Faltesek, Larson lead Wolves

Ely boys have day full of personal records at subsection event

by Tom Coombe
Photos courtesy of Micah Larson
A ninth-place finish told only part of the story on Wednesday for Ely’s high school boys track team at the subsection competition.
The Timberwolves, who fielded one of their smallest rosters in recent history, had a day full for individual bests and improvement, and managed to send three individuals and a relay to next week’s Section 7A meet, set for Thursday, June 10 at Cloquet.
Senior Emmett Faltesek was fourth in the 800 meter run and continued his charge toward a potential state meet berth, while junior Micah Larson sprinted his way to sections in the 100 dash.
Sophomore high jumper Jake Cochran also moves on, and Cochran joined Leo Stalmer, Jon Hakala and Gabriel Pointer on a 7A qualifying four-by-800 relay quartet.
Add numerous other solid showings and it was a good event for the Wolves.
“Overall, the day was filled with personal records and big performances from the Ely team,” said Ely Head Coach Will Helms. “The boys really represented Ely High School well; they competed hard all day long and left everything on the track.”
Faltesek, who has previous state meet experience, took fourth in the 800 in 2:06.2, posting his second-best time of the season while employing a different strategy by going out slower and finishing with a stronger kick.
“He ran a very smart race and learned a bit about his abilities over the last 200 in his efforts to earn a spot to the state meet,” said Helms. “Emmett may need a kick down the final stretch at Sections, and today’s race was an important step toward the bigger goal.”
Larson, meanwhile, continued a late-season charge and advanced to the 7A event by placing fifth in the 100 dash (12.4) and seventh in the 200 (25.36).
Both were personal bests and he advanced in the 100 with a fifth-place finish despite coming in as the number-nine seed.
“Micah is a very poised athlete, with near-perfect sprint form,” said Helms.
“He’s worked hard all season to come out of the blocks faster, and he’s starting to see the results here in the championship races.”
Cochran continued his strong year by moving on in the high jump (seventh place, 5-2), but his best performance may have come in the four-by-800, where he set a personal record in the leadoff leg and put his relay in position to advance.
He would later set a personal record (5:14) en route to a 10th-place finish in the 1,600 run.
For the Wolves, a close call came in the four-by-400 relay as the combination of Brock LaTourell, Hakala, Larson and Faltesek ended up fifth, one spot shy of a section berth.
“They all had PR’s in their 400m legs, but were just beat to the line at the finish and had to settle for fifth place,” said Helms. “It was a disappointing way to concluded the meet, but each runner put 100 percent effort into the race, and it was astonishing to watch. Hats off to all four boys--they really threw everything they had left into the race.”
LaTourell had personal records in all four of his races at subsections and closed out his track career.
“Brock is the heart and soul of the team and sets a high standard for competition every time he steps on the track,” said Helms. “He, along with Emmett, Riley Bishop, and Caleb Janeksela will be sorely missed next year.
The youngest members of the team all had personal records at subsections: seventh grader John Schiltz in the 100; eighth grader Tory Hughley in the 1600; and eighth grader Silas Solum in the 800.