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Track and field: Section meets on tap this week

Minnesota goes to three classes for the first time.

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DULUTH — Northland track and field athletes will be busy this week with Section 7 meets taking place at locations in Duluth and the Twin Cities metro area.

Minnesota will have three classes for the first time.

The Section 7AAA meet is Wednesday and Friday in Forest Lake. Duluth East is the Northland’s lone representative in the section. The opening day mostly involves prelims in the running events with the exception of the boys and girls 3,200-meter finals. There are also finals in the boys triple jump, pole vault and shot put and girls long jump, discus and high jump.

The Greyhounds feature the likes of junior Leif Ziring, who has already broken the school record in the pole vault with a height of 13 feet, 10 inches. The boys team also has a strong 3,200 relay and a good miler in senior Jackson Descombaz. The girls have a quality sprinter in senior Bianca Lott and a strong distance group that includes fellow 2021 state qualifier Cora Nephew.

The Section 7AA meet is Wednesday and Saturday in North Branch. The meet follows the same format as Section 7AAA, with a heavy dose of prelims on the opening day with most of the finals on the weekend. Cloquet, Duluth Denfeld, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, Hibbing, Proctor and Rock Ridge are the Northland’s Section 7AA representatives.

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“This gives a smaller school like us much more of a chance to be competitive,” Cloquet coach Tim Prosen said of going to three classes.

The Section 7A meet is Thursday at Malosky Stadium on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. It starts with field events at 10:30 a.m. and running events at 11 a.m. With the exception of the 100 and 110/100 hurdles, it’s all finals events Thursday as subsection meets were held last week, thinning the field.

Led by the likes of brothers Mason and Makoi Perich and senior sprinter Emily Rengo, Esko has very strong boys and girls teams. The Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin boys and Mesabi East girls should be among the other challengers.

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