Track and Field: Luke Hartung, Jade Rypkema end high school careers as state champions – Park Rapids Enterprise

ST. MICHAEL – Park Rapids’ Luke Hartung and Nevis’ Jade Rypkema concluded their high school track careers as state champions.

Hartung broke the school record in capturing the state Class A boys title in the discus with a throw of 168 feet, 5 inches on Friday, June 9. That throw, on his third attempt during preliminaries, broke Chris Pike’s previous school record of 160-8 set in 1984. Hartung also was the runner-up in the shot put at 51-11.25, which fell short of Bob Bell’s school record of 52-7 set in 1969.

Rypkema, who defended her title and broke her school record with a 10:35.02 during the 3,200-meter finals the day before, repeated as a two-time state champion in the distance events by defending her title in the 1,600 with a time of 4:54.27. That easily broke her time of 5:04.16 in winning the state title last season and gave her six state medals in track, including five golds.

The Park Rapids girls contended for state titles in two relays.

Olivia Davis, Addison Lauwagie, Morgan Koppelman and Madeline Brandt clocked a runner-up time of 9:37.14 in the 4 x 800-meter relay while Natalia Lopez, Koppelman, Brandt and Lauwagie clocked a 4:03.87 in the 4 x 400 relay to place third. The 4 x 400 relay team broke the school record with a 4:01.45 in placing second during preliminaries.

Koppelman also placed third in the pole vault by clearing 11 feet to break her previous school record of 10-8 and placed sixth in the 800 in 2:20.13. Lauwagie was eighth in the pole vault at 10-6 as the Panthers scored 32 points to finish seventh in the girls team standings. Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball won the state title with 70 points.

In addition to Hartung’s two medals, the Park Rapids boys placed in two relays with record-setting times during Day 2. Blaine Hensel, Noah Huot, Ephraim Bervig and Eli Bervig took eighth in the 4 x 800 relay in 8:07.37. That broke their school record of 8:11.23. Jaydon Walen, Hartung, Cameron Runyan and Malachi Martin placed seventh in the 4 x 100 relay in 43.88. That broke their school record of 44.03 set during preliminaries.

Those efforts, plus Huot’s 9:39.93 for sixth place in the 3,200 finals on Day 1, gave the Panthers 31 points for sixth place in the boys team standings. St. Croix Lutheran won the team title with 41 points.

Nevis scored 15 points for 26th place in the boys meet as Ayo Ogundeji placed fourth in the 100 in 11.29 and third in the 200 in 22.48 while Jon Rice was ninth in the 300 hurdles in 41.34.

In the girls meet, Nevis placed ninth by scoring 27 points with Rypkema’s two wins accounting for 24 of those points. Liddy DeWulf finished seventh in the shot put with a distance of 37-7 to round out the Tigers’ team total.

Vance Carlson

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987

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