Pocahontas Area boys run away with TLC crown

Submitted photo: The Pocahontas Area boys pose together after taking the TLC track championship on Tuesday night in Lake City.

LAKE CITY — The best race of the night was the victory lap after the points were tallied for Twin Lakes Conference champion Pocahontas Area.

The Indian boys won nine events and earned 166 points to claim the league crown.

“Watching the boys hoot, holler, and smile as they ran their well-deserved victory lap was in itself the best highlight of the night,” said PAC head coach Brian Friesner. “To me, that’s better than the championship itself. This is a special group of young men and they had a special night and represented their school, community and families in fine fashion.

“We are cherishing this victory, but the boys told me their work is not done and the best is yet to come.”

Newell-Fonda (90) finished second, Southeast Valley (82) was third and Emmetsburg (74) fourth.

“I am so proud of our boys. We completed well in all events and scored in all 19 events. That in itself is a great feat, but you break it down further, and 22 men scored points for us,” Friesner said. “As a coach, you try to figure out how all 12 teams will point out; when we did it originally, it was a tussle between us, Southeast Valley, Newell-Fonda and Alta-Aurelia.

“For our boys to win by 70-plus points is amazing. We talked about how fortunate we are to have a season since we lost last year to COVID. The boys haven’t taken anything for granted and have worked and competed hard all season. Their hard work was rewarded in earning the conference title. I am truly blessed and honored to be part of this special group.”

PAC’s Trey Oehlertz turned in an outstanding performance, winning the sprint triple. Oehlertz crossed first in the 100- (10.74), 200- (22.74) and 400-meter dash (52.54). Oehlertz’s time in the 100 was a conference meet record.

Jacob Gerdes was the 800 champ (2:05.26), and Dane Johnson was the shot put winner (48-07.5).

Chase Cook, Luke Vanderham, Cole Runnerberg and Oehlertz set a conference record of 43.90 to win the 4×100.

The sprint medley quartet of Cook, Vanderham, Runneberg and Mike Vonnahme claimed gold in 1:39.13. The same quartet won the 4×200 (1:34.82) as well.

The distance medley of Eric Gerdes, Luke Vanderham, Lucas Kopriva and Jacob Gerdes was first in 3:52.24.

Finishing as silver medalists were Chase Boysen (discus), Jimmie Williams (long jump) and Cook (100).

“All our athletes stepped up and had great nights,” Friesner said. “Trey Oehlertz had a phenomenal night winning four golds in 100, 200, 400, and 4×100. But it takes more than just one individual to win a track meet. Jimmie Williams had a personal best in the long jump by two feet and placed second. Chase Cook, Luke Vanderham, Cole Runneberg, Mike Vonnahme all had their “feet” involved in multiple winning efforts.

Our throwers, Dane Johnson, Dane Ford and Chase Boysen had good nights. It is those individuals who step up and earn points for the team. Joseph Ricke (mile, 4×8), Ben Berte (3200, mile), and Jacob Gerdes (distance medley, 800 and 4×400) had great nights with PR’s that truly solidified the win for us. It was just an awesome night and all our kids contributed to our success.”

Southeast Valley’s Sam Hanson was a double winner, claiming gold in the long jump (20-04) and the 110-hurdles in 15.21.

Kaleb Scott was the champ in the high jump (6-2), and Cooper Nuss won the 3200 (10:49.82). Nuss was also second in the 1600.

South Central Calhoun’s Cole Corey won the 400-meter hurdles (56.5). Corey was second in the high jump (6-0).

Manson Northwest Webster’s lone victory came from their shuttle hurdle relay (1:03.89). Dayton Snell was second in the 110 hurdles for the Cougars.

Newell-Fonda’s Alex Spangler won the discus with a throw of 136-02. The Mustangs were runners up in the 4×100 and 4×400. Bryan Brabec was second in the 3200.

Emmetsburg had silver medals in the shuttle hurdle relay and the 4×200.

East Sac County’s Justin Rupnow was the shot put runner-up.


Pocahontas Area 166; 2. Newell-Fonda 90; 3. Southeast Valley 82; 4. Emmetsburg 74; 5. Alta-Aurelia 69; 6. East Sac County 58; 7. South Central Calhoun 53; 8. Sioux Central 52; 9. Manson Northwest Webster 49; 10. West Bend-Mallard 32; 11. Graettinger-Terril/R-A 14; 12. Storm Lake St. Mary’s 2.


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