ST. PAUL -- Last year at the Class A girls track and field meet, Ashley Thooft, then a senior at St. Clair, placed second in the discus throw before bouncing back the next day to win the shot put.
Competing with her teammate at that meet was Katelyn Weber, who placed seventh in both events. Now a junior, Weber seemed to follow the same path she witnessed Thooft take a year ago.
Weber had the top seed times going into both the discus and shot put at this year’s state meet just as Thooft last season. And just like Thooft, a day after finishing second in the discus, Weber rebounded to win the shot put title with a heave of 42-feet-8 1/2.
“Last year, she (Ashley) really helped me with my nerves,” said Weber. “She helped me to stay calm, and I think that really helped me this year.
“Getting second in the discus was a disappointment, but I went out to compete today and did what I had to do. This means everything. All the hard work finally paid off.”
Weber was responsible for all of St. Clair's 22 team points as the Cyclones finished tied for 16th in the team competition. Warroad and Milaca shared the team crown with 42 points. Martin County West placed 10th with 28 points, Blue Earth Area was 15th with 23, and Mankato Loyola/Cleveland tied for 35th with nine points.
Freshman Taylor Grandgenett of Blue Earth Area had a big day, winning the 300-meter low hurdles in a time of 45.03. She also led off the 4x400 relay, teaming with Anna Franta, Karli Olsen, and Krista Hassing on a second-place finish of 3:59.65.
Thinking of being a state champion hurdler did not cross Grandgenett’s mind until late in the season.
“At the beginning of the season, I thought I’m just going to run this event and see what happens,” she said. “I didn’t know exactly what was going to come out of it. Once I started at sections, I was like 'I could do really good at this.' ”
Martin County West picked up its points when Haley Jensen placed second in the 100-meter dash (12.65) and Morgan Larson placed third in the 800-meter run (2:17.67). The MCW 4x100-meter relay took second in 49.8.
For Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Samantha Petry placed second in the pole vault at 10-3, and Tierney Winter took sixth in the 1,600-meter run in 5:12.07.
Other area athletes placing on Saturday were Amanda Allis of United South Central in the shot put (third, 37-10), Jenna Gatz of Belle Plaine in the 400-meter dash (fourth, 58.92), Marta Springer of St. Peter in the 400 dash (eighth, 1:00.21) and Kayla Stowell of Le Sueur-Henderson in the 200-meter dash (ninth, 26.64).
Mankato Loyola/Cleveland finished fifth in the 4x800 in 9:52.90 and was sixth in the 4x400 at 4:08.85. The 4x800 team was Kyla Haas, Eaden Javens, Danielle Vetter and Katerina Vetter, and the 4x400 team was Britney Fletcher, Danielle Vetter, Mary Ninneman and Katerina Vetter.
Waseca placed second in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:38.85.