Coach ‘Ahab’ Peter finally succeeds in his ‘Moby Dick’ pursuit –Lady Viking grab team title to advance to State

Over the past decade, the Pelican Rapids Girls’ Track and Field team has enjoyed a large amount of success with multiple Section Titles, Individual State Champions and numerous other achievements, but one box has gone unchecked season after season.

Coach Peter even went as far on social media to use a literary analogy describing himself as Captain Ahab and this meet as his “white whale” throughout his coaching career. That seemed fitting as in his nine years as head coach, the team had finished 2nd or 3rd 6 of 9 times.

“It seemed to be just outside of our grasp for whatever reason year after year,” he stated after the meet.

However, driven by last year’s closest 2nd place finish yet, the team was resolute to start the season that winning the True Team and getting to the State Meet was the number 1 goal and priority around which this season revolved.

The team also knew the challenge was made more difficult this year. Because of re-alignment of the Sections, Osakis, the defending State Champion, was moved into the Section.

The field events always get going a full hour before the running in this meet and Riley Berg set an early tone, winning the high jump with a leap of 5’ 0”. Tatianna Wiley and Jessica Weinrich were also strong in the Long Jump with Weinrich finishing 4th (15’ 9.75”) and Wiley finishing 5th (15’ 8.75”).

In the sprints, Wiley and Maddie Guler had a strong day with Wiley finishing 4th in the 100 (13.1), 4th in the 200 (27.1) and 1st in the 400 (61.82) while Guler finished 5th in the 100 (13.2), 2nd in the 400 (62.2) and 1st in the 200 (26.2).

In the 800 meter run, Abby Syverson won in a time of 2:29 while Grace Johnson was 5th in a time of 2:34.66.

In the 1600, Chloe Paulson ran her best time of the year (5:46) on her way to a 6th place finish.

In the 100 meter hurdles, Mackenzie Thornton ran a personal best time of 17.5 which garnered her 4th place while she came back in the 300 hurdles with another personal best time of 51.2 to earn 5th place.

In the relays, top 6 finishers included the 4×200, which placed 5th in a time of 1:54.5 (Rachel Guler, Anna Stephenson, Ryley Paulson, Jessica Weinrich) and the 4×400 team placed second with a time of 4:22.1 (Abby Syverson, JeNae Femling, Kaylie Isaman, Jessica Weinrich). The 4×800 meter relay team of Heidy Furey, Grace Johnson, Kaylie Isaman and Abby Syverson won with a time of 10:21.3.

Final top 5 team rankings finished as follows

Pelican Rapids 712.5
Osakis 680.5
Barnesville 666
Frazee 660.5
Wadena 579.5

The state meet is on Saturday in Stillwater with field events starting at 10:00 a.m.

Osakis also advanced to State as a wild-card.