Northfield 4×800 Relay Making History

Northfield High School’s Brecken Riley, Will Beaumaster, AJ Reisetter, and Nathan Amundson sit down and talk about their historical section race and their big dreams for the state meet this weekend.

Northfield’s 4×800 relay celebrates a surprising second-place finish at the Section 1AAA meet to qualify for the state meet. (left to right: Brecken Riley, Will Beaumaster, AJ Reisetter, Nathan Amundson)

The last time this exact relay had ran together was all the way back in mid-April when they won the 4×800 relay at the Mega Meet in Lakeville. It was now the first week of June and the big section meet was looming, but a bump in the road caused the dream of sending the team back to the state meet a very difficult task.

Last year the relay of Martin Brice, Sam Folland, Nathan Amundson, and Will Tidona took the boys 4×800 relay to the state meet after a huge come-from-behind race to take second place (very similar to how the relay did it this year). The girls 4×800 team of Clara Lippert, Erica Loe, Josie Hauck, and Nichole Theberath also qualified for the state meet just before the boy’s race.

Even though two seniors that were on that relay graduated (Will Tidona and Martin Brice), they still had two returners and all the alternates that went last year. However, the relay that had been preparing for the big meet was not going to be racing. Brecken Riley, Sam Folland, AJ Reisetter, and Nathan Amundson had their eyes set on the section meet since the beginning of the season with the hopes of going to state again and breaking the school record. But due to outside circumstances Sam Folland could not race in the section meet. So the team turned to their first alternate Will Beaumaster to take his spot in the relay. Will (along with AJ and Brecken) was an alternate for last year’s 4×800 squad that went to state but hadn’t run as many 800’s this year as the rest of the relay. However, the few 800’s he had ran were good enough for his coaches and teammates to have confidence in him to come in clutch for this relay and send them to the state meet for the second year in a row.

Brecken Riley led off the race and absolutely blew the socks off what he was predicted to do. He handed the baton off to Will with a solid five-second gap between him and the rest of the pack running a 2:00 spilt. Will took the baton and held onto the lead until the last few steps where he was passed by Lakeville North and South, but dropped his best season split from 2:10 to 2:05, and gave AJ a chance to hang with the top group. AJ took the baton and held back in third place until the final stretch when Owatonna crept up into the top pack and AJ took off with him handing the baton off to Nathan in second place and dropping a season best split of 2:03. Nathan held back in third place as well and was passed with 200 meters to go by Lakeville South to put him into fourth place. In the final 50 meters, Nathan passed Lakeville South and North to just barely take second place and qualify the relay for the second state meet in as many years with a split of 1:58 and the relay a time of 8:08.

Listen to what the relay had to say about the big race and their thought on the upcoming state meet.

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