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PREP TRACK: Green Wave counting on strength in numbers

East Grand Forks Senior High is counting on strength in numbers.

The Green Wave have only two No. 1 seeds in open events in the boys’ division of the Minnesota Section 8A track meet, which will be held today in Walker. Those are Miguel Perez in the 800 and Brock Scheving in the shot put.

But Senior High has quality depth, as its relays indicate. The Wave have the fastest seeded times in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x800 relays, and the No. 2 seed in the 4x400.

The relays will be key events in the team title chase, said Wave coach Kirk Misialek, who looks for Senior High to contend with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal for the championship.

Also on the line are state berths – the top two finishers in each event, as well as anyone who reaches state qualifying standards, advances to next week’s state meet.

“Our kids are good,’’ Misialek said. “But we don’t have a real superstar runner. We don’t have kids who will dominate an individual race. We think the best way (to get runners to state) for us is in the relays.

“We’re putting our best kids in the relays. We want to get the most kids to the state meet.’’

Ultimately, the decision to run a relay or an open event comes down to the individuals. Misialek said coaches talk to the runners about options and chances.

“Only the top two get to state,’’ Misialek said. “If we can’t compete for those spots in the open events, we want to beef up our relays.

“We leave it up to the kids a lot of the time. But we do talk to them. You look for the event that fits their ability best. You want to do what’s best for the kid. You want to do what’s best for the rest of the kids. If it is an outstanding athlete, you let him fly. I certainly wouldn’t take a kid out of the chance to win three open events if he had that potential.’’

Senior High has a few runners who could push for state berths in open events. Zach Tingelstad is the No. 3 seed in the 400, while Perez has the fastest seeded time in the 800.

“But Zach has a couple good kids ahead of him who he hasn’t beat all year,’’ Misialek said. “And Miguel is no lock in the 800. That will be a very good race between two or three kids.’’

So the emphasis is on the relays, which consist of:

  •  4x100 – Tingelstad, Scheving, Grant Frydenlund and Cole Orthaus. “That’s an interesting one,’’ Misialek said. “Scheving is the top seed in the shot put. But he’s not slow. He runs a great leg.’’
  •  4x200 – Frydenlund, Orthaus, Tingelstad and Tanner Seim.
  •  4x400 – Austin Kloety, Orthaus, Perez and Seim.
  •  4x800 – Perez, Kloety, Seim and Alessandro Dos Santos.

Banking on relays isn’t always a sure thing, even with top seeds.

“The kids have to run their races,’’ Misialek said. “Funny things can happen. You have to hang onto the batons and stay in lanes. Things happen. But they have been very good all season long.’’

In addition to Scheving and Perez, Senior High has top seeds in two open events in the girls division.

Erica Eades is the No. 1 seed in the 800, an event that Senior High has won three straight years (Eades in 2013, Marina Galstad in 2012 and Jaclyn Scanlan in 2011). Senior Alex Arroyo is the top seed in the long jump.