Packers take fourth at home track meet

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, May 12, 2011

Austin's Francisco Torres runs the last leg of the 4 x 200 relay during a meet Thursday. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin boys track and field team took fourth at a home quadrangular, but the Packers did have some strong individual performances at Larry Gilbertson Track and Field Thursday.

Two days after Austin junior Nate Schwab set a personal best time in the 1600-meter run, he put up the fastest time in his career in the 3200-meter run Thursday.

Schwab finished second with a time of 10 minutes and 10.62 seconds as Owatonna’s Leif Peterson edged him by about six seconds.

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Schwab hung right behind Peterson for the first half of the race before losing a little ground.

“(Peterson’s) got a strong second mile and that’s what I need to work on,” Schwab said. “It’s not all about the first mile, you have to have the finish too and that’s where he’s got the experience edge over me.”

As temperatures dipped into the low 60s with strong winds it may have been frustrating to some athletes, but the distance runners like Schwab embraced it.

“This is perfect weather for running and you couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said. “I was pleased with my race and I’m feeling great heading down the stretch. Hopefully I can shave off some more time.”

The wind and cold didn’t help the sprinters much, but Austin junior Blas Estrada still put up a career best time of 53.47 seconds in the 400-meter dash as he took second. Estrada was motivated by the absence of Austin’s top runner Max Gillen, who as out with an injury.

Austin's Andrew Hagan throws the shot during a home meet Thursday afternoon. - Eric Johnson/

“Usually Max is telling me to try harder because we have a better chance to win with him,” Estrada said. “In the 400, coach (Tony) Einertson put it on me to step up more (with him out).”

While Austin’s team is young, it is gaining valuable experience this season and Estrada said he’s seen some good signs.

“We’ve had a couple of guys step up and we’ve gotten better as a team. Hopefully next year it gets even better with more experience,” he said.

The Austin 4 x 200-meter relay team that was anchored by Francisco Torres took second place.

The Packers finished with 34.5 points, while Owatonna scored a 107, Albert Lea had a 68 and Mankato West finished with 60.5 points.


110-meter hurdles: Nick Downey (sixth, 16.53)

100-meter dash: Cole Adams (fourth, 11.85)

1600-meter run: Andrew Baker (sixth, 5:06.42)

400-meter dash: Blas Estrada (second, 53.47)

300-meter hurdles: Joe Grabau (seventh, 50.30)

800-meter run: Ryan Larson (sixth, 2:14.55)

200-meter dash: Jordan Bentley (fifth, 24.40)

3200-meter run: Nate Schwab (second, 10:10.62); Zach Fadness (fifth, 10:55.63)

Long jump: Nick Downey (third, 19-4); Cole Adams (fourth, 19-2.50)

Triple jump: Clark Munger (sixth, 31-9)

High jump: Cole Adams (third, 5-8); Nick Downey (sixth, 5-8)

Pole vault: Caleb Bentley (third, 11-0)

Shot put: Andrew Hagan (third, 43-4)

Discus: Andrew Hagan (sixth, 116-9)