• 63°

Back on track: GMLOKS brings plenty of experience to state

GRAND MEADOW — One GMLOKS sprint relay team is looking to do exactly what it did last season and another GMLOKS relay team is looking to do something completely different at the Minnesota Class A State Track and Field Meet when competition begins at Hamline University in St. Paul at 3:30 p.m. today and continues at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The GMLOKS 4 x 200-meter relay team is seeded No. 1 overall and it brings back three runners — Lauren Buchholtz, Riley Queensland and Anika Reiland — from last year’s team. Hailey Hindt, who is also seeded third in the 300-meter hurdles, is the newcomer to the 4 x 200-meter team that has big expectations.

“(Wining it again) is definitely something that we’re working towards, but there’s still some really good teams out there. We just need to go out there, run our race and do our best,” said Queensland, who is a junior. “It helps having experience. The atmosphere is crazy and you definitely feel the nerves.”

The GMLOKS 4 x 100-meter relay team of Isabelle Olson, Reiland, Kassidy Kirtz and Buccholtz is tied for the top seed in the field after the team was disqualified due to a dropped baton in last year’s state finals.

GMLOKS’ Lauren Buchholtz comes running over to celebrate her team’s state title in the 4×200-meter relay at the Minnesota Class A State Track and Field Meet last year. Herald File Photo

Olson, a junior, wants to make sure both GMLOKS relay teams finish up to their capabilities this time around.

“I’m definitely very excited. With what happened last year, it gives us a lot of motivation to get back there and show them what we can really do,” Olson said. “This group is definitely special, we’re all super close. We’ve all been on this journey together and we all push each other to get better.”

Kirtz, a senior, said she’s hoping to finish her high school track and field career on a high note.

“We want to go up there and do well this year. Our goal is to make it on the podium,” Kirtz said. “I think we have a little nerves from last year, but I think that will help us out on the long run. My motivation is, it’s my last year and I want to make it my best year. We’re also such a strong team and we want to show everybody what we’ve got.”

This will be the first state meet appearance for Hindt, but she’s already gone against one of the top hurdlers at state. Emma Breitsprecher of Lanesboro/Fillmore Central, who is seeded second, edged out Hindt in the Section 1A Meet by a tenth of a second.

GMLOKS’ Anika Reiland runs the opening leg of the 4×200 meter relay at the Minnesota Class A State Track and Field Meet last year. Herald File Photo

“Her and I have always been hurdling against each other. We’re always battling for first place,” Hindt said. “It feels really good to be seeded right next to her. My goal is to get on the podium, but I’m just going to run my hardest and run the best that I can.”

Buchholtz will compete in long jump for GMLOKS and Madison Johnston of Hayfield will compete in discus.