After being stuck inside for practice since the season began, the Titans finally got their chance to compete outside.

The Tri-City United track and field team visited Belle Plaine for a five-team invitational on Thursday and came out on the lower end of the spectrum. The girls’ team took fourth place with 66 points and the boys’ team took fifth with 48 points at the first meet of the season.

“It was nice to get out on the track and compete,” coach Craig Nordling said. “We have been able to do some work outside, but were limited on the track due to ice.”

“We were at a bit of a disadvantage with the competing schools today since they have more access to indoor field house facilities,” coach Brian Fogal said. “It was the first time all year we were able to run a full 400 and jump into sand.”

Belle Plaine also changed some of the rules for their invitational as this was many of the team’s first meet of the season due to the weather complications. Instead of only allowing three individuals from a team to participate in each event, Belle Plaine allowed each team to admit as many players as they chose.

“With the change, we were given unlimited entries which allowed everyone the opportunity to experience a ‘first meet.’” Nordling said. “Considering the outlook is bleak on weather, all of the teams took advantage of the change.”

The girls’ team had eight girls reach the top five in their events with the 4x800-meter relay team taking second place in 11:08.80 and the 4x400-meter relay team taking third in 4:42.34.

Holly Schendel placed fifth in the 100-meter dash in 14.40 seconds, and Erica Jackson took fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in 18.89.

Gabby Robinson took second place in both the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run with 1:05.38 and 2:37.73 respectively.

Josie Put also placed within the top five in the 800-meter run in 2:41.84.

In pole vaulting, Sarah Novak was the only Titan to place in the top five with a fourth-place finish at 7 feet, 6 inches.

Three of the Titans place in the long jump event. Jordyn Brownlee took second place overall at 14-5, Robinson took fourth at 14-1 and Grace Factor took fifth at 13-11.

Abby Schleis was the only Titan to participate in the high jump event, and she ended up taking first place overall at 4-10.

Maggie Trnka also placed in the top five in two different events. Trnka took fifth in discus at 78-2 and third in shot put at 29-9.

Belle Plaine won the girls’ meet with a total of 155 points. Jordan came in second place with 91.83 points and Delano came in third with 80.5. Mayer Lutheran took fifth place overall with 22.7 points.

“It was a very cold long meet,” Fogal said. “We competed well and I was very glad that we were able to finally get a meet in. We competed really well against several very big teams.”

The boys’ team was a little short in the top five places of the events, but those who did place in the top five earned third place or higher.

Zach Tuma took third place in the 400 with a run of 57.38 and Hugo Ruiz took third in the 1,600 in 4:52.6. Tyler Nesmoe came in third in the long jump reaching 18 feet, and the Titans’ 4x100 relay team took third place as well with 47.96.

Ruiz and Conrad McCrady each took second place in their respective events as well. Ruiz ran the 800 in 2:10.08, and McCrady placed in the pole vault at 11-6.

Nesmoe was the only Titan to take first place. He reached 12 feet in the pole vault to earn himself the gold.

Jordan took first place in the boys’ meet with 140.5 points. Belle Plaine came in second with 89, and Mayer Lutheran took third only nine points shy at 80. Delano took fourth place overall with 76.5.

“Overall, there were some nice results turned in by new members to the team,” Nordling said. “We also got a peak at what our returning athletes from last year bring to the season. We had a few personal best obtained and look forward to seeing growth throughout the season.”

Reach Reporter Ashley Murtha at 507-931-8572.

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