Grand Rapids' Cagle follows discus win with shot put third place

ST. PAUL -- Jessica Cagle realizes her best days in the shot put may still be ahead. The Grand Rapids senior finished third in the Class AA girls event Saturday at the Minnesota high school track and field meet at Hamline University despite littl...

ST. PAUL -- Jessica Cagle realizes her best days in the shot put may still be ahead.

The Grand Rapids senior finished third in the Class AA girls event Saturday at the Minnesota high school track and field meet at Hamline University despite little practice this season. She's more noted as a two-time state discus champion, including a title Friday.

"I definitely see some untapped potential there [in the shot put]," said Grand Rapids throw coach Dan Jinks. "She's concentrated so much in the discus that she's kind of let go the idea of the shot. She's always done what she needed to do for the team, but never embraced [the shot put] the same way she did the disc."

Cagle, fifth in the shot put last year, said she was pleased with her 40-foot, 6-inch throw considering the wet, cool conditions during the morning session. While it was well shy of her season-best and top-seeded 43-½, it was enough for her to consider the event when attending the University of Minnesota this fall.

"My [Gophers throw] coach [Lynne Anderson] wants me to do the shot; she says I have potential to hit the high 40s with a little work from college coaches," Cagle said.


"I don't really want to, but if I can get up there in the high 40s then I'll do it. But not if I'm not going to excel at it."

She excels in the discus and although this year's winning throw of 157-6 didn't equal her 2008 state record of 162-4, it was enough for another first-place medal.

"I didn't get a 160 out there, but I'm proud of the 157," she said.

Likewise, Jinks thought she did a good job in Friday's drier conditions.

"When she gets in the discus circle, people expect something even bigger than what she did last year and that puts more pressure on her," he said. "But she handled it well."

The Thunderhawks placed sixth in the Class AA girls team standings with 34 points. Mounds View, winner in the 1,600-meter relay in the day's final event, edged Hopkins 48-44 for the title.

Sophomore Lindsy Mattson earned 10 points for Grand Rapids with a second-place at 400 meters. Mattson led until caught by St. Paul Highland Park freshman Erica Dombro in the final few steps. Mattson's time of 56.66 seconds equaled a personal best and was just .22 behind Dombro. Duluth Denfeld sophomore Paige Stratioti was fifth in 57.39, setting a personal record.

"I gave it everything I had the whole time," Mattson said. "I pushed it as hard as I could; I just didn't have anything left at the end. There's nothing I would have changed -- I did exactly as I've been training to do -- and I'm happy with how things turned out."


Less than an hour later, Mattson ran the anchor leg in the 1,600 relay as Grand Rapids finished last among nine teams.

* Hibbing junior Tatum Garrity was the only other Northland girl to score points in Class AA, finishing fifth in the 800 in 2:17.87. Garrity's preliminary time of 2:15.25 would have won the slower-paced final

* Grand Rapids senior Patrick Marx lunged across the finish line to place third in the boys 400. Marx's time of 49.29 was a season best.

* Buffalo's 60 points won a three-team battle for the boys team title. Wayzata (52) and Rosemount (49) finished second and third, respectively.


The dreary, wet conditions didn't seem to bother Eveleth-Gilbert's Shawn Johnson or Cotton's Kenny Schofield as they left with Class A boys medals.

Johnson, a junior, won the boys discus with a throw of 163-6, a victory by nearly 10 feet. Schofield, who won a second triple jump title Friday, unexpectedly placed second in the long jump.

"Being from northern Minnesota helped me because I'm used to these elements, but today was the worst we've had all year," said Schofield, a senior, who leaped 20-7¾ in the finals to finish behind the 21-10¼ jump of Kruiz Lindblad of Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson-Boyd.


The 6-foot-7 Schofield, headed to the University of Minnesota, is noted as a triple jumper, but wanted to go out on a high note in his final prep competition.

"My family, coach and everyone just wanted me to place [in the top nine] because I was seeded pretty low," he said. "I wanted to do better than just place -- top three or four at least. So when I heard that I got second, it was pretty cool."

Johnson did him one better. Though his winning throw was more than 11 feet shy of his season best, Johnson says he was affected more by nerves than the weather.

"I couldn't sleep the night before, and I just tried to get in the zone," he said. "[Nerves] were there until I threw the [163-6]. Even on the last throw I was still nervous."

Johnson's teammate, senior Michael Spampinato, was fourth in the discus at 140-2. Spampinato, last year's shot put runner-up, was Johnson's main competition during the season.

"All year long, it's me and him," Johnson said. "It's us going against each other in practice every day."

* The Esko girls' best relay finish came in the 400 as Kelli Rengo, Alyson Glumac, Delany Pearson and Katie Tonner placed third in 51.39. The Eskomos were also sixth in the 1,600 and eighth in the 800 and 3,200 relays to score 17 points (17th in Class A).

* Natasha Dragicevich, a Moose Lake-Willow River junior, was seventh in the 100 hurdles (17.22) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (47.27).


* Analisa Huschle, a sophomore from Bagley-Fosston, set her second meet record by winning the triple jump with a leap of 38-1. She set the long jump mark of 19-2¼ Friday. Huschle, who also won the 200, helped her team to the overall title.

* St. Croix Lutheran's 45 points won the boys team title by 11 points over Brooklyn Center, whose 34 points all came from senior Laquone Robinson.

* Despite unseasonably poor conditions, Saturday's Class AA attendance was 3,474 and the Class A attendance was 2,709 for a two-day total of 11,583.

What To Read Next
Get Local