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Five champions crowned in 3,200 races as track and field state meet begins

By CHRISTINA LONG, Star Tribune, 06/17/21, 11:15PM CDT


Jade Rypkena of Nevis won the Class 1A girls' race with a closing kick to win by eight-hundredths of a second.

Jade Rypkema of Nevis (11) held off a late charge by Laura Thomson of Fairmont (4) to win the Class 1A 3,200-meter race. Amanda Overgaauw of Murray Country Central (1) placed third. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

Eight-hundredths of a second separated first and second place in the Class 1A girls’ 3,200-meter race on Thursday night at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

Jade Rypkena of Nevis accelerated in the home stretch, passing the rest of the field to take the state championship and edge out runner-up Laura Thompson of Fairmont.

After coming off the track, Rypkena’s final burst left her needing extra time to recover on the track’s infield. 

Nevis assistant coach Tom Stambaugh called out to her, “Worth it?”

Rypkena lifted her head long enough to give two thumbs-up.

“The first mile was really slow,” Rypkena said when she had recovered. “Usually these competitors when we get down to state go out flying. But I knew after the mile I had to step it up.”

Rypkena, a sophomore, placed 13th in the same event as an eighth-grader in 2019. This evening, she won in 10:54.32 — more than a minute faster than her time two years ago.

The track and field state meet opened with 3,200 races for both classes of boys’ and girls’ runners. Remaining events in Class 1A will be held Friday, with Class 2A competing on Saturday.

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