Farmington distance runners put on another show at Elite Meet

Laruen Peterson (left) of Farmington overtakes Edina’s Emily Kompelien in the final stages of the girls 1,600 meters at the Hamline Elite Meet. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Fenske, Peterson win one race each

It’s gotten to where Lauren Peterson and Anna Fenske are expected to run well in big meets, and the two Farmington athletes delivered in the Hamline Elite Meet last Friday.

Peterson won the girls 1,600-meter race, overtaking Edina’s Emily Kompelien in the final 200 meters. About one hour later, she added a second place in the 800.

Fenske won the 3,200 in a race that featured the 2016 Class AA cross country individual champion (Fenske) and Class A individual champion (Tierney Wolfgram of Math and Science Academy).

If everything goes according to the Farmington runners’ plans, they will be back at Hamline University in June for the state Class AA track finals. Last year Peterson, coming back from stress fractures in her foot, finished third in the 1,600. Fenske finished seventh in the 1,600 and 3,200 as a seventh-grader.

Peterson is looking forward to the rest of track season, and not just because of her performance Friday at Hamline.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Peterson, a junior who was second in the Class AA cross country meet last fall. “I’ve done some stuff in the offseason to get ready for this season, and just making sure I’ve been staying healthier. It’s pretty exciting. This year I can just go up and not have to worry about my health problems.”

Peterson’s winning time of 4 minutes, 56.48 seconds at the Elite Meet is only about four seconds off her third-place time at the 2016 state meet. Passing Kompelien on the final lap was no small feat because the Edina runner is part of a 4×800 relay that holds the all-time state record (and easily won that event at the Elite Meet).

“I was pretty confident because I’ve been practicing (her closing kick) with 150 to go instead of 200, so I had a little extra,” Peterson said. “I’m happy with the time. It was a good race.”

Fenske led after every lap of the 3,200 and pulled away from the field in the final 800 meters to win in 10:41.25. Her eighth and final lap was her fastest, and her seventh lap was the next fastest. She ran 11:03.03 on the same track in the state finals last June.

Wolfgram, who also took sixth in the 1,600, was runner-up in the 3,200 in 10:52.32. Top-seeded Emily Covert of Minneapolis Washburn was third.

Peterson was second to Elizabeth Halbmaier of Minnetonka in the 800. Halbmaier’s winning time was 2:15.27, with Peterson finishing in 2:16.29.

Peterson said she probably will spend more time on the 3,200 as the season progresses, which means she might not even run the open 800 by the end of the season.

Farmington senior Emma Record placed fifth in the girls 100 dash in 12.52 seconds. Anna Keefer of St. Michael-Albertville won the event in 12.15.