L/P’s Ebeling looks to leave her mark

Lyle/Pacelli junior Maya Ebeling, an exchange student from Berlin, Germany, will compete in the Class 'A' state discus and shot put competitions this weekend. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Lyle/Pacelli foreign exchange student Maya Ebeling knows that making it to the state track and field meet is a big deal — she just isn’t sure how big it is.

Not yet anyway.

Ebeling, who is from Berlin, Germany, will represent the Athletics in the shot put and discus this Friday and Saturday at the Class ‘A’ state track and field meet in Hamline University.

“I don’t think she fully understands yet what she’s done and how big it is,” L/P head coach Anne Christopherson said. “I tried to explain to her that Minnesota is the size of Germany and she’s one of the top 32 in this whole state. I think once she gets up there, she’ll understand how spectacular it is.”

Ebeling, a junior, could sneak up on some people at the state meet as her qualifying distances were some of her worst throws of the season. Due to heavy winds, her discus throw at the section meet was just 107-3, which is the worst out of 16 state qualifiers and her shot put throw was 36-9.5 at the section meet, which is 12th out of 16 state qualifiers.

Throughout the season Ebeling has done much better in those events as she’s thrown the discus as far as 122-11, which would be ranked third at state, and the shot put as far as 38-10, which would be ranked sixth.

Ebeling, who recently made a trip to New York City is catching her breath and aiming to hit 125 in the discus and 40 feet in the shot put when she gets to state.

“I had a couple of days to relax, but now it’s time to work again,” she said. “I’m kind of thinking about going to college (in America) and doing track. It would be pretty good (to say I’ve done well at state).”

Christopherson said that if Ebeling stays focused, she has a chance to make some serious noise at the state meet.

“All it takes is one good throw. Anything can happen on any given day,” she said. “When you get to this stage it’s not so much the athletic ability as the mental ability. If we keep her focused, she’ll be fine.”

Ebeling almost never even saw the field as a track competitor as she seriously thought about trying softball for the first time instead of competing in shot put and discus — which she has done for the past five years.

“At first I was struggling with the decision to do softball or track and choosing track was a good decision,” she said. “Now I’m going to state and that’s a big thing.”

Ebeling has had some eye opening experiences since moving to Minnesota from Germany. After going to a high school in Berlin that had an enrollment in the thousands, she’s been living in Lyle, which is smaller than her high school.

“It’s totally different than Berlin, but I like Lyle,” she said.

Ebeling has also rubbed off some of her work ethic on L/P’s younger athletes this season.

“She’s been a positive role model to a lot of the younger kids and they’re looking forward to seeing her up at state,” Christopherson said. “We have a really young team and she’s shown them what hard work can do.”

There are also a two other area athletes who have a chance to finish well at the state meet.

Grand Meadow/LeRoy/Ostrander/Southland sophomore Danielle Hanson is making her third straight trip to the Class ‘A’ state track and field meet.

Hanson has yet to run in the finals in the 300-meter hurdles, but she has a good chance to do so this year. Her qualifying time of 46.14 seconds is the fourth best time out of 18 state qualifiers.

Hanson will run in the preliminaries Friday at 3:57 p.m.

Hayfield junior Hunter Anderson could be in for a big weekend as he has the best qualifying discus throw (156-6) out of 17 throwers and the second best qualifying shot put throw (52-11.50) out of 16 throwers.

Anderson will throw in the shot put Friday at 3 p.m. and he’ll throw in the discus Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

Anderson advanced to state in the discus last season but didn’t get to the finals.

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