Packers land two top-10 finishes at state finals

Published 2:28 pm Saturday, June 11, 2022

ST. MICHAEL – The Austin track and field team had three athletes put up solid efforts and two of them finished in the top-10 at the Minnesota Class AA state meet in St. Michael/Albertville High School Saturday.

Austin senior Joe Walker went out with a podium finish as he took seventh in long jump with a distance of 21 feet, 3.50 inches. He hit that mark on his second jump of the day, but he also scratched four times while aiming for big distances.

“I had some good jumps today, but I have to stay consistent,” Walker said. “It was a good day overall, and I”m glad I pushed myself. I had a lot of fun here and it was a great experience.”

Walker, who was also a standout running back for the Packer football team this past fall, is not sure if he’ll try playing in sports in college at this point.

Grant Nelson of Providence Academy won the long jump with a distance of 22-7.50.

Austin junior Olivia Walsh put a capstone on a banner year that saw her compete in the state swimming and diving meet, the state basketball tournament and the state track and field meet. She finished in 10th place in the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 4.25 inches. 

Walsh scratched on her first and last jump, which she was hoping would have been good enough to get her to the finals.

“It was kind of nice overall because I wasn’t expecting to go to the finals and I wasn’t seeded to go to the finals,” Walsh said. “I was just hoping that I could pull it off. That scratch at the end was really frustrating.”

Cassia Cady of Rockford won the triple jump with a 38-4.50.

Walsh will look back at this year as a special one and she’s excited for the possibilities that next year holds for her.

“I’m really proud of everything I’ve done this year, but there is definitely unfinished businesses that I need to come back to this meet and get done next year,” Walsh said. 

Austin junior A’Triel Terry hit his second jump of the day at a height of five feet, 10 inches, but he missed all three of his attempts at 6-feet and he finished in 11th place.

Carter Anderson of Stewartville won the high jump with a height of 6-6.

Despite not hitting his seed height of 6-3, Terry ranked his state meet experience “a 10 out of 10.” He also has another year to work on his craft and come back stronger.

“I was just trying to pass it and keep that mentality of going higher,” Terry said. “It’s definitely more nerve racking here than regular meets.”