The Mille Lacs Raiders girls track team competed in the annual sub-section of Section 5A track meet staged at Princeton High on May 21. The top four individuals and the top two relays qualify for the Section 5A meet scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 at St. John’s University.
Two individuals, Aiyanna Mitchell and Svea Carlson of Onamia, will represent the Mille Lacs Raiders at sections after placing well in their individual events. Carlson, only an 8th-grader, won the pole vault, and 9th-grader Mitchell place second in the vault and fourth in the 300m hurdles.
Others who turned in quality performances, but missed out on advancing included Katie Rocholl, who, although placing in a tie for fourth in the high jump, lost her bid in a jump-off. Rocholl also placed fifth in the 100m hurdles. The Raiders 4x800m relay team of Mitchell, Molly Saboo, Lily Orazem and Ashley Rogers placed fourth.
Mille Lacs coach Jeff Walz referred to a few side stories after the meet, saying that freshmen Katie Rocholl had an adventurous day. She ran a personal best in the 100 hurdles prelims while trying to advance in the high jump. Katie made the finals in the hurdles and cleared 4’ 9” which would advance her to sections, but the wind caused the bar to rattle off the standards taking away the jump. “It is a judgment call, and the event judge ruled it a miss,” Walz said. Katie then had to participate in a jump off to advance. She and an athlete from Milaca would battle for the right to go to St. John’s. Katie had to go run the finals in the hurdles where she finished 5th with another amazing race, missing sections by one place. Both Katie and her opponent missed at 4’ 9”, cleared 4’ 8” and missed again at 4’ 9”. Katie’s legs were shot by this time, but she still hung in there, probably on pure adrenaline. Katie missed the next height while the Milaca girl cleared it Walz said he was “so proud of Katie’s determination and courage. She gained so much experience from the day. I am sure it will help her confidence in all sports.”