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State track and field: Peterson, Fenske sweep distance races to lead second-place Tigers

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Their endurance was the main reason Farmington’s Anna Fenske and Lauren Peterson were able to pull well ahead of the rest of the pack and finish 1-2 at the state cross-country meet last fall. Their speed made them state track champions over the weekend at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Peterson out sprinted Minneapolis Washburn’s Emily Covert over the final 100 meters of the 3,200 Friday, June 9, to win by 32-hundredths of a second in a personal-best 10 minutes, 31.50 seconds and claim her first individual state title. The 71-second final lap was the fastest the sophomore had ever closed out a 3,200-meter race.

Fenske, even more determined after placing third in the 3,200, hammered down for a 67-second final lap in Saturday’s 1,600 finals to defeat runner-up Emily Kompelien of Edina by the same margin as Peterson won her race, 32-hundredths of a second.

Peterson ran the 1,600 in 5:03.96 and placed fourth, one spot back from a season ago, but it was tough to be too disappointed after the meet where she won her first state title.

“I’ve been working really hard this season, so to finally get a state title was pretty cool,” Peterson said. “At the start of the (3,200) I felt really determined to stay with the front pack and see what I could give that second mile. The first mile felt pretty easy, so I wanted to see what I could do on that second mile. I gave what I could and was able to pull out the win.”

Peterson and Covert continued to run stride for stride until the last 50 meters when Peterson was finally able to edge ahead.

“I felt pretty confident in my kick. I’ve been working on it all season and I felt pretty motivated to finally get that state title,” Peterson said.

Fenske was just as motivated after settling for a third-place 10:36.81 in the 3,200. In the 1,600, she bided her time with an opening 800 of 2:33 that left her seven seconds off the pace of Covert. She cut into the lead with a 74-second third lap before mounting her final charge and taking the lead on the final straightaway. She crossed the finish line in 4:55.20.

“It was super exciting. To be honest, I didn’t think I had that last kick in me, so it was exciting to see what I could do. It was a talented field of girls, so I was super excited to be able to win it,” Fenske said. “We had lots of practices where we did the last 150 meters of a race kind of thing, but never really the whole last lap. Everyone said, ‘Anna, I think that’s the fastest I’ve seen you run the last 100 meters.’”

Peterson and Fenske’s finished led Farmington to second place, its highest finish ever at the state track meet. The Tigers scored 48 points, just six fewer than 2A team champion St. Michael-Albertville.

“After the first day when we were in first place we realized that maybe we could win or even get in the top three and that would be really cool,” Peterson said. “To get second was really exciting, especially with five girls.”

The other three girls all set new personal records and reached the state meet podium.

Senior Amanda Davenport achieved a personal-best in the triple jump in her first career state meet, placing fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 37 feet, 7 ¾ inches. Senior Emma Record once again lowered her time in the 100, clocking in at 12.27 seconds to place sixth. Sophomore Myiah Scott reached the 100 hurdles finals and ran 15.06.

On the boys side, Farmington was represented by its 4x800 relay team. The foursome of Regan Sevenich, Michael Cardinal, Caden Speikers and Aaron Kruse combined for a time of 8:14.96 to place 13th.