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Moorhead's Brooks-Samek, PC's Motschenbacher get to the podium at state track

Moorhead Park Christian's Karley Motschenbacher participates in the long jump of the Minnesota Class 1A state meet Friday at Hamline University. Motschenbacher finished fifth. Eric Morken / Forum News Service)

ST. PAUL -- Moorhead senior Gavun Brooks-Samek’s great grandfather is the reason he joined track. He said Brooks-Samek looked fast and said he’d always be fast, so he gave it a try. His great grandfather died a couple years ago, but Brooks-Samek stuck with track.

“I figured I’d just keep doing it for him,” Brooks-Samek said. “I enjoyed track and I liked running, but it ended up turning into jumping.”

Brooks-Samek saved his best jump for Friday’s Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University. His final high school jump was more than 5 inches better than his personal best. The jump of 44 feet, ¼ inch, got him fourth place. He was seeded 10th entering his first state meet.

“It was just my last ride, so I had to give it my all,” Brooks-Samek said. “I came into it super nervous. I had no idea what I was getting into.”

He thought of his great grandfather after the meet.

“He’d be very proud,” Brooks-Samek said. “He knew I had it in me.”

PC'S Motschenbacher ends day on the podium

Moorhead Park Christian sophomore Karley Motschenbacher made her debut at the Class 1A state track and field meet last season. The surroundings were a bit overwhelming. She returned Friday with a different feeling.

“I felt prepared,” Motschenbacher said. “I still have a lot of nerves, but it was more collected this time. I knew what to expect.”

Last season she had to do finals in the long jump after running in the 300-meter preliminaries. She finished eighth in the long jump. This season she was able to get through the jumps before running, finishing fifth with a jump of 17-1 ¾. She also qualified for the finals in Saturday’s 300 hurdles, finishing with the best time in the prelims by 1.27 seconds. Her 45 flat was her best run of the season.   

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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