Six GMLOS runners reach the podium

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland's Danielle Hanson clears a hurdle in the 300 meter hurdle finals Saturday at the Class A Minnesota Track and Field Meet at Hamline University. -- Eric Johnson/

ST. PAUL — After missing out on the finals in three straight Class ‘A’ state track and field meets, Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander junior Danielle Hanson finally found the secret to placing at Hamline University in St. Paul Saturday.

Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland's Elizabeth May runs down the back stretch during the finals of the 400 meter dash in the Class A Minnesota State Track and Field Meet Saturday at Hamline University. --Eric Johsnon/

She needs to bring a few friends along.

Hanson, who took seventh in the 300-meter hurdles in her fourth state track meet, was one of six GMLOS runners to reach the podium.

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“It was a relief and it was always my goal to get to finals,” said Hanson, who ran a time of 47.60 seconds. “I tried my hardest, but I felt like I still had more and I hope I have a little more for next year.”

In previous years, Hanson was the lone GMLOS state qualifier, but this time she had plenty of support from the sidelines and on the field.

“It felt like a team,” she said. “It was more of an environment like practice. Usually I’m running by myself (here). This year was a lot more fun and I became closer to my teammates.”

GMLOS junior Elizabeth May, who wasn’t even sure she would get to run in the state meet earlier this season, showed a lot of burst in the 400-meter dash as she took ninth place.

May was in the top-three heading into the last 120-meters, but running on the outside lane caught up to her as the field made ground.

“It’s really tough for the last 100,” May said. “You try to push as hard as you can and as far as you can and your legs just kind of give out. I was trying to keep up with them, but I’ve never really been out that far. I tried to stay with the girls as much as I could around the curve.”

McKenzie Kirtz of Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland, runs the 1600-meter run finals Saturday at the Class A Minnesota State Track and Field Meet.--Eric Johsnon/

May, who posted a finals time of 59.96 seconds, was pleased to get the state experience and she’s motivated to try and get back next season.

“I’m so happy and it’s a great accomplishment. Hopefully next year is even better,” she said.

GMLOS showed it had plenty of team speed in the 4 x 200-meter relay when the team of Sydney Bendtsen, Elizabeth May, Addison Tapp and Betsy Oswald finished eighth and ran three-tenths of a second faster than they did in the prelims.

GMLOS, which was lined up in the outside lane, led the race after the first three exchanges and Addison Tapp kept the team in first before handing off to senior Betsy Oswald, who had to fight off the outside turn and all of the other team’s fastest runners down the stretch.

Tapp said the team, which finished with a time of 1:46.90, was hoping to do a little better, but they were glad to be on the podium.

“We’re kind of disappointed, but we’re happy that we’re here and that we placed. The overall goal was to place to here,” Tapp said. “It was very exciting (to run in the lead) and I was glad I couldn’t see any body next to me.”

GMLOS freshman McKenzie Kirtz showed she could beat the heat as she rallied to finish ninth in the 1600-meter run. Kirtz was in 13th place after two laps, but she fought her way to get to the podium while running in temperatures that reached the high 80s.

“It was quite an experience and it’s different running in the heat,” she said. “We had a week to get ready for it, and you’ve just got to go with whatever they give you. You always try to keep hydrated.”

Kirtz, who finished in a time of 5:23.80, is hoping to get a chance to run at state again next season.

Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland's Betsy Oswald runs the final leg of the 4 x 200 meter relay Saturday afternoon during the Class A Minnesota State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University. -- Eric Johnson/

“I’m just going to keep working hard and hopefully it’ll pay off,” she said.


4 x 200-meter relay: Sydney Bendtsen, Elizabeth May, Addison Tapp, Betsy Oswald (eighth, 1:46.90)

1600-meter run: McKenzie Kirtz (ninth, 5:23.80)

400-meter dash: Elizabeth May (ninth, 59.96)

300-meter hurdles: Danielle Hanson (seventh, 47.60)