Girls find season bests at state meet

By: 
Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld, Pioneer Editor
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jolie Wood, right, reacts as the times file in and realizes the Herders took fifth in the 4x400 relay. To her right, Elle Terland and Ashlyn Wood hug each other (STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Big Timber Pioneer). 

 

LAUREL — If anyone saw the Sweet Grass County girls’ 4x400-meter relay team May 26, they might have thought they’d won the state title. 

In fact, the squad of Elle Terland, Lily Lodahl, Ashlyn Wood and Jolie Wood took fifth in the mile relay, and could not have been more ecstatic about it at the conclusion of the Class B State Track and Field Championships in Laurel. 

When expressing their enthusiasm and why it was such a big deal for the quad of underclassmen — save for senior Elle Terland — to come away with a podium finish, Ashlyn managed a straight face and pointed to their senior leader. 

Fighting back any emotion that wasn’t pure elation, Terland described her final quarter mile as a Herder.

“We were in the first heat with the slower relays, so we knew we had to really haul to even have a chance at finishing on the podium,” Terland said. “And then, we went and PR’d by like 15 seconds, so we surprised everyone.”

PHOTOS: Day one State Track and Field Championships gallery

PHOTOS: Day two State Track and Field Championships gallery

The Herders clocked a time of 4 minutes, 16.17 seconds out of the first of two heats in the relay, edging out Columbus for the fifth spot. The squad was ranked 12th coming into the state meet, and set a personal best by more than 11 seconds. 

As the season grew on, the time wasn’t dropping the way they wanted it to. After some personnel changes that saw the addition of Lodahl late in the season, the Herders found a way to grind through and make an appearance at the state meet. 

The divisional qualifying event didn’t go as expected, and the Herders found themselves in a bit of adversity in the first of two heats. With the faster relay teams in the second heat, the Herders knew they’d have to find inner competition to have a chance at a medal. 

“We did not start off the year very well, either,” Ashlyn said. “It was all worth it. You’ve got to give your fight and give your everything.”

The Herders said they were going to celebrate with some pictures, some tears and obviously some barbecue. But looking back, Terland said the entire season, despite the trials and tribulations of it all, was more than worth it.

“Considering all the struggles we’ve gone through, and how our time just wasn’t there where it could be, it just feels amazing that we were able to overcome that,” Terland said. “That we were all able to run our best split of the year.”

Pederson shot puts to fourth

Brooklyn Pederson had the best finish of any female Herder at the state meet last weekend, when she tossed 33 feet, 9 3/4 inches for a fourth-place podium standing. 

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