K-M distance runners dominate Chuck Ramthun Invite
Even though Kasson-Mantorville track and field coach Jared Pittman took over the program this spring, the argument could be made that his work has made an impact long before succeeding Eric Myran. Pittman’s work as the cross country coach at the school has bred one of the best programs in the HVL and as his runners transitioned to the track team in the spring, they brought a lot of the qualities that had been instilled in them the previous fall.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and consistency,” Pittman said of his distance runner’s success. “Being a distance runner takes a great deal of dedication. You have to run every day and push yourself. We had a great season of training and it’s really paying off for us.”
The distance runners along with many other members of the boys track team, helped lead the KoMets to a second place finish behind Stewartville at the Chuck Ramthun Invitational in Byron on May 4. K-M would pick up three distance championships during the event and in some events found themselves with multiple finishers within the top-five.
Senior Brennan Gustafson led the way for K-M with a pair of championships with one coming in the 400 meter dash (51.94 seconds) and another in the 800 meter run. Gustafson also served as the anchor in the 4x400 meter team along with Harrison Hepplemann, Mason Iverson and Tyler Wanous. Together, they had a runner-up finish behind Rochester Lourdes with a time of 3:37.85.
The KoMets also saw success as a team in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs as Benjamin Trihey (4:56.03), Charlie Miller (4:56.03) and Isaac Threinen (5:00.19) would finish third, fourth and fifth respectively in the 1600 meter race. In the 3200 meter race, George Gustafson would finish first with a time of 10:41.49 while Jace Minelli (10:43.67, 2nd) and Trihey (11:00.79, 4th) would also finish in the top five.
K-M’s day wasn’t directly tied to the distance runners either, as Iverson claimed victory in the 110 meter hurdles (16.58 seconds) and Tyler Wanous would finish first in the high jump with a leap of six feet. Senior sprinter Kollin Johnson finished second in the boys 100 meter dash with a time of 11.63 seconds.
For the girls, the day belonged to Kinsey Koebele, who looked ready to defend her HVL title in the 100 meter dash this weekend. Her final time of 13.16 seconds was nearly one-tenth of a second ahead of Byron’s Katie Lambrecht to pick up the victory and her time of 28.06 seconds in the 200 meter dash was good for third place.
“Kinsey is really running well, but there is some tough competition,” Pittman said of Koebele’s chances of a repeat. “If she keeps working hard and stays healthy, she will run well and have a shot.”
Along with Koebele, Tiana Wibeke also came out a winner in the 3200 meter run (12:21.39) and Anna Rechtzigel won the girls high jump event at 4’10”. Lara Boyum (300 meter hurdles, 50.11) and McKenzie Evans (800 meter run, 2:30.60) would also earn runner up finishes for the KoMets in Byron.
With their performance in Byron in the books, the KoMets will turn their attention to an important week. After heading to Winona for the Section 1AA True Team meet on Tuesday, they’ll take part in the HVL Championship Meet in Stewartville on Saturday morning.
“The boys are sitting pretty well right now,” Pittman observed. “We’re fairly healthy overall and running well, but the girls had a couple of injuries last week that will hurt us a bit for true team, but hopefully they’ll be recovered for HVL on Saturday.”