ST. PAUL - For two of the fastest kids in southwest Minnesota, Marshall senior Beau Bofferding and freshman Sarah Buysse had to exercise a little patience on Friday.
Luckily for both Tigers' speedsters, Bofferding and Buysse survived Friday's preliminaries, with Bofferding qualifying for the finals in the 400 and 100, and Buysse reaching the finals in the 400.
But qualifying for both Bofferding and Buysse didn't come without a little drama.
Marshall's Beau Bofferding, middle, tries to stay ahead of Tartan's Tristen Lawrence, left, and Owatonna's Jonah Remker during the 100-meter dash preliminary race on Friday at the Class AA state track and field championships at Hamline University in St. Paul. Bofferding broke a school record with a time of 10.94 seconds, and qualified for today's 100 final.
With 10 runners coming into the 100-meter dash in the 10-second range, Bofferding needed an extra effort in Friday's preliminary in order to qualify for today's final after running 11.01 seconds in the Section 2AA championships.
On Friday, Bofferding broke a school record with a time of 10.94 seconds, but he was still left waiting and wondering if that time was enough to make the finals.
"As soon as I saw that third heat finish, I knew it would be close," Bofferding said.
Added Marshall boys' track coach Mike Jacobs, "There were way too many 10s there (in qualifying times). I was a little nervous there."
Running the top time in the boys' 100 on Friday was Duluth East's Quinton Coleman with a time of 10.74, narrowly edging Park of Cottage Grove's Dmonte Farley (10.75). Bofferding was able to sneak into the final spot in the 100.
The 100 final takes place today at approximately 10:15 a.m.
"I was able to get the school record out of the way," Bofferding said. "Now, the focus is on the state championship."
Meanwhile, Buysse was frustrated after running a time of 59.02 seconds in the 400, which was almost one second slower than her qualifying time (58.11).
"I'm sore, tired," Buysse said after the race. "That was really tough, they're all so fast. I don't really know what happened, it all went pretty fast."
Before the race, Marshall girls' track coach Marie Sample could sense the nerves from the quick but inexperienced speedster.
"Just talking to her, you could tell there were some nerves," Sample said. "This is the best of the best up here. I've been trying to tell the girls that, yeah, you're going up against Cities schools, but you're big enough and strong enough to compete with them."
With nine spots open, Buysse got the eighth spot in the 400. Going into today's final with the top qualifying time is Cretin-Derham Hall's Megan Linder, who ran a time of 57.10.
The finals for the girls' 400 is slated for 11:35 a.m.
Now with Buysse getting a state race under her belt, Sample hopes it'll be enough to keep her runner loose in the finals. Buysse will also compete in the 4x800 relay today at 9 a.m.
"Absolutely, I think she'll be much more calm," Sample said. "This is an amazing atmosphere at state. There are people all around. If she stays relaxed and runs her own race, she'll do just fine."
For the second time on Friday, Bofferding got set in the blocks for the 400, his best race of the season. Coming into the state meet, Bofferding had the second-best qualifying time at 48.23.
So when he started rounding the track on the way to a time of 48.62, Bofferding was able to take care of business and secure his spot in today's final.
"I was in the middle lane and had guys on both sides of me," Bofferding said. "I got out good, I felt good going around the track. The goal was to make it to finals, and hopefully, I'm able to finish strong."
Running in the No. 2 lane, Bofferding will be chasing last year's start champion, Hopkins' Austin Salargo, from the start of today's final. Last year, starting on the outside gave Bofferding an extra push en route to a third-place finish. Bofferding is hoping for the same effect as he tries to close out his Marshall athletic career with a state championship.
"(Salargo) looked comfortable out there and he ran a good time," Bofferding said. "He'll be out in front, and I'll have him in my sights the whole time."