CSS Track and Field Hosts Lake Superior Challenge

Andrew Naslund

While many were watching the Super Bowl in Minneapolis this past Sunday, even more were interested in the true competition that took place in the great city of Duluth the day before. Last Saturday, on a snowy February afternoon that was cold enough to make one question the decision to live in northern Minnesota, the College of St. Scholastica’s track team members found themselves luckily inside playing host to the eleventh annual Lake Superior Challenge in the Burns Wellness Fieldhouse.

For the CSS women’s team, there were many standout performances on the day, but perhaps none more noticeable than Casey Hovland’s 3000-meter run. Hovland, a senior from North Branch who has become synonymous with first-place finishes over her career at Scholastica, set the program record time of 9:55.34 in her race. Hovland’s time also marks the fifth highest time in NCAA Division III through this point in the season.

Sammi Argir, another familiar face who has done her share of winning over her four years at CSS, performed well on Saturday as well as she finished in second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.67. Argir has spent plenty of time throughout her career running at other schools, so she does not take meets like last Saturday for granted.

“Running at home is always nice,” Argir said. “It’s fun to recognize fans and be supported by everyone who comes to our meets.”

Anika Kling, a sophomore from Hudson, Wisconsin, had herself quite the career day as she had a personal-best score in three different events. These events included the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the long jump. Kling ended up in third place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.05, and she placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.02. In the long jump, Kling shared the glory with her teammate Breanna Shofner, as they both placed second with jumps measuring 4.96 meters. Shofner also placed second in the triple jump with a hop measuring 10.00 meters.

Freshman Aria Plewa had a nice debut in the Lake Superior Challenge, as she finished second overall in the mile with her season-best time of 5:23.71. Plewa also participated on the 4×400 meter relay team with Liana Blomgren, Katelynn Gullickson, and Emily Namyst, and as a group placed third with an overall time of 4:31.87. Gullickson also participated in the 800-meter run, placing fourth with a season-best time of 2:33.33.

Rounding out a great day of performances for the CSS women’s team was Natalie St. Marie. Marie, currently in her second year with the Saints, found herself in fifth place in the weight throw with a heave of 13.9 meters. There is still no word on if the weight thrown is okay as it refused to comment for this article.

With the CSS men’s team, one of the standout performances came from the freshman out of Cloquet, Isaac Boedigheimer. Boedigheimer, who had an incredible season in the fall for the CSS cross country team, apparently has no issues running indoors as he placed second overall in the 3000-meter run with his season-best time of 8:49.99. Easton Foss, another tremendous cross-country and track runner for the Saints, finished nearly six seconds behind Boedigheimer to grab third place in the contest.

Frank Cerar, now in his third year with the Saints, showed off his multiple talents at the Lake Superior Challenge as he finished in second place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.16, and also received third place for his performance in the pole vault as he cleared 3.85 meters. Like Cerar, Aaron Pulkrabek had a very solid day for the Saints, as he hit a season-best mark of 6.35 meters for third place in the long jump.

Other notable performances for the Saints men’s team included Donovan Blatz, as he found himself in fourth place for the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.48, a season-best time for him. Jake Bonasera, a freshman thrower from Princeton, Minnesota, placed fourth in his shot put event as he gave it a season-best hurl of 10.91 meters. Kyle Beck also managed to place for the Saints, as he came in fifth place for the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.85.

Next Saturday, the CSS women’s and men’s teams will hit the road, but they won’t have to go far as they will be at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for the Yellowjacket Open.