2 Wolverines compete in Class A state track meet
Mikaela Malone, Amber Collins represent Wadena-Deer Creek
Two athletes from Wadena-Deer Creek competed in the Class A state track and field championship at St. Michael-Albertville High School Friday, June 18. Senior Mikaela Malone competed in the long jump, and eighth grader Amber Collins competed in the 400 meter dash.
Malone finished 14th in the long jump, with her best jump at 16 feet, 3.75 inches. Collins finished 12th overall in the 400 meter dash, running her second best time of 60.52.
This was Malone's third trip to the state meet, and in 2018 she placed 8th in the 100 meter dash. She also holds the school record in the long jump, and has top 10 times in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
According to head coach Marc Reynolds, her finish at state this year may not have been how she wanted to end her high school career, but she has been an integral part of the girls team's success over the past four years.
This year, Malone was also voted the most valuable athlete of the Park Region Conference. She scored 36 team points in the conference meet to help the girls team win their first ever conference championship.
"She's been a role model for younger athletes and has helped draw attention and draw athletes to want to try the jumping events on our team," Reynolds said. "We wish her nothing but the best as she continues her career running track at Bemidji State University next year."
Collins main goal this season was to make it to the state tournament, and she did achieve that goal, winning the section 400 meter dash title and gaining valuable experience running in the state meet. Reynolds said that her time of 60.36 in the 400 meter dash at the section meet put her in the school record book at No. 3 all time.
Like Malone, Collins played a huge role in the girls team's success this spring. She was voted the most valuable track athlete in the Park Region Conference, scoring 26 points in the conference championship to lead the girls team to victory.
"Amber is a true gamer when it comes to her races," Reynolds said. "She leaves every bit of her energy on the track when she races. When she finishes a race you know she gave it her all! This year has been a blast watching her grow as an athlete, and it will be fun to see what she can do in the coming years."
While he didn't make it to the state tournament, Charlie Bushinger was awarded the most valuable field event athlete in the Park Region Conference. He finished first in the pole vault and third in the triple jump at the conference meet.
The Wolverines had their team banquet Wednesday, June 16, and the athletes were presented with the following team awards:
- Most Valuable Overall: Mikaela Malone, Cole Dunker
- Most Valuable Running Events: Aiden Larson, Amber Collins, Kira Sweeney
- Most Valuable Field Events: Charlie Bushinger, Isabelle Larson
- Most Valuable Relay Events: Madison Packer, Brady Domier
- Most Valuable Thrower: Lauryn Gravelle
- Best Attitude: Emma Mehl, MJ Lunde
- Jr. High Most Valuable Overall: Addyson Gravelle, Isaac Heppner
- Jr. High Most Valuable Running Events: Charlie Snyder, Grant Nelson
- Jr. High Most Valuable Field Events: Gracie Arm, Mikael Briggs