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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2002

Jackie Bloemendaal completes the high jump

Bloemendaal ties school high jump record
by John Grones | June 4, 2002

It was a big week for Cromwell High School senior, Jackie Bloemendaal. A week after being honored the valedictorian of her class, she soared past even her own expectations in the Section 7A Track & Field Championships, at the U of M, Duluth campus.

The girls high jump featured a number of competitive jumpers this year and Jackie was one of them. Her jump of five feet, six inches, placed her second and earned her a trip to the State Track Meet on June 7 at the National Sports Center in Blaine. She advances along with four other jumpers. Amber Vaneps, who has been a state participant the last three years cleared a remarkable five feet, nine inches. The height was a new Section 7A record.

The other three participants, Ashley Mattson (Chisholm), Sara Miller (Hermantown), and Jenna Tygstad (Two Harbors) are advancing after clearing the state standard of five feet, three inches.

This is not the first time Jackie has advanced to the state meet. She did so two years ago and came away with a 5th place finish behind Vaneps, who took the state championship.

This year is a whole new situation and it appears that Section 7A is well represented. Jackie’s goal is to jump 5’7” at the state meet. “I just want to place,” she said.

Placing second may not have happened on Friday, had it not been for Jackie’s sister Sarah. Facing five feet, four inches, and one miss, Jackie hesitated twice on her approach to the bar. “That’s when I heard my sister yelling in the stands,” she said. “I probably wouldn’t have made it past five-four if she hadn’t yelled at me.”

The encouragement worked, because Jackie matched her previous personal best and went on to jump five feet six inches. Her jump ties the Cromwell High School record, which was set in 1998 by Star Houck, a two-time state track meet participant.

As is the case in every big contest, great satisfaction is accompanied by obvious disappointments. This was the case for several athletes with high hopes of moving on to the state meet. However, the girls team did finish with a very respectable 7th place finish. Overall, Cromwell took home eight, top-eight finishes.

Vicki Freiermuth, a State Track Meet participant last year, came up a little short in both the long jump and triple jump events. Her 15’-3 1⁄2” long jump was fifth, and her 33’-2 1⁄2” was a third-place finish.

In running events, Samantha Smith also had high hopes, but ended up seconds from a state meet appearance. Her 5:29.80 in the 1600 meter run came in third, while her 12:27.06 in the 3200 meter run earned her fourth place.

Other athletes earning medals on Friday included: Jen Houck (seventh in the 800, seventh in the triple jump), and Alexa Grones (fourth in the 1600 meter run).

Boys excell in the field events

Of the six, Cromwell boys, top-eight finishes, five of them were in the field events.

Darren Dahl was the only double-medal winner, placing sixth in the shot put and seventh in the discus. Darren’s younger brother, Robert, continued the family rivalry in the discus. Robert’s performance edged his brother out for sixth place.

Evan Anderson had a nice showing in the high jump, which tied for third place with four other athletes. Stacey Smith also placed in the high jump, establishing a personal best of five feet, 10 inches. The jump earned him an eighth-place finish.

The only runner to place for Cromwell was Jeff Thompson, who ran the 1600 meter in 5:00.43, finishing his season a seventh place finish. The only McGreogr athlete to place was Ben Hadrich. Ben, who was fighting asthma, placed 8th in the 3200 meter run.

This article first appeared in the June 4, 2002 issue of the Voyageur Press.