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BHV junior making first trip to Hamline

Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale's Krista Dailey practices her shot putting technique Tuesday at the Wadena-Deer Creek track and field complex in preparation for the Class A state meet at Hamline University.

Krista Dailey’s hard work has paid off with a trip to Hamline University.

The Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale junior shot-putter made the elite state cut May 30 with a runner-up toss of 34 feet in the Section 6A meet at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

Dailey will now be up against 15 other Class A qualifiers Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Dailey said Tuesday her goal at state is to set a personal best. The mark which Dailey has her sights set on is 35 feet. Her best throw going into state is a 34-9.

Is Dailey’s best throw still in front of her?

“Yes, I think it is, it’s still there,” Dailey said.

In addition to working on her shot-putting technique, BHV Head Coach Ken Miller has Dailey working on her conditioning. Miller makes sure she goes through a running and stretching period before she begins working with her four-kilogram steel shot.

Dailey credits her strength training and year-around devotion to athletics with preparing her for the big jump to state. How far has she come? Dailey qualified for section in the shot put last year but she did not place. This year, Otter Tail Central’s Megan Biegler was the only thrower to beat her with a toss of 35-10.

“I lift weights for other sports also and being in other sports helps keep me in shape,” Dailey said.

BHV’s state entry is a three-sport star. In addition to track and field, Dailey plays volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter for the Verndale Pirates.

"She went over that 34-foot mark this year consistently,” Miller said.

Miller took over the head reins from long-time Bertha-Hewitt track and field coach Dale Finck when the season began in March. Like many other Minnesota coaches, Miller found his first year in charge to be extremely difficult because of winter weather which would not go away. His Raiders had two indoor meets but their outdoor season did not begin until April 25. Miller appreciated having Dailey on the squad because of her good work ethic.

“She didn’t miss a single practice all year,” Miller said. “She’s very dedicated. She just has that natural leadership.”

In addition to the help Dailey has received from Miller, she was assisted by BHV boys’ track and field coach Jeff Moore. Moore’s seventh-grade son, Samuel, qualified for the Section 6A boys’ shot put. The Raiders also saw junior Samara Tobeck advance in both the shot put and discus.

The favorite in the Class A state field this year is St. Clair’s Katelyn Weber with a 41-6.