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Proctor's Welch runs through foot pain

The pain in Matt Welch's feet wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that his sport, track, requires him to constantly be putting one foot in front of the other.

Matt Welch
Matt Welch of Proctor competes in the 1,600-meter run during the 7A subsection meet at Malosky Stadium in Duluth on Wednesday afternoon. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

The pain in Matt Welch's feet wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that his sport, track, requires him to constantly be putting one foot in front of the other.

The Proctor senior hopes to overcome the pain in his metatarsal bones in today's Section 7A meet at Malosky Stadium and qualify for his final state tournament.

Welch finished second in the 3,200 meters and sixth in the 1,600 at last year's Minnesota Class A state meet. He's seeded first in each event in the section meet.

Welch returned to running only this spring at the Lake Superior Conference meet and then again in last week's subsections. Last fall's state cross country champion wasn't overly impressive in either race.

"I know I'm not at 100 percent," he said earlier this week. "I've had a couple solid workouts the past couple weeks. My body is still out of shape and a little sore. But I'm looking forward to (today) and see how things go."

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Welch pulled his left hamstring and has suffered from metatarsalgia -- a six-month injury -- the past four months.

"Maybe a couple more months and I will be done with it," he said.

But until then, the future University of Minnesota runner is worried about how he will respond.

"My feet are still pretty bad and I'm really concerned about them, so I will be running in racing flats rather than spikes to provide more cushioning and support," he said.

The top two individuals in each event and those who reach a set standard will qualify for next week's state meet.

Other potential highlights from today's meet:

r Esko senior Riley Mudek, who is seeded first in the 100 (11.70) and 400 (51.35) and second in the 200 (23.36). The sprint finals could come down to a matchup between Mudek and Virginia's Mitch Sella.

r Mudek's rival on the football field, Moose Lake-Willow River senior Michael Pender, is seeking to qualify in both hurdles events.

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r Ely junior Mark Heiman, who takes the top leaps in both the long and triple jumps into the meet.

r Moose Lake-Willow River freshman Nicole Tekippe, ranked first in the 1- and 2-mile runs.

r International Falls junior Breanna Shofner, who seeks a double in the sprints.

r Mesabi East freshman Anna Ribich seeks an unusual double in the 300 hurdles and high jump.

r Esko's long-dominant relays, which are seeded first in all four races.

Wisconsin

Northwestern's Nelson,

Ashland's Miller seek titles

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Northwestern senior Tess Nelson seeks a third consecutive Division 2 championship in the 300 hurdles and Ashland senior Bryce Miller could be in line for a pair of first-place medals as the Wisconsin state meet begins its two-day run today at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

Nelson's seed time of 46.65 seconds is third-best in the hurdles, though her winning time last season pushed the 45-second barrier. Nelson also is among the favorites in the 100 hurdles.

Northwestern teammates Jordan Johnson (1,600), Logan Holly (pole vault) and Emma Nelson (3,200) also qualified as did the 3,200 relay team.

Miller is seeded third in the 1,600 (4:26.64), an event he has gone sub-4:20 in, and is fifth in the 3,200 (9:40.0). He placed in the top six in each race a year ago. Miller also is entered in the 800, though will need to run a personal-best to be in contention.

Oredockers teammate Anthony Litersky qualified in the triple jump and 110 hurdles, where his 15.11 seed time is among the top six. Ryan Hibbard's 21-foot-7 long jump puts him in the top flight of jumpers.

r Superior junior Carter Anderson is entered in both hurdles events in the Division 1 field. Bettering his 15.19 seed time in the 110 hurdles could place him in the finals, while he is gunning for a sub-40 second run in the 300. Sophomore Lauren Magnuson qualified for the 200 preliminaries.

The pain in Matt Welch's feet wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that his sport, track, requires him to constantly be putting one foot in front of the other.

The Proctor senior hopes to overcome the pain in his metatarsal bones in today's Section 7A meet at Malosky Stadium and qualify for his final state tournament.

Welch finished second in the 3,200 meters and sixth in the 1,600 at last year's Minnesota Class A state meet. He's seeded first in each event in the section meet.

Welch returned to running only this spring at the Lake Superior Conference meet and then again in last week's subsections. Last fall's state cross country champion wasn't overly impressive in either race.

"I know I'm not at 100 percent," he said earlier this week. "I've had a couple solid workouts the past couple weeks. My body is still out of shape and a little sore. But I'm looking forward to (today) and see how things go."

Welch pulled his left hamstring and has suffered from metatarsalgia -- a six-month injury -- the past four months.

"Maybe a couple more months and I will be done with it," he said.

But until then, the future University of Minnesota runner is worried about how he will respond.

"My feet are still pretty bad and I'm really concerned about them, so I will be running in racing flats rather than spikes to provide more cushioning and support," he said.

The top two individuals in each event and those who reach a set standard will qualify for next week's state meet.

Other potential highlights from today's meet:

* Esko senior Riley Mudek, who is seeded first in the 100 (11.70) and 400 (51.35) and second in the 200 (23.36). The sprint finals could come down to a matchup between Mudek and Virginia's Mitch Sella.

* Mudek's rival on the football field, Moose Lake-Willow River senior Michael Pender, is seeking to qualify in both hurdles events.

* Ely junior Mark Heiman, who takes the top leaps in both the long and triple jumps into the meet.

* Moose Lake-Willow River freshman Nicole Tekippe, ranked first in the 1- and 2-mile runs.

* International Falls junior Breanna Shofner, who seeks a double in the sprints.

* Mesabi East freshman Anna Ribich seeks an unusual double in the 300 hurdles and high jump.

* Esko's long-dominant relays, which are seeded first in all four races.

Wisconsin

Northwestern's Nelson,

Ashland's Miller seek titles

Northwestern senior Tess Nelson seeks a third consecutive Division 2 championship in the 300 hurdles and Ashland senior Bryce Miller could be in line for a pair of first-place medals as the Wisconsin state meet begins its two-day run today at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

Nelson's seed time of 46.65 seconds is third-best in the hurdles, though her winning time last season pushed the 45-second barrier. Nelson also is among the favorites in the 100 hurdles.

Northwestern teammates Jordan Johnson (1,600), Logan Holly (pole vault) and Emma Nelson (3,200) also qualified as did the 3,200 relay team.

Miller is seeded third in the 1,600 (4:26.64), an event he has gone sub-4:20 in, and is fifth in the 3,200 (9:40.0). He placed in the top six in each race a year ago. Miller also is entered in the 800, though will need to run a personal-best to be in contention.

Oredockers teammate Anthony Litersky qualified in the triple jump and 110 hurdles, where his 15.11 seed time is among the top six. Ryan Hibbard's 21-foot-7 long jump puts him in the top flight of jumpers.

* Superior junior Carter Anderson is entered in both hurdles events in the Division 1 field. Bettering his 15.19 seed time in the 110 hurdles could place him in the finals, while he is gunning for a sub-40 second run in the 300. Sophomore Lauren Magnuson qualified for the 200 preliminaries.

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