Grand Finale: Walsh takes gold and Terry grabs bronze at state track and field meet

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023

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MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE – Two Austin seniors found their calm and turned it into a pair of explosive performances at the Minnesota Class AA State Track and Field Meet Saturday.

Olivia Walsh won Austin’s first state track and field title in at least 24 years in the triple jump and A’Triel Terry finished third in high jump.

Walsh has always been a confident athlete, but the seventh seeded triple jumper did not enter Saturday’s competition with a gold medal in mind.

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“No, I wasn’t thinking about it,” Walsh said. “But after my first couple jumps, it was like ‘I can compete for a state title’ and it just kept getting more real after that.”

Walsh broke the Class AA record and moved well into first place when she hit a distance of 38 feet, 4.75 inches on her second jump of the day. 

“It’s so insane. I have no idea where those jumps came from. I’ve just been working hard for the last seven years and it finally hit,” Walsh said. “My first one felt really good and I was just hoping it was legal, because I’ve had problems with that. On my second jump I was working on my rhythm and it felt really good, but I didn’t think it was 38 feet good.”

Ayisat Adebayo of Simley took second in triple jump with a distance of 37-9.50. Since Walsh hit the deciding jump on her second jump of the day, she had plenty of time to watch the field try and top her. 

“It was definitely nerve racking because you just have to sit back and hope nobody beats it. I was feeling those nerves, but at the same time I was confident. 

Walsh, who will play basketball at Division II Concordia next season, is one of the most accomplished Austin athletes in recent years as she competed in two state swimming meets, two state basketball tournaments and two state track and field meets.

“I just love being a Packer and I can’t believe it’s over,” Walsh said.

Neither Walsh or Terry reached the podium when they each went to state in the same events last year, but that year of experience made a huge difference in the results.

Terry finished with a height of 6-feet, 4-inches, an accomplishment he hadn’t reached since the first meet of his junior season.

“Your approach is the most important part and that’ll get you to the big heights,” Terry said. “This is the best feeling ever. Track is my favorite sport and it’s redemption after not making it to state in basketball.”

Terry was clean on his first few jumps of the day and he hit 6-4 on his third and final try. It was a moment of jubilation for Terry, who has plans of high jumping in college.

“It felt good being up on the podium,” Terry said. “Last year I didn’t do as well as I wanted to and I had to watch everyone else up there. I felt more calm this year throughout the whole process.”

Owen Carlson of Mahotmedi won the high jump with a height of 6-6 and Byron’s Ryan Stites finished just ahead of Terry with a height of 6-4 as well.

While she didn’t get on the podium, Austin sophomore Marissa Shute gained some valuable experience of her own in her first ever state track and field meet. Shute fell back early as she finished 16th in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:50.33. Kendra Krueger of Jordan won the race with a time of 4:53.90.


Triple jump: Olivia Walsh (first, 38-4.75)

High jump: A’Triel Terry (third, 6-4)

1600-meter run: Marissa Shute (16th, 5:50.33)