Fairmont’s girls track & field skills run deep – Fairmont Sentinel
FAIRMONT — Legendary Fairmont head track & field coach Bob Bonk affectionately refers to senior horizontal jumper and hurdling extraordinaire Ellie Hernes, Augustana University cross country and track & field commit Laura Thompson and freshman long-distance standout Macy Hanson as “The Big 3.”
Hernes needed only one indoor meet last Friday night at Minnesota State University in Mankato to rewrite the Cardinals’ record books once again.
The future Bethel University track & field student-athlete cleared 36 feet, 8 1/4 inches to set Fairmont’s indoor triple jump mark, broke the tape in 9.59 seconds to tie the program’s 60-meter high hurdles record and added the long jump crown for good measure.
“If I could clone her (Hernes), I’d have her in eight events each meet,” joked Bonk. “If I opted to insert her into a relay or have her run the 300 (-meter) hurdles, she’d be terrific in those events, too.
“I guess I’ll have to be happy with all the points she scores for us in four events each time out,” Bonk added with a smile.
While Thompson and Hanson are 3 years apart in age, the Cardinals’ tandem worked in unison to pack a lethal 1-2 scoring punch during last fall’s cross country campaign and already are picking up in track where they left off in November.
“Laura is arguably the best distance runner in our girls program, holding school records in the mile and 2-mile (runs) in track and producing the best (5K) times ever in cross country,” Bonk said. “She and Macy have shown they can compete with the best of the best at the state level.”
Indeed. Thompson capped her incredible 6-year varsity cross country career by placing sixth in 18:57.84 at the 2021 Class AA state meet in Northfield, while Hanson netted a seventh-place medal with a time of 18:57.89.
This spring, Thompson and Hernes return to the paved surfaces on both the track and in the field events on the heels of earning two medals each during the 2021 Class A state competition in St. Michael.
Hernes struck silver with a runner-up leap of 38-0 1/4 in the triple jump and merited a seventh-place state medal in the high hurdles. She also finished 11th in the long jump and 12th in the 300-meter hurdles.
Thompson doubled up her 2021 state medals by earning a silver in the 3,200-meter run and garnering a bronze in the 1,600.
While Thompson, Hernes and Hanson can generate numerous points, “The Big 3” are hardly the only point producers in the Cardinals’ multi-faceted …….