Track and Field: Nevis qualifies 3 individuals for state meet

Jade Rypkema, Ayo Ogundeji and George Bjorklund earn trips in 5 events at the Section 8A meet.

Nevis' Ayo Ogundeji (middle) qualified for the state Class A track and field meet in two events during the Section 8A meet at Ada on Friday, June 3, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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ADA – Nevis qualified three individuals for the state Class A track and field meet as junior Jade Rypkema defended two titles, freshman Ayo Ogundeji was the runner-up in two events and senior George Bjorklund finished first in one race during the Section 8A meet at Ada-Borup High School on Friday, June 3.

Rypkema shattered the 1991 section record of 11:34.47 by Marshall County South’s Jennifer Diedrich by winning the 3,200-meter run in 10:40.78 and clocked a winning time of 5:19.74 in the 1,600 in leading the Nevis girls to eighth place in the team standings with 42 points.

Ogundeji returned to state in both sprints with runner-up times of 11.60 in the 100 and 23.33 in the 200 while Bjorklund won the 1,600 in 4:38.83 as the Nevis boys placed sixth in the team standings with 39 points.

Liddy DeWulf just missed qualifying for state by placing third in the shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 10.50 inches while Adeline Bjorklund took fourth in the 1,600 in 5:48.16. Grace McNamee was fifth in the 100 hurdles in 17.76 and Ava Isaacson finished fifth in the discus with a distance of 102-4. Scoring the other points for the Nevis girls were Addison Lindow, Bjorklund, McNamee and Marley Mitchell in the 4 x 400 relay (seventh in 4:38.62) and Lindow in the 800 (eighth in 2:36.99).

Bjorklund just missed another state berth by placing third in the 3,200 in 10:32.87 while Jon Rice placed sixth in the 110 hurdles in 17.21 and seventh in the 300 hurdles in 45.19. Eli Peterson was seventh in the 1,600 in 5:02.39 to round out the scoring for the Nevis boys.


“I felt our kids ran well at sections,” said Nevis head coach Jen McNamee. “I was very pleased with all of the kids’ efforts.”

Rypkema will look to defend her state title in the 3,200 and improve on her sixth-place showing in the 1,600 while Ogundeji is hoping to move up after placing sixth in the 200 and 11th in the 100 last season. Bjorklund will also be looking to bring home a state medal. The state Class A meet will be held Thursday and Friday (June 9-10) at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

“Jade is hoping to repeat as state champion for the 3,200 and better her sixth-place performance from last year's 1,600. George and Ayo both have a shot of being on the podium if they run well,” said McNamee. “It all depends on the day and the performance. They will be ready to compete.”

Winning Section 8A title, placing in three events at the state Class A meet highlighted season.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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