6/13/2013 2:17:00 PM Hannah Nordby finishes sixth at state in the 400
by CHUCK FITZER
At last Saturday’s MSHSL State Meet finals, Wildcat sophomore Hannah Nordby set the Chisago Lakes High School record for the third time in a week in the 400 meter dash, with a time of 57.48 seconds. She finished sixth overall in the race. Nordby earned her way into the finals with a run of 57.73 seconds in Friday’s preliminaries, setting a school record that she broke on Saturday.
Nordby wasn’t the only one from Chisago Lakes breaking records at the state meet. The 4 x 400 meter relay team of senior Beka Meyer and sophomores Sarah Greene, Lauryn Delzer and Nordby set a school record of 4:02.78 in their preliminary heat. They just missed qualifying for the finals, finishing in tenth place just 0.68 seconds behind Bemidji. Some interference during the handoff from Greene to Delzer at the beginning of the third leg of the race may have cost the Wildcats a shot at the finals. In the state meet preliminaries, Nordby ran a solid race. The top two finishers started to pull away with about 100 meters to go. Nordby was in a pack with three other runners and put on a burst of speed to pull ahead of that group and into third place, finishing a half second ahead of fourth place Carly Moran of Winona.
The top two finishers from each of the two heats, plus the next five best times from the first two heats qualified for the finals. Nordby’s time was sixth overall and second in the “next five” competition, qualifying her for the finals. “When I finished third in my heat,” said Nordby, “I knew I was going to be in there for the finals. As I tapered leading up to the state meet, I was hopeful that I would be able to make the finals. I was assigned to Lane 7 for the preliminaries. I am usually in Lane 3 or Lane 4 for most races, so it’s quite a different race running in an outside lane. But when I was down on the track warming up, I knew it was going to be a good day.” As noted above, Nordby recorded her best time ever in Saturday’s finals and finished sixth, about two seconds behind first-place Megan Linder of Cretin-Derham Hall. Nordby said, “I felt really good again going into the finals. And I improved my time again. I was very excited for my finish.”
Nordby is looking forward to an even better performance next year. “I play soccer year round,” she said. “Because of all the running I do for soccer, the 400 meter performances just kind of fell out from that. Over the next year, while continuing to play soccer, I am going to concentrate on running specifically for the 400 to try to improve my time for next year.” Wildcat head coach Karen Manske was pleased with Nordby’s performance. She said, “Hannah is a great athlete. She has a wonderful work ethic and is very determined. I was not surprised at her performance, but certainly in awe of her excellent results. If Hannah stays healthy, she will no doubt continue to improve.” Meyer ran the first leg of the 4 x 400 and, even though she was in eighth place out of eight teams, she kept the Wildcats close to the pack as she handed off to Greene.
Greene made up two spots in the second leg, pulling the Wildcats up to sixth as she handed off to Delzer. But a runner in the lane to Delzer’s left, after completing her own second leg and handing off the baton, turned into Delzer’s path while trying to leave the track. Delzer bumped into the runner and had to slide around her. This delay cost Delzer and the Wildcats about one second. Delzer quickly reestablished herself and got back in the pack. She had the Wildcats in seventh place as she handed off to Nordby for the anchor leg. Nordby maintained seventh place for most of the race. With less than 100 yards to go, Nordby flew past two runners, bringing the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish. Since the top two finishers from each of the two preliminary heats, plus the next five best times overall made the finals and the Wildcats had the sixth best time in the “next five” competition, the Wildcats were shut out of a chance at the finals.
“All four of the girls ran personal records in the race,” said Manske, “so they met our expectations. They were disappointed not to make the top nine teams, but setting the school record told them how well they had run. The girls are already talking about next year, and who they will need to complete the 4x400 team now that Beka Meyer has graduated. We have some girls moving up next year who hopefully will be able to step into the open spot on this relay and the other relays. I'm very proud of the effort all four of these girls gave for the entire season!”