Trimming time: Pipestone Area track & field teams perform well at early-season meet in Luverne

Pipestone Area’s Aiden Voss (middle) and Connor Wagner (left) contend with Marshall’s Soe Ka Maw in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles at the Marshall track & field meet Monday evening in Luverne. K. Kyle

Tinkering with lineups as the weather tinkers with the athletes in the early portion of the spring sports season, the Pipestone Area track & field teams had their second competition of the campaign Monday evening in Luverne.

The meet, actually put on by Marshall, saw just four squads take to the oval and throwing and jumping pits – offering the Arrows, Marshall Tigers, Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots and Luverne Cardinals a relaxed atmosphere throughout.

“It’s always good to get that first one or two (meets) out of the way to figure out what we can work on and put together,” Pipestone Area head track & field coach Todd Tinklenberg said. “Today’s meet was much better than last weeks, as far as relays.

“Aiden’s (Voss) time came down in the 110 hurdles, he had a good day today, but the first couple meets are really no more than a gloried practice against somebody else; you put forth some effort and that’s all we’re looking for right now. We move kids around, try different kids in different relays, and today we flip-flopped some kids in events to see what they could do.”

The Arrows boys saw a few team members top the sparse field.

As Coach Tinklenberg noted, Voss – a double-place winner in the hurdles at last spring Class A state meet in St. Michael – pulled off a double in the 110 and 300-meter events. He posted respective winning times of 15.82 seconds and 42 seconds, while sophomore teammate Connor Wagner placed third behind Marshall’s Soe Ka Maw (2nd, 16.86) in the 110s at 16.9 seconds and claimed a runner-up finish in the 300-meter event with a mark of 44.75. And Wagner finished off a fine overall performance with a runner-up finish in the boys’ high jump at a height of five feet, eight inches.

After receiving the baton from teammate Colton Fey, Pipestone Area’s Hayden Brooke anchors the Arrows’ victory in the boys’ 4×100-meter relay Monday evening in Luverne. K. Kyle

Also ascending to the top of the podium on the evening was senior Colton Fey, who won the long jump (19 participants) with a leap of 19 feet, seven inches.

The Arrows boys also snatched a gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay, as Americ Suvandy, Hayden Brooke, Fey and Trevin DeWilde joined force to triumph in a time of 46.88 seconds. A similar quartet, with Cayden Zephier in for DeWilde, placed second in the 4×200-meter relay with a mark of 1:38.28. Brooke (11.87) and Fey (12.02) also ran the open 100 meters, placing second and third, respectively, behind Marshall’s Chidi Nwakama (11.63). DeWilde finished sixth in the event at 12.28, while Zephier, weakened by a weekend of basketball, was 14th in a time of 12.89 seconds.

Suvandy, who appears to be a diamond in the rough for the Arrows, was a strong sixth in a talented field of 26 runners in the open 200 meters in a time of 24.98. DeWilde was ninth at 25.81, while Zephier claimed the 11th position with a mark of 26.46.

“He’s a little eighth grader that’s really come on and surprised us,” Tinklenberg said. “He has great speed; he’s going to fit in well and, hopefully, we can make that relay pretty tough for the end of the year.”

PAS senior Caden Strasser, who ran the two-mile event last week at the Luverne Invitational, was back in the mile this time around – placing second to Luverne’s Owen Janiszeski (4:50.57) in a time of 4:53.61. Strasser followed that feat up with a second runner-up finish in the open 800 meters in a time of 2:11.4 behind winner Keegan Anderson (2:07.61) of Marshall.

“We didn’t run Caden in the mile last week, he did the two mile – flip-flopping that this week,” Tinklenberg said. “We did that in a few events today and that shuffling gives us a good opportunity to see where kids are at, see the competition and see where we might put kids as the season goes on.”

Caleb Velde and Logan Cordell had the top finishes for the Arrows in the throwing pits, as each claimed a seventh-place finish in the discus and shot put, respectively, at 95 feet, one inch and 35 feet, six inches. Bentley Pater (93’-8”) was eighth in the discus, while teammates Steadman Fenicle (14th, 80’), Logen Hailey (15th 79’-2”), Evan Gawerecki (24th 61’-4”) and Nathan Sutherland (28th 59’-1”) also competed for the Arrows in a large discus field.

Hailey claimed the eighth spot in the shot put at 35’-2”, Pater (34’-10.5”) was ninth, Fenicle (32’-11”) 14th,   Velde (31’-6”) 17th, Logen Punt (31’-2.5”) 18th, Gawerecki (27’-8”) 22nd and Sutherland placed 27th with a toss of 25 feet.

Pipestone Area junior Naomi Wallace clears the high jump bar at four feet, six inches en route to winning the girls’ event at a height of five feet Monday evening at the Marshall track & field meet in Luverne. K. Kyle

On the girls’ side Monday in Luverne, the Arrows had a few event winners as well. Senior Meredith Draper topped the field in the 200 meters in a time of 27.91 seconds, after placing second in the 100 meters (13.17), while junior Naomi Wallace beat out Marshall’s Ava Holmgren on criteria at a height of five feet. PAS freshman Caiya, a 2022 state-meet qualifier, triumphed in the 100-meter hurdles at 16.94 seconds and claimed a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdle event in a time of 52.15.

State-qualifier Arinn McGee was solid in the throwing puts for the Arrows, placing third in the discus and shot put with respective marks of 114’-5” and 34’-10.5.” Teammates Cassidy Carson (13th, 68’-2”), Kaitlyn Goelz (20th 51’-8”) and Ella Austin (21st 49’-8”) gained valuable experience in the discus, while Carson (15 th, 25’-5”), Goelz (21st, 20’-1.5”), Austin (22nd, 18’-5”) and  Chaku Zephier (27 th, 13’-8) challenged in the field of 27 in the shot put.

The PAS girls had a scant few athletes in the jumps outside of Wallace. Davina Darveaux placed fourth in long jump at a distance of 13’-8.75”, while Taylor Post was ninth at 12’-10.” And Paula Valdvieso-Zamora and Brooklyn Goelz came in 10 th and sixth, respectively, in the triple jump and pole vault with marks of 25’-6.75” and six feet, six inches.

Arrow freshman Aurora Winsel was second behind Draper in the 200 meters, clocking in with a runner-up time of 28 seconds. Teammates Natalie Colvin (8 th, 31.05), Valdivieso-Zamora (16 th, 32.42) Ashley Lopez (23rd, 34.32) and Darveaux (24th, 34.6) also competed in the event, while Colvin (12th, 14.71), Darveaux (15th,14.92) and Kindra Douty (19th, 15.53) sprinted hard in the 100 meters.

The Arrows’ lone entry in the open 400 meters, Amelia Bucher, was ninth in a field of 12 in a time of 1:17.86. Wallace placed sixth in a field of 12 in the open 800 meters in a time of 2:52.73. Samantha Stokesbary was directly behind her in seventh, at 55.46, while Laura Minet (3:26.04) and Elizabeth Sanchez (3:37.98) were 11th and 12th, respectively.

Post had the top PAS finish in the mile (1,600 meters), coming in fifth in the 12-runner field in a time of 6:17.95. Teammates Alyvia Caskey (6:43.09) and Callie Lingen (7:08.26) were eighth and 12th, respectively.

Lingen paced the Arrows in the two-mile (3,200 meters) event, placing third in a time of 3rd (15:48.58), while Caskey (16:21.35) was fourth.

The Arrow girls’ top relay finish came in the 4×100-meter race, as Draper, Avarie Brecher, Winsel and Strasser claimed a runner-up finish in a time of 53.88 seconds. 

Colvin, Darveaux, Brecher and Winsel clocked in with a fourth-best time of 2:03.72 in the 4×200-meter event, while the Arrow teams of Wallace, Stokesbary, Valdivieso-Zamora and Taylor Post (11:21.4) and Bucher, Sanchez, Lopez and Minet (13:09.26) placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 4×800-meter relay.

The Arrows hope to be back in action Saturday when they host the Pipestone Invitational at Paulsen Field in Pipestone.

The Arrows opened the 2023 track & field season last Tuesday (April 11) at the Luverne Invitational in Luverne. For team and individual results, go to