Larson wins ‘81 high jump; Adrian boys finish first in ‘84 medley relay

By Les Knutson, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note:  This is the sixth in a series of feature articles listing several past stellar performances by area high school track and field athletes who placed at state meets.

As we continue looking back in time at the success of local athletes who placed in state high school track and field meets, this week’s feature focuses on performances by boys during the five-year span from 1980-1984, along with area girls who claimed state-meet medals in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

Past articles have brought the boys up to 1979 and the girls through 1981. Next week, the years of 1985-1989 will be highlighted for both boys and girls.

Fulda’s Ken Larson, who grew up in Dundee, gave the local area a lot of state-wide attention — and even a bit of national exposure — when he cleared the high jump bar at seven feet in a meet at Fulda as a junior in early May of 1980. While Larson was never again able to quite duplicate that extraordinary accomplishment, he did claim a second-place silver medal in the high jump that year (6’7”) and impressively earned gold as a senior in 1981, winning with a Class A state-meet record clearance of 6’10” — which stood alone as the meet record until it was tied in 2019.

While Larson’s back-to-back performances rank as the most remarkable achievements by an area track and field performer, there were several others that warrant mention from those years of the early 1980s.

Adrian’s boys had placed high in four state-meet relay races in three years, finishing fourth in the medley in 1980 (3:37.50), second in the medley in 1981 (3:38.64), sixth in the 4 x 400 in 1981 (3:29.71) and third in the medley in 1982 (3:40.27).

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