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Folkestad reaches podium with personal best

Wadena-Deer Creek's Cooper Folkestad lets the shot put fly during the Class A Championships at Hamline University. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

Wadena-Deer Creek junior Cooper Folkestad missed the Class A Championships by two inches in 2018. After winning the Section 6A Championships, he improved his personal best and earned a fourth place finish at Hamline University in St. Paul.

“It feels amazing. I was two inches away last year,” Folkestad said. “I think that I really made a mark and I think I can do it again next year.”

Folkestad had a hurdle to overcome in the finals. He scratched on is first two throws before getting his third one in. It was his fourth that gave him a new personal record when he hit 52 feet, 4.5 inches.

“A lot goes through your mind, but you have to avoid that and not let that happen,” Folkestad said. “I really cleared it and let everything flow, it kind of clicked and I got it.”

Folkestad said he was going for a personal record at state and he was able to get it. It continued a trend of setting a new personal record in almost every event. Last year, Folkestad’s personal record was 46 feet, but now it’s 52 feet, 4.5 inches.

“It’s a great time. Everyone here is nice and I’m blessed,” Folkestad said. “It’s amazing to be here. It was a breath of fresh air. It was amazing to have it come off then.”

Folkestad said it was a weight off of his shoulders after he scratched on the first two throws, but he was able to recover and get the next two throws in. He scratched on his fifth throw before clearing 50 feet on his final throw.

“I wouldn’t ask for anything else,” Folkestad said. “This is what I have wanted for a really long time and I’m glad I finally got it.”

Stewartville’s Shane Byrne finished with a put of 56 feet, 3.5 inches for first place, while Breck’s David Roddy came in second at 55 feet, 9.25 inches. LeSueur-Henderson’s Gabe Webster came in third with a put of 54 feet, .25 inches.

Wolverines have strong first day

It was a strong first day for the seven members of the Wadena-DC track and field team at the Class A Championships.

The Wolverines qualified two relays into the second day and Bereket Loer earned a trip in the 400m run for the Wolverines.

Mikaela Malone kicked off the day competing in a pair of events, the 100m dash and the long jump. The 100m dash was a preliminary event and it was the second straight year Malone competed in it at state. Malone finished with a time of 12.91 seconds. She finished 14th with her time.

Mikaela Malone

Malone just missed the podium in the long jump. She finished 10th overall with a leap of 16 feet for 10th place overall.

Wadena-Deer Creek’s Cody Wheeler ended his season clearing 13 feet in the pole vault. However, it was a very deep field in this year’s event, which prevent Wheeler from reaching the podium. The vault of 13 feet is Wheeler’s personal best. However, he tweaked a leg injury during the event. Wheeler cleared the first five heights, however, was unable to clear 13 feet, six inches. Wheeler finished the event in 11th place overall.

Cody Wheeler

The 800m relay team of Isaac Hale, Dawson Lupkes, Hunter Hawkins and Bereket Loer set a season record in their qualifying heat. The foursome finished with a time of 1:31.14, which has them seeded fourth heading into the finals on June 8.

Isaac Hale

It was a season best for Hale, Lucas Hinojos, Hawkins and Loer when they finished with a time of 3:26.25 in the 1600m relay to close out the first day. They will compete and enter the final day as the No. 6 seed for the finals.

The Class A Championships continue on Saturday, June 7 at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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