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New Life Academy track and field: Eagles battle cold, wind at Faribault meet

The New Life Academy/Bethany Academy track and field team competed in its first meet of the season when the Eagles boys and girls traveled to Faribault on April 10.

Cold and windy conditions greeted the runners, coaches and the few parents strong-willed enough to sit through the long track meet as the New Life Academy boys finished in fifth place and the New Life Academy girls took sixth place in the eight-team meet.

"The coaches were extremely happy with the team's performances in the cold and windy conditions at our first track meet of the year," said first-year head coach Tim Otto.

The New Life boys totaled 46 points and the girls scored 15 points. Minneapolis South won the boys meet with 138 points. St. Peter won the girls meet with 191.5 points.

Individually, on the boys side, NLA senior Dan Otto turned in a pair of first-place finishes, winning the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 15.98 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 43.37. NLA sophomore Mark Schreiner also fared well in the hurdle events, taking second to Dan Otto in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.78 and fourth overall in the 110 hurdles with a time of 17.15.

"Seeing Mark Schreiner place second and fourth in the hurdles was a big surprise," Tim Otto said. "He has improved tremendously since last year."

NLA sophomore Sam Hagen also had a fourth place finish - in the 800 meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 15.45 seconds. It was Hagen's first track meet of his career and coach Tim Otto said his fourth-place finish "surprised everyone."

Another sophomore, Kyle Linton, placed fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.14, just ahead of teammate Sam Dufault, a junior, who had a time of 25.15. Dufalt also took fifth in the 400-meter run with a time of 56.69.

NLA did well in a couple of relay events as well. The Eagles' 3200-meter relay team of Hagen, sophomore Dan Niemeyer and senior Dan Sleper finished in fifth place with a time of 9:21.12. Also, the Eagles' 400-meter relay team of junior Matt Michaud, Linton, Dufault and freshman Ty Frazier earned sixth place with a time of 49.39.

In the girls meet, freshman Amy Maslonka had the Eagles' top finish. She took third place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 29.12. She also helped the NLA 400-meter relay team earn fourth place with a time of 59.20, along with eighth-grader Tatiana Lee, sophomore McKenzie Dufault and senior Emily Sovine.

Other top individual performances by the NLA girls were by freshman Sarah Olfelt, who took fifth place in the 1600-meter run with a time of 6:08.15 and eighth-grader Tori Rogness, who took sixth place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:44.20. Olfelt and Rogness also teamed up, along with eighth-graders Abby Gorter and Sydney Mortensen, to take fifth place in the 1600-meter relay with a time of 4:55.17.

"Tori and Sarah had very strong performances in the wind for the distance team," coach Otto said.

NLA will compete in three track meets this week. The Eagles went to Holy Angels on Monday, after the Bulletin went to press. They will be at the St. Croix Lutheran Invitational on Thursday and in Cannon Falls for an invitational meet on Saturday.

"We'll see how our early conditioning has prepared the kids for a busy week," coach Otto said.