Prep boys track: Ierino leaps into the history books for the East in 7AA encounter – Reuters Sports News


CLOQUET — After Duluth East senior David Ierino’s third attempt at the triple jump Saturday at the Section 7AA Men’s Track and Field Championships at Bromberg Field, coach Shonda Peller approached him.

“It’s the jump we’ve been waiting for, but you’re third right now,” Peller said. “All you need to go second is a few more inches. Do you think you can do that?

Ierino replied, “Why not go first?”

Ierino not only finished first on his fourth and final jump, he broke Jack Thompson’s school record with a mark of 43-foot-5, to edge Forest Lake’s Nicholas Bartlett by an inch, unleashing a raz- de-tide of emotion and hugs, tears of joy, all around.

The top two individual and relay teams qualify for next week’s state meet in St. Michael-Albertville.

D. Matthew Ierino of Duluth East celebrates with coach Shonda Peller after breaking the school record in the triple jump during the Section 7AA Track Championships on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Cloquet High School. (Clint Austin / [email protected])

“I collapsed (crying) before they even finished measuring,” Ierino said. “I knew…I just knew that I had done it. I turned around and the tears started to flow and I said, ‘Peller, that’s a school record. I beat him, I finally beat him.

Peller, who now lives in Florida, was quick to credit Eastern jumps coach Tim Visina. Peller said she had to come back for the occasion, to give the colorful Ierino some extra encouragement.

“I couldn’t let it hang,” Peller said with a laugh. “It’s a group effort with Ierino.”

Ierino’s best jump two years ago was 42-10, but COVID-19 put everything on hold last spring. Ierino said he’s struggled to get “in the zone” this spring. Even on his record jump, he started just over a foot behind the board. If – or when – he sticks it, however, be careful.

“It took two years of preparation,” Ierino said. “I was in the gym four to five days a week with my trainer, Paige Stratioti, and that was a goal we had. I knew I had the record. I felt it.”

Grand Rapids junior Jackson Weston swept the throwing events with two personal bests, 51-9.5 in the shot put and 142-2 in the discus.

Weston would love to break the Thunderhawks school record of 57-5 in the shooting pot, set by Wayne Jacobson in 1968. While five feet might seem like a lot to overcome, Weston is confident he will beat it, if not this year. next year.

“I threw so much better in warmups,” Weston said.

Weston uses the spinning technique to throw the shot put, something he just started this season, rather than the slide. He wanted to implement the spin technique last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the season.

“Technique is very important,” he said.

Jackson Weston, Grand Rapids.jpg

Jackson Weston (News Tribune)

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Weston is well put together but not as bulky as some of the athletes you see in throwing events. He also plays on the offensive and defensive lines for the Grand Rapids football team.

Weston is certainly not afraid to mix with the big boys.

“It’s fun to hit people – when they let you,” Weston said with a smile.


Issac Fink of Denfeld competes in the 3200 meter race during the Section 7AA Track Championships on Saturday June 12, 2021 at Cloquet High School. (Clint Austin / [email protected])

Duluth Denfeld Isaac Fink senior finished second in the 3200 to qualify for his first state track meet.

Fink’s time of 9:53.21 took 19 seconds off his PR from two years ago. His best mark this spring was 10:15 before Saturday. The Augustana University (SD) rookie qualified three times in cross-country skiing and also qualified once in Nordic skiing.

“I’m really excited,” Fink said. “I’m so happy this is happening.”

Fink burst out laughing when asked what his goal was for the state.

“My goal was just to get there,” he said.

Eaton has worked hard to improve from where it was two years ago.
Eaton was born with a rare defect, medial vertebral aplasia, and has no use of his legs. When he was about two years old, he could at least stand, but then doctors fused his back. He has quite the following, as evidenced by the folks who cheered him on as he hit the trail.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m growing and getting stronger,” Eaton said. “I didn’t think I’d do as well in the state as I did two years ago (including a Class AA wheelchair 200m record), so hopefully I’ll do as well this year.”


Blake Eaton of Denfeld competes in the 100 meter wheelchair dash during the Section 7AA Track Championships on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Cloquet High School. (Clint Austin / [email protected])

The 800, in particular, looked absolutely grueling on a sunny 75-degree day with a breeze in the upper teens.

“It was tough,” Eaton said. “I tried to come out stronger than normal in the first lap. I kind of hit the wall in the second lap, but I was going for it.

  • East Duluth Senior Mattie Thompson showed he was more than just a basketball player, finishing second in the high jump 6-4. The 6-foot-7 Thompson has a 6-6 max rating and also ran on the Greyhounds’ 1,600 relay. The Minnesota Duluth basketball rookie has the ability to run the 400 in under 54 seconds, so the Bulldogs are getting quite the athlete.

“Obviously basketball is really more important to me, but the track became quite important to me as I progressed,” Thompson said. “In terms of stamina, explosiveness, jumps, whatever is incorporated here.”
Thompson missed qualifying for the state meet by one spot in the high jump his sophomore year.

“My junior year, I thought was going to be the year, but obviously that didn’t happen,” Thompson said. “Last year was a little disappointing, but I’m really excited to be able to spend my final year.”

  • Cloquet got a victory from Nathan Genereau in the 300 hurdles and two-thirds from fellow senior Dylan Heehn in the 100 and 200 to finish fourth in the team standings with 71 points, followed by East and Grand Rapids with 55 points apiece. Forest Lake won the boys’ tag team title with 114 points. Next year, Minnesota is moving to three classes in track and field.


Dylan Heehn (center) of Cloquet battles Cole Brisbois of Forest Lake and Matthew Beaudry of Elk River in the 100 meter dash during the Section 7AA Track Championships on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Cloquet High School. (Clint Austin / [email protected])


Section 7AA

Boys Championships

At Cloquet

Saturday’s results


1. Forest Lake, 114; 2.Andover, 106; 3. Cambridge-Isanti, 82; 4. Cloquet, 71; 5. (tie) East Duluth and Grand Rapids 55; 7. Great Lake, 40; 8. Chisago Lakes, 34; 9. Saint Francis, 31; 10. Elk River, 30; 11. North Branch, 19; 12.Princeton, 17; 13. Duluth Denfeld, 16; 14. Hermantown, 13; 15. Hibbing, 12; 16. Zimmerman, 10.

Individuals (State Qualifiers)

100 — 1. Cole Brisbois, Florida, 11.10 seconds; 2. Matthieu Beaudry, emergency, 11.21; 100 wheelchair — 1. Blake Eaton, DD, 19.71 (Section 7AA competition file); 200 — 1. Caden Wheeler, Et., 22.70; 2. Cole Brisbois, Florida, 22.72; 200 wheelchair — 1. Eaton, DD, 38.83 (Section 7AA encounter file); 400 — 1. Alexander Croston, SF, 50.34; 2. Zachary Johnson, Et., 51.04; 800 — 1. Cameron Heppner, And., 2:00.27; 2. Christian Noble, BL, 2:01.92; wheelchair 800 — 1. Eaton, DD, 2:43.57 (Section 7AA meeting record); 1,600 — 1. Gabriel Birkmeier, Et., 4:30.32; 2. Daniel Vanacker, Florida, 4:32.05; 3,200 — 1. Vanacker, Florida, 9:52.24; 2. Isaac Fink, DD, 9:53.21; 110 hurdles — 1. Harrison Toussaint, NB, 3:40 p.m.; 2. Augustus Giddings, Et., 15.41; 300 hurdles — 1. Nathan Généreau, Cloq., 40.94; 2. Giddings, Et., 41.16; 400 relays — 1. FL (Riley Larson, Cole Brisbois, Jake Deeb, Gavin Rustad), 44.04; 2. And. (Weston Knox, Wheeler, Oberhiri Eyafe, Aghogho Eyafe), 44.12; 800 relays — 1. Et. (Johnson, Wheeler, Benjamin Audette, Knox), 1:31.37; 2. CI (Samuel Mechah, Andre Hall, Alex Thompson, Gaven Ziebarth), 1:33.49; 1,600 relays — 1. And. (Knox, Heppner, Gabriel Birkmeier, Johnson), 3:27.29; 2. FL (Reid Olson, Augustus Herman, Keagan Zeidler, Drew Sampson), 3:31.77; 3,200 relays — 1. And. (Logan Meinert, Calvin Fiala, Heppner, Birkmeier), 8:06.31; 2. Grand Rapids (Sam Stertz, Ian Andersen, Derek Erdman, Hanson), 8:13.86; big jump – 1. Jacob Ziebarth, CI, 6-foot-8; 2. Mattie Thompson, DE, 6-4; Pole vault – 1. Ethan Hintermeister, CI, 14-0; 2. Blake Johnson, FL, 13-8; long jump – 1. Jack Iverson, BL, 20-11.75; 2. Everett Appleby, CL, 20-.75; triple jump – 1. David Ierino, DE, 43-5; 2. Nicholas Bartlett, FL, 43-4; shot put – 1. Jackson Weston, GR, 51-9.5; 2. Andrew Koehler, CL, 51-6; disc — 1. Weston, GR, 142-2; 2. Koehler, CL, 130-7.


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