Ely home to a section champ; Visser places 11th at state
UPDATE: Ely’s Kaylin Visser places 11th in discus at State Class A Track Meet. The eighth grader had a personal best throw of 108-7.
Kaylin Visser wins 7A crown in the discus, moves on to state
by Tom Coombe
Kaylin Visser offered a sneak preview in May, then delivered in a big way on a grand stage last week in Duluth.
The Ely eighth-grader returned home from the Section 7A girls track meet with both a ticket to state - and the title of section champion.
Visser finished first in the discus with a throw of 105 feet, five inches, topping the rest of her section foes on a warm day in Duluth.
Her performance, which followed an Iron Range Conference title in the same event last month, fueled an impressive day for the Ely girls, who were seventh among 22 teams.
Visser also picked up where her older sister Ande left off in 2022, keeping the 7A discus championship not only in Ely but in her family. Her older sister won the section crown last spring with a throw of just over 104 feet.
At subsections the week before, Visser was third with a throw of 98 feet, but she topped 105 at the IRC in May and had a good week of practice entering the event at UMD.
“She has been consistently throwing at least this far in practice, so I was not surprised by the throw but being her first time in sections and only an eighth grader we knew that staying calm and relaxed would be the key for her to do her best,” said her dad, Darren Visser, who is the throwing coach in Ely’s track program.
Seeded fifth in the section, Visser threw before her higher-seeded opponents and came right out of the chute with her top throw of the day.
“By having a good throw right away that put the pressure on others and took some off of her,” said Darren Visser. “She has been working on getting her form consistent as well and sections was the best I have seen her form come together. There are a lot of different pieces that go into form and it takes time and repetitions to get it to come all together. It was a lot of fun to see the pieces come together on the big stage.”
Visser topped her next-nearest competitor by nearly four feet and was set to take part in the Class A Girls State Meet, at St. Michael-Albertville, late Thursday after deadline.
She is the only Timberwolf to move on to state.
Another young Ely athlete, eighth-grader Molly Brophy, flirted with a state berth but came up just short.
She took third in the 1,600 run (5:32.95) and was within four seconds of moving on, and also took third in the 3,200 (12:35.31).
The Wolves also had a fifth-place relay heavy on youth as seventh-grader Violet Udovich and eighth-graders Lydia Shultz and Audrey Kallberg joined senior Audrey Thomas on a quartet that finished in 1:55.70.
Seventh-grader Mattie Lindsay teamed with seniors Phoebe Helms and Madeline Perry and junior Claire Blauch on the four-by-800 relay, which was sixth in 10:47.12.
It was Perry, Thomas, senior Lily Tedrick and junior Grace LaTourell who took seventh in the four-by-400 relay (4:34.41).
Ely senior Natasha Fulkrod was in sections in two throwing events, taking seventh in the discus (88-0) and 11th in the shot put (27-10).
LaTourell also moved on in two individual events, taking ninth in the 400 dash (1;07.25) and 11th in the 200 (28.77).
In the 3,200, Blauch took eighth (13:26.43) and sophomore Anna Dunn was 10th (14:01.33).
Ely collected 34 points as a team and was within a half-point of sixth-place Moose Lake-Willow River.
Two Harbors won the event, followed by International Falls, Esko, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin and Crosby-Ironton.
The Wolves placed in front of 15 teams.