Boys track and field: Ponies run to second at True Team state

The Stillwater boys’ track and field team finishes second at Friday’s True Team state meet at Stillwater Area High School. (Contributed photo by Tony Morley)

The Stillwater boys’ track and field team finishes second at Friday’s True Team state meet at Stillwater Area High School. (Contributed photo by Tony Morley)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — There was no shortage of sterling performances on Friday for the Stillwater boys’ track and field team, but just not enough points at the end of the night to catch Wayzata at the Class AAA True Team state meet at Stillwater Area High School.

Behind victories from Michael Smith in the 200- and 400-meter races and a sweep of the four relays, the Trojans captured their first-ever True Team state title with 830 points — denying Stillwater (807) its first title since capturing the last of its three championships in 1997. The showing was Stillwater’s best since placing second in 2000.

Stillwater’s Alex Klein competes in the 110 high hurdles during Friday’s True Team state meet at Stillwater Area High School. Klein also competed in the 300 hurdles and led the Ponies with a sixth-place finish in the long jump. (Gazette staff photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

Stillwater’s Alex Klein competes in the 110 high hurdles during Friday’s True Team state meet at Stillwater Area High School. Klein also competed in the 300 hurdles and led the Ponies with a sixth-place finish in the long jump. (Gazette staff photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

Hopkins (736.5) and Mounds View (732) followed in third and fourth while Blaine finished fifth with 688.5 points.

“We wanted to win, that was our No. 1 objective was to try and win the thing,” Ponies coach Scott Christensen said. “In that respect, I feel a little hollow that we didn’t win it, but we generally had good performances. It’s been a while since we were second or first.”

Stillwater did not place higher than ninth in any of the individual sprint races, but made up for that with a dominating performance in the distance races and a stellar evening from versatile senior Connor O’Neill, who tied for first in the high jump (6-2), placed second in the pole vault (15-0) and third in the triple jump (42-3). He also finished 10th in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 16.22.

Stillwater’s Wayde Hall (253) and Eli Krahn (275) set the pace for the 1,600-meter race with Wayzata’s Connor Olson (784) on Friday.

Stillwater’s Wayde Hall (253) and Eli Krahn (275) set the pace for the 1,600-meter race with Wayzata’s Connor Olson (784) on Friday.

Eli Krahn continued his impressive spring with a victory in the 1,600 meters in a time of 4:14.76, which is believed to be the fastest ever run by a freshman in Minnesota based on an extensive list compiled by Wayzata distance coach Bill Miles — bettering the 4:16.95 turned in by Rob Finnerty of Burnsville in 2005. He wasn’t alone as teammates Wayde Hall (4:17.59) and Sean Bjork (4:20.25) followed in second and fourth in the event.

Stillwater also placed three in the top seven of the 3,200 meters, led by senior Eric Colvin with a winning time of 9:10.46. Tayler Aarness (9:33.01) and Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (9:48.52) finished third and seventh. Bjork (1:57.71) and Hall (1:57.85) also finished 1-2 in the 800 meters. Krahn was also scheduled to run the 800, but a sore achilles that has nagged him all spring pulled him out of that event.

“In no area did we outscore what I thought we could score. I thoought we were going to win,” Christensen said. “The mile was spectacular, but I thought we’d do that. I thought we were going to win.”

The Ponies finished second in the 4×400 (3:29.42) and 4×800 (8:09.60) relays and Nate Bird added a second-place finish in the discus with a distance of 158-6.

“I don’t think our sprinters had a great night, but the rest of the team was really hot,” Christensen said. “O’Neill was hot, (Sean) Tompkins was hot, our high jumpers were hot and our distance runners were really hot. Our goal was 20 and we had about 20 (personal records). All the two-milers PR’d, all the half-milers PR’d, one of the milers PR’d and all three vaulters PR’d.”

After competing in Day 2 of the Suburban East Conference Meet on Thursday at East Ridge, the Ponies will compete in the Section 4AA Meet on May 28 and 30 at Stillwater Area High School.

 

Team standings

1. Wayzata 830; 2. Stillwater 807; 3. Hopkins 736.5; 4. Mounds View 732; 5. Blaine 688.5; 6. Rosemount 670.5; 7. Champlin Park 607.5; 8. Buffalo 538.5; 9. Owatonna 391.5.

Stillwater results

100 — 1. Shaheed Hickman (Hop) 10.98; 20. Sam Keran (St) 11.68; 22. Devante Thomas (St) 11.88; 26. Caleb Fick (St) 12.04.

200 — 1. Michael Smith (Way) 22.22; 16. Makao Day (St) 23.27; 18. Sam Keran (St) 23.42; 25. Johnny Randazzo (St) 24.30.

400 — 1. Michael Smith (Way) 48.43; 9. Makao Day (St) 51.35; 16. Luke Richie (St) 52.44; 18. Mitchell Schertz (St) 53.04.

800 — 1. Sean Bjork (St) 1:57.71; 2. Wayde Hall (St) 1:57.85; 22. Alex Percival (St) 2:08.19.

1,600 — 1. Eli Krahn (St) 4:14.76; 2. Wayde Hall (St) 4:17.59; 4. Sean Bjork (St) 4:20.25.

3,200 — 1. Eric Colvin (St) 9:10.46; 3. Tayler Aarness (St) 9:33.01; 7. Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (St) 9:48.52.

110 hurdles — 1. Dajuan Copeland (Bl) 15.11; 7. Kevin Meads (St) 15.95; 10. Connor O’Neill (St) 16.22; 21. Alex Klein (St) 17.57.

300 hurdles — 1. Jacob Gredvig (Hop) 39.44; 5. Kevin Meads (St) 41.23; 11. Robert Enright (St) 42.83; 15. Alex Klein (St) 43.14.

4×100 relay — 1. Wayzata, 42.82; 7. Stillwater (Devante Thomas, Sam Keran, Nicholas Wanovich and Caleb Fick) 45.56.

4×200 relay — 1. Wayzata, 1:30.24; 6. Stillwater (Johnny Randazzo, Nicholas Wanovich, Mitchell Schertz and Caleb Fick) 1:35.14.

4×400 relay — 1. Wayzata, 3:26.60; 2. Stillwater (Mitchell Schertz, Luke Richie, Wayde Hall and Makao Day) 3:29.42.

4×800 relay — 1. Wayzata, 8:04.89; 2. Stillwater (Alex Percival, Luke Richie, Tayler Aarness and Eric Colvin) 8:09.60.

Long jump — 1. Riley Krause (MV) 21-10 1/2; 6. Alex Klein (St) 20- 3/4; 9. Michael Liddell (St) 19-9 1/2; 15. Jordan Phelps (St) 19-1 1/2.

Triple jump — 1. Terrance Bowers (Hop) 43-9 1/2; 3. Connor O’Neill (St) 42-3; 9. Michael Liddell (St) 40-2 1/2; 25. Nicholas Wanovich (St) 37-1 1/4.

Shot put — 1. Joe Stephens (CP) 57-9 1/2; 8. Alex Burback (St) 46-10 1/2; 14. Alex Carr (St) 45-3; 23. Danny Buege (St) 40-8 3/4.

Discus — 1. Payton Otterdahl (Ros) 159-1; 2. Nate Bird (St) 158-6; 7. David Peterson (St) 141-10; 12. Aaron Tipcke (St) 132-9.

High jump — 1, tie, Connor O’Neill (St) 6-2, Chris Johnston (MV) 6-2 and Adekunle Ayinde (Bl) 6-2; 4. Isaac Hale (St) 6-2; 20. Joel Malwitz (St) 5-6.

Pole vault — 1. Mitchell Valli (Buf) 15-7; 2. Connor O’Neill (St) 15-0; 5. Sean Tompkins (St) 13-0; 13. Colin Eason (St) 11-6.

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