The Sleepy Eye Unified girls 4x200 relay team of Nikki Carr, Courtney Schmitt, Jessica Schmitz and Jamie Marti placed third in the Class A state finals held Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Their time of 1:45.17 was only one hundredth of a second behind the second place finisher, Esko. Osakis won the event with a time of 1:44.78. Top-ranked Chatfield finished fourth, three hundredths of a second behind SEU. The SEU quartet’s time was a personal best.
“The race was close all the way around, all the hand-offs were right there, and it came down to the lean at the tape,” said SEU coach Kris Bloedel. “The photo at the finish showed that the Esko runner just nipped Jamie Marti at the finish.”
The same four teammates also competed in the 4x100 relay, but came in sixth in the preliminary heat and did not qualify for the finals. During the regular season the 4x200 team won all of their races, the only two losses coming in the state preliminaries and finals.
In 2005, the SEU 4x200 team won the state championship and two members of the team, Jaci Carr and Amanda Schmitz, are sisters of two current team members, Nikki and Jessica.
“With all four of the team members returning next year and the two alternates we have a good chance of matching the success of the 2005 team,” said Bloedel.
Carr and Marti will only be juniors so the next two years look pretty solid for SEU sprint relays.