 48 points by himself and got a solid finishes in tandem with his two counterparts Ben Nordmark with a fourth place shot put and Jake Kerzman with an eighth place discus.

“Obviously Jay's points were huge for us,” said Kvebak. “But the other two guys in the throws also stepped up huge. Ben has been going back and forth with Jay all year long and has been one of our most consistent throwers. Kerz has been really coming on the last few meets really putting it all together as a senior. If we didn't have Jay on our team you would hear a lot more about these guys, because they are really good.”
Another consistent performer this season has been distance runner Tanner Olson, who was the runner-up in the 3,200m run and was top 10 in the 1,600m run placing eighth.

“Tanner had a nice run in the 3,200, chasing down the kid from Perham in the last lap of the race,” Kvebak said.

Tucker Strawsell placed ninth behind Olson in the 3,200 and did so by setting a personal best my over 12 seconds running a time of 10:34.15.

The team of Isaiah Thompson and Jake Bettcher continued to place well in hurdles. Thompson finished fourth in the 110 and third in the 300. Bettcher was 16th and 14th in each race.

“The hurdles have become an event of strength for us this year,” Kvebak said. “In past years, we just hope to finish at or near the middle of the pack, but with Isaiah and Jake we have two guys who can really score us points.”


Bettcher also competed in high jump (13th) and triple jump (14th).


Reed Reller and Jaeger Gulseth had top 10 finishes in the 400 with Reller in fourth and Gulseth placing ninth to total 37 team points.

“Our two 400 guys have been killing it this year,” said Kvebak. “Both Jaeger and Reed have taken on a very tough race and made it their own. They have been working every day with Coach Freeman to get better and faster.”
Kvebak praised his senior class for making a big move up the scoreboard from entering as the last team.

“I was really proud of our seniors, guys who do their job and don't get much press Preston Ladue, Gabe Kitzman, Zach Brandt, and Tristan Rader, he said. “These guys are the heart of the team.” Gulseth, Kerzman, Nordmark, and Nielsen round out the upperclassmen.

The season is winding down for graduates of 2018. The track and field teams will prepare for the Section 8AA preliminary meet and a shot at the MSHSL state meet later in June beginning Wednesday, May 30 at Willmar high school. The section finals will be held at Moorhead high school Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Minnesota Class AA State True Team Track and Field Championship
1) Willmar 588 2) Jordan 531 3) Rocori 479.50 4) Fairmont 459  5) Hutchinson 442 6) Detroit Lakes 433.50 7) Plainview-Elgin Millville 420 8) St Croix Lutheran 396.50 9) Perham 381.50 10) Cloquet 380.50 11) Stewartville 358.50 12) Benilde St Margaret's 264.
100m dash
1 Andrusick, Nate Rocori 10.91
18 Green, Will Detroit Lakes 11.85
19 Heimark, Ben Detroit Lakes 11.86
200m dash
1 Cannon, Derrick Plainview-El 22.21
14 Heimark, Ben Detroit Lakes 23.82
18 Green, Will Detroit Lakes 24.11
400m dash
1 Quiring, Wyatt Fairmont 51.57
4 Gulseth, Jaeger Detroit Lakes 52.95
9 Reller, Reed Detroit Lakes 53.91
800m run
1 Speicher, Carson Perham 2:03.32
11 Kitzman, Gabe Detroit Lakes 2:10.44
17 Nordby, Peyton Detroit Lakes 2:12.18
1,600m run
1 Keiser, Owen Jordan 4:34.64
8 Olson, Tanner Detroit Lakes 4:41.93
12 Nordby, Peyton Detroit Lakes 4:47.27
3,200m run
1 Keiser, Owen Jordan 10:00.89
2 Olson, Tanner Detroit Lakes 10:16.32
9 Strawsell, Tucker Detroit Lakes 10:34.15
110m hurdles
1 Nibaur, Alec Willmar 15.32
4 Thompson, Isaiah Detroit Lakes 15.69
16 Bettcher, Jake Detroit Lakes 16.92
300m hurdles
1 Larson, Ben Jordan 41.43
3 Thompson, Isaiah Detroit Lakes 41.75
14 Bettcher, Jake Detroit Lakes 44.10
4x100m relay
1 Rocori 43.50
12 Detroit Lakes 52.52
4x200m relay
1 Rocori 1:31.40
3 Detroit Lakes 1:34.64
4x400m relay
1 Fairmont 3:31.36
8 Detroit Lakes 3:44.86
4x800m relay
1 Perham 8:29.39
9 Detroit Lakes 9:05.94
High jump
1 Petersen, Maguire Hutchinson 6-06
12 Brandt, Zach Detroit Lakes 5-06
13 Bettcher, Jake Detroit Lakes 5-06
Pole vault
1 Munsch, Jacob Plainview-El 14-00
15 Green, Will Detroit Lakes 10-00
23 Mai, Martin Detroit Lakes 8-00
Long jump
1 Marzinske, Jake St Croix Lutheran 22-01.75
13 Rhodes, Jackson Detroit Lakes 19-08.75
20 Heimark, Ben Detroit Lakes 19-01.25
Triple jump
1 Marzinske, Jake St Croix Lutheran 46-04
14 Bettcher, Jake Detroit Lakes 38-11.25
23 Rhodes, Jackson Detroit Lakes 35-09.25
Shot put
1 Nielsen, Jay Detroit Lakes 49-04.75
4 Nordmark, Ben Detroit Lakes 47-05.50
Discus throw
1 Nielsen, Jay Detroit Lakes 161-07 24
8 Kerzman, Jacob Detroit Lakes 137-05



Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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