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Ten 'exceptionally talented' girls' track and field stars to watch at state

06/09/2016, 5:15pm CDT
By David La Vaque, Star Tribune

Jedah Caldwell practiced on the track at Chanhassen High School earlier this week. Photo: Elizabeth Flores * elizabeth.flores@startribune.com

Stunning numbers define the girls’ track and field Class of 2016. Ten seniors, all Class 2A competitors, have sprinted, thrown, vaulted and jumped to a combined four Minnesota records, 16 state titles and 47 all-state citations.

And they are not finished. Last call for additional records and medals takes place at the state meet held Friday and Saturday at Hamline University.

“Possibly the No. 1 group, depth-wise, of all time,” said Matt Bingle, coach of the Gophers women’s track and field team. “I’ve been here since 2002 and you typically see two or three kids who can compete at the national level. But this is an exceptionally talented class. Any college coach would want all 10 of these kids.”


Meleah Biermaier, Thief River Falls
Events: 100-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4x100 relay
Highlights: Two-time state champion, Minnesota 300 hurdles record holder (42.13 seconds).
College: Minnesota
Did you know? Also reached the state tournament in basketball and volleyball.
Quote: “In eighth grade I heard, ‘She’s from outstate so she’s not going to do as well.’ Proving them wrong felt so good.”


Jedah Caldwell, Chanhassen
Events: 100, 200, 4x200 relay
Highlights: Defending state champion, Minnesota 100 (11.67) and 200 (23.59) record holder.
College: Kansas
Did you know? Former horseback rider in Western competitive events, maneuvering her horse through obstacle courses.
Quote: “I’m just focused on my races. I don’t even look at heat sheets because I don’t want to psyche myself out.”


Bethany and Megan Hasz, Alexandria
Events: 1,600 and 3,200
Highlights: Bethany won state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. Megan posted three all-state finishes.
College: Minnesota
Did you know? The twins bake desserts, especially cheesecakes and brownies, as birthday gifts for friends — and their own enjoyment.
Bethany: “My biggest goals for state are setting personal bests in both events.”
Megan: “It’s great to be back after being injured last year.”


Brieasha Hobbs, Cretin-Derham Hall
Events: 200, 400 and 4x400 relay
Highlights: Sophomore year won the 100 and 400.
College: Minnesota
Did you know? Pole vault is her secret track and field ambition.
Quote: “They say it’s going to be in the lower 90s. I like running in the heat so we’ll see how it goes.”

 


Andrianna Jacobs, Rochester Century
Event: Pole vault
Highlights: Three-time defending state champion.
College: Nebraska
Did you know?: All-state competitor in diving and gymnastics.
Quote: “I love vaulting at Hamline because you’re in the infield and there’s more energy.”

 


Karina Joiner, East Ridge
Events: 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles
Highlights: Won the 100 hurdles crown last spring, the 4x400 relay as a sophomore.
College: Harvard
Did you know? Drew raves for her offseason strength training regimen.
Quote: "The competition will be stiff. I know that will push me.”

 


Natalie Manders, Eastview
Events: Shot put and discus throw
Highlights: Defending discus throw state champion.
College: Minnesota
Did you know? Her coach and father, Michael, holds the NCAA Division III shot put record.
Quote: “I’ll be trying to do my best knowing there are a lot of great girls competing.”

 


Ashley Ramacher, Eden Prairie
Events: High jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4x100 relay
Highlights: Defending high jump state champion.
College: Minnesota
Did you know? Hunts game, has two antler racks and a turkey fan on the wall at home.
Quote: “I’m excited to be competing with teammates in the high jump and 4x100. They push me to do my best.”


Ruby Stauber, Wayzata
Events: 800, 4x200 relay and 4x400 relay
Highlights: Minnesota record holder, defending state 800 champion (2:06.5).
College: Louisiana State
Did you know? Her mother, Alison Stauber Coffey, was a professional middle-distance runner. Her father, Robb, won the Hobey Baker Award as a goaltender for the Gophers hockey team and played in the NHL.
Quote: “Hopefully our class will continue to do big things and be remembered for a long time.”

State track and field info

When, where: Friday and Saturday, Hamline University in St. Paul
Daily start times: 9 a.m. for Class 2A, about 3:30 p.m. for 1A
Championship events: Friday — Girls’ long jump, high jump, discus; boys’ triple jump, pole vault, shot put; girls’ and boys’ 3,200 meters. Saturday — all other events. For a full event list, go to mshsl.org.
Parking: Free at the State Fairgrounds. Shuttle buses will run every 10 minutes.
Tickets: $10 adults, $7 students.

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