Byron girls heading back to state meet
The Byron girls track and field team has established itself as a power over the years and as it headed into a week that had the Section 1AA True Team meet and the Hiawatha Valley League Championships, this is the time of the year where the Bears save their best for last. This year was no exception to that rule as the Bears claimed their territory once again, winning the Section 1AA True Team Meet in Winona on May 7 and winning the girls HVL title on May 11.
“Advancing to the State True Team meet emphasizes that every effort is important and that to be successful everyone matters,” Byron girls head coach Charro Coleman said of the accomplishment. “The girls are willing to make sacrifices and step out of their comfort zones and compete where ever they are needed. This often carries over into our other big meets and in life in general.”
In order to advance to state, the Bears would be pushed by Red Wing throughout the afternoon as the Wingers found themselves standing right next to Byron in most events. When the dust settled, it would be the Bears who would have the final advantage, finishing with 516.5 team points ahead of Red Wing’s 515 to advance to state for the fourth straight year with hopes of winning a third straight Class AA title.
The Bears would capitalize on that momentum later in the week by winning the Hiawatha Valley League Championship for the eighth straight season. Taylor Kreitinger would lead the way for the Bears, winning the conference title in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:21.20 and a total of 12 different Byron athletes (Kirsten Nelson, Paige Coleman, Payton Sampson, Annika Johnson, Katie Lambrecht, Grace Warmsbecker, Hannah Coleman, Claire Graham, Emma Johnson, Olivia Amundson, Michela Hamilton) would earn All- HVL honors.
Not to be outdone by the girls, the boys track and field team would also have its share of success as Lucas Birch was a two-time HVL winner as the senior won in the 110 meter (16.51 seconds) and 300 meter hurdles (43.20 seconds). Austin Freerksen would also come out as a winner in the long jump with a leap of 20-02.50.
Overall, seven (Birch, Jake Chilson, Titus Christofferson, Freerksen, Dylan Olive, Mitchell Reynolds) would come away with all-HVL honors for the boys and set up another strong performance as the Bears come down the stretch.
After a meet in Pine Island on Tuesday, the Bears will take part in the Twilight Meet at KMTelecom Stadium in Kasson on Friday evening. The girls team will look for their state title in Stillwater on Saturday for the Class AA True Team meet, while both teams will prepare for the Subsection 1A tournament in Medford on May 21.