Johnson also makes podium, while Aberra, pair of relays also compete at state
by Jake Andersen
Adrienne Foell may have come into the Class A state track meet with the lowest seed in high jump, but ultimately, the sophomore jumper proved that her name didn’t belong at the bottom.
Cruising through her lower jumps, Foell conserved enough energy to best her 5-foot jump at the Section 5AA tournament by clearing 5-feet, 2-inches at state on June 7 at Hamline University, securing a spot on the podium with a third-place finish while also coming away with All-State honors.
It’s safe to say she was thrilled, albeit surprised by the result.
“Finishing third in state for high jump was amazing. I was super nervous going into it and I really didn’t expect to even place,” said Foell, who was making her third state appearance, first in an individual event. “I am so thankful that the Lord has given me this talent and I am grateful that I ended my season that way.”
Foell finished in a three-way tie for third with Morris Area/Chokio-Albert’s Alexis Pew and Waterville-Elysian-Morrist’s Toryn Richards, with only state champion Madi Schirmer of Maple River and state runner-up Madi Wagendorf of Park Christian jumping higher at 5 feet, 4-inches and 5-feet, 3-inches, respectively.
She said she felt the key to her success was nailing the lower jumps on her first attempt, which allowed her to jump a couple inches higher than she did at sections. Foell was one of only two athletes to jump higher than they did at sections.
“Something that definitely helped me do so well was making it over the lower heights my first try, so then I had more energy going into jumping at 5-2,” she said.
Foell, a sophomore, added that placing as highly as she did motivates her even more heading into her final two track seasons, knowing she has what it takes to compete against the best in the state.
“Placing third my first year jumping at state makes me want to work harder for the years to come,” Foell said. “This has boosted my confidence as an athlete.”
Foell was joined on the state podium by senior Hailey Johnson, who finished seventh in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.25 seconds. While she was shooting to break a personal record, Johnson fell just short of that, but she couldn’t complain about finishing out her standout career on the state podium.
“Making the podium for the 200 was very special and something I will never forget,” said Johnson, who also earned All-State honors. “It was definitely the perfect ending to my season and high school track career.”
Johnson also competed in the 4x400-meter relay with teammates Foell, Makayla Harmer and Martha Bergley, taking 13th with a time of 4:09.91. Johnson finishes her career with six school records (100, 200, 400, 4x100, 4x400, 4x800) and two state appearances.
“Looking back, I’m very proud of everything I’ve been able to accomplish over not only the last few months, but also the last four years,” Johnson said.
Spectrum was also represented at state by sophomore Elias Aberra and the boys 4x800-meter relay of Caleb Rogers, Desmond Orton, Noah Ritter, and Matthew Helser. Aberra finished 13th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.67 seconds, while the 4x800 relay team took 12th in 8:24.11.
Overall, Sting head coach Rick Peterson couldn’t have been happier with how his state representatives finished out their season and he’s optimistic that the program is set up for success at state down the road.
“I’m so proud of them,” Peterson said. “Thousands of track and field athletes from around the state dream of competing at this meet. It is so hard to get to this level, and years of hard work and commitment have paid off. Overall, we placed very well. ... It was exciting to see each Sting athlete compete with the very best in the state. Only three of our state meet team members or alternates are seniors, so we have the potential to continue to compete at a high level in the future.”