Girls track: Snater hopes to finish strong

Austin's Abby Snater clears the bar in the pole vault during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century Tuesday at Larry Gilbertson Track. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin’s Abby Snater clears the bar in the pole vault during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century Tuesday at Larry Gilbertson Track. — Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The clock is ticking on Austin senior Abby Snater’s high school pole vaulting career and she’s determined to make sure it ends at the Class ‘AA’ state track and field meet.

Snater went to state as a sophomore, but couldn’t vault to her ability due to an injury and she missed out on state last season, despite vaulting a school record height of 11-feet, 6-inches during the season.

On Tuesday she vaulted a height of 11-feet to take first place at the Austin girls triangular at Larry Gilbertson Track and Field.

Austin's Nicole Lipari competes in the long jump during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century Tuesday night.

Austin’s Nicole Lipari competes in the long jump during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century Tuesday night.

“If I didn’t make it tp state I would be very upset,” Snater said. “It’s 110 percent motivation and I’m really working for it this year.”

Unfortunately for Snater and every other pole vaulter in the state of Minnesota, it has been a very tough year to practice her craft. While runners were able to get themselves into shape in the gym earlier this spring when snow was still on the ground, Snater was stuck hoping for the snow to melt so she could start vaulting again.

She estimates she’s had just two weeks of practice and she still hasn’t even decided which pole she wants to use during competitions as she used three different ones on Tuesday.

The only vaulting technique she was able to practice inside was her approach.

Austin's Ochudo Cham heads into the final lap of the 1600 meter run Tuesday during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century.

Austin’s Ochudo Cham heads into the final lap of the 1600 meter run Tuesday during a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century.

“If we were able to get more practice in at the beginning of the year it would be going a lot more smoothly,” Snater said. “We’re trying to figure out where we’re at.”

Snater will finally get a chance to get in some quality practice time over the next week and a half as Austin has just one more meet May 20 at Faribault before the Big Nine meet in Rochester Century May 24. The Section 1AA meet is May 30 and June 1 in Lakeville South.

A height of 10-feet, 11-inches would get Snater to state, but she’s hoping she’ll be reaching even higher levels in a week or two.

“I think I can go higher, it’s just been weird with the weather the past few weeks,” said Snater, who is planning on vaulting in college and she’s considering Minnesota State and St. Cloud State. “It’s been rocky so far.”

While Snater is looking to finish her career at state, Austin freshman Rachel Quandt is hoping to make her first state track meet this season.

Quandt finished second in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday, but Rochester Century’s Andrianna Jacobs ran one of the fastest times in Minnesota this season with a time of 15.44 seconds.

Austin's AnnaLena Kehm leads her leg of the 4x200 relay in a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century.

Austin’s AnnaLena Kehm leads her leg of the 4×200 relay in a triangular with Mankato East and Rochester Century.

Quandt ran the 100-hurdles in 16.46 seconds and she ran them as fast as 16.05 seconds, which is also one of the faster times in the state this season, April 30.

“(Jacobs) has always been one of my competitors,” Quandt said. “It helps to have competition and it pushes you one step further.”

Quandt has followed the lead of Austin sophomore Kendall Hackensmith this season. Hackensmith ran career-best times in the 100 hurdles (17.32 seconds) and the 300-hurdles (49.19 seconds), where she took first on Tuesday.

“We work together a lot and we’ve become pretty good friends,” Quandt said of Hackensmith. “We make practices fun together.”

As a team, Austin placed third with a score of 55 on Tuesday. Rochester Century took first with 75 points and Mankato East took second with a 56.

Austin’s Carolyn Hackel took first in the 100-meter dash.

AUSTIN RESULTS

100-meter hurdles: Rachel Quandt (second, 16.44); Kendall Hackensmith (fourth, 17.32); 100-meter dash: Carolyn Hackel (first, 12.81); Haley Tignor (fourth, 13.41); 1600-meter run: Ochudo Cham (third, 6:16); Sarah Willrodt (fourth, 6:39.82); 400-meter dash: Haley Splinter (third, 1:02.67); 300-meter hurdles: Kendall Hackensmith (first, 49.19); 800-meter run: Madison Overby (second, 2:34.33); 200-meter dash: Carolyn Hackel (second, 26.28); Haley Splinter (third, 26.91); 3200-meter run: McKenzie Besel (second, 13:20.41); long jump: Carolyn Hackel (second, 15-9.50); triple jump: Abby Snater (third, 33-4); high jump: Abby Snater (third, 4-9); pole vault: Abby Snater (first, 11-0); shot put: Lindsey McAlister (second, 37-3); shot put: Lindsey McAlister (sixth, 88-6)

Rocky Hulne is the sports editor of the Austin Daily Herald. Follow him on twitter @RockyHulneADH.

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