Boys track: Ponies outdistance section field

Racing in rainy conditions that showed up briefly at Thursday’s Section 4AA meet, Eric Colvin leads a pack of runners in the 1,600-meter race. In close pursuit of Colvin, who posted a winning time of 4:15.69, are Kevin Docherty, left, Wayde Hall and Eli Krahn, right. (Contributed photo by Brad Dixon)

Racing in rainy conditions that showed up briefly at Thursday’s Section 4AA meet, Eric Colvin leads a pack of runners in the 1,600-meter race. In close pursuit of Colvin, who posted a winning time of 4:15.69, are Kevin Docherty, left, Wayde Hall and Eli Krahn, right. (Contributed photo by Brad Dixon)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Senior Eric Colvin capped an impressive showing as a double winner and Stillwater added plenty of additional highlights en route to a repeat victory at the Section 4AA boys’ track and field meet on Thursday at Stillwater Area High School. The Ponies scored 177 points to hold off Suburban East Conference rivals White Bear Lake (145.5) and Roseville (127) for the program’s 23rd section championship in the past 32 seasons.

“It’s about exactly what I expected,” said Ponies coach Scott Christensen, who will bring 10 athletes — not including two alternates — to comprise 11 entries in next week’s state meet at Hamline University. “I’m pleased with it. I thought we performed about as well as expected, but not everything is going to be perfect.”

After setting a school record while winning the 3,200 meters on Tuesday, Colvin followed that up with a victory in Thursday’s 1,600 meters with a time of 4:15.69. Competing in one of the more anticipated events at this meet, a total of five runners advanced to state in the event after the three others achieved the predetermined state qualifying standard. Only the top two finishers are assured a trip to state.

Stillwater senior Sean Bjork builds a lead near the midway point of the 800-meter race in Thursday’s Section 4AA Meet at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskrutz)

Stillwater senior Sean Bjork builds a lead near the midway point of the 800-meter race in Thursday’s Section 4AA Meet at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskrutz)

Less than three seconds separated Colvin from teammate and fifth-place finisher Wayde Hall, who crossed the line in 4:18.32. Cretin-Derham Hall’s Kevin Docherty finished second in 4:16.26 and freshman Eli Krahn was third in a time of 4:16.96. Jacob McDermott of Cretin-Derham Hall finished fourth in 4:17.78.

Despite the narrow gap between those five, there was little movement throughout the race as Colvin took it out fast — too much so, for Christensen’s taste. A brief downpour put a damper on potentially faster times, but it didn’t prevent any of the likely candidates from advancing to state.

“It wasn’t shoulder-to-shoulder racing, it was just boxcars,” Christensen said. “You expect shoulder-to-shoulder when they’re three seconds apart, but it was a freight train.”

The Ponies will be well represented in the distance events at state, with Colvin, Hall and Krahn also advancing in the 3,200 on Tuesday and teammates Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Tayler Aarness, Luke Richie and Sean Bjork winning the 4×800 relay in a time of 8:10.09 — which was more than 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Roseville (8:20.94).

Bjork also shattered his previous personal best in winning the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.64.

If there was a surprise in the meet for Stillwater, it was likely Kevin Meads advancing with a second-place finish in the 110 high hurdles (15.75) while missing out after a hard fall in the 300 hurdles, generally his stronger event.

Senior Nate Bird will make his third consecutive trip to state after winning the discus with a distance of 163-5, more than 16 feet farther than runner-up Quintin Abel (147-2) of White Bear Lake. Stillwater’s David Peterson finished third in the event at 145-11 to fall just shy of earning a trip to state.

Connor O’Neill previously qualified for state on Tuesday while finishing second in the pole vault after clearing 13-11.

The Ponies are hoping to contend for the state championship next week and nothing that occurred at sections derailed those aspirations.

“You could call it the first round of state,” Christensen said. “Eleven entries, that’s a good year for us.”

As much as the longest distance races provided stiff competition, the long jump produced a staggering six state qualifiers on standard to go along with the automatic bids. Paul Akintade of St. Paul Highland Park set a section record with his winning leap of 23-5 1/2 while Sam Loveland’s jump of 21-9 1/4 could do no better than eighth place despite qualifying him for state.

The long jump and triple jump are the only events in which Stillwater did not score points.

“I thought we had a chance in the long jump and then realized that the top eight qualified on standard,” Christensen said. “Our long jumpers did pretty well, although just to score you had to go to state.”

The section championship was the 46th in Christensen’s coaching career.

 

Team standings

1. Stillwater 177; 2. White Bear Lake 145.5; 3. Roseville 127; 4. Woodbury 91.5; 5. East Ridge 72; 6. St. Paul Central 69; 7. North St. Paul 66; 8. Mahtomedi 39; 9, tie, St. Paul Highland Park 38 and Cretin-Derham Hall 38; 11. St. Paul Como Park 16; 12, tie, Tartan 12 and Hill-Murray 12; 14. St. Paul Johnson 11; 15. St. Paul Harding 4.

Individual results

State qualifiers, Stillwater finishers

100 — 1. Elijah Campbell (SPC) 11.29; 2. Barron Taylor (Ros) 11.55; 7. Sam Keran (St) 11.84. Prelims: 21. Caleb Fick (St) 11.93; 30. Nicholas Wanovich (St) 12.17.

200 — 1. Elvis Barclay (Ros) 22.04; 2. Akeem Sirleaf (NSP) 22.05; *3. Nathan Roese (ER) 22.35; 7. Nate Ricci (St) 23.65. Prelims: 16. Caleb Fick (St) 24.17; 17. Mitchell Schertz (St) 24.22.

400 — 1. Nathan Roese (ER) 49.02; 2. August Ollrich (ER) 49.76; 5. Makao Day (St) 51.11; 8. Luke Richie (St) 53.26; 9. Mitchell Schertz (St) 53.49.

800 — 1. Sean Bjork (St) 1:54.64; 5. Tayler Aarness (St) 2:02.45; 9. Bailey Hesse-Withbroe (St) 2:04.71.

1,600 — 1. Eric Colvin (St) 4:15.69; 2. Kevin Docherty (C-DH) 4:16.26; *3. Eli Krahn (St) 4:16.96; *4. Jacob McDermott (C-DH) 4:17.78; *5. Wayde Hall (St) 4:18.32.

3,200 — #$1. Eric Colvin (St) 9:03.86; 2. Wayde Hall (St) 9:06.71; *3. Jacob McDermott (C-DH) 9:09.53; *4. Eli Krahn (St) 9:11.50.

110 hurdles — 1. Wyatt Lemon (WBL) 15.55; 2. Kevin Meads (St) 15.75. Prelims: 16. Robert Enright (St) 17.54; 17. Alex Klein (St) 17.68.

300 hurdles — 1. Wyatt Lemon (WBL) 39.40; 2. Connor Koll (WBL) 40.12; 7. Robert Enright (St) 42.10; 9. Kevin Meads (St) 1:18.13. Prelims: 12. Alex Klein (St) 43.53.

4×100 relay — 1. Woodbury, 43.23; 2. North St. Paul, 43.28; 6. Stillwater (Nicholas Wanovich, Caleb Fick, Jordan Phelps and Sam Keran) 45.24.

4×200 relay — 1. Woodbury, 1:29.00; 2. Roseville, 1:29.20; 4. Stillwater (Jordan Phelps, Makao Day, Mitchell Schertz and Nate Ricci) 1:31.60.

4×400 relay — 1. East Ridge, 3:20.74; 2. Woodbury, 3:22.07; *3. Roseville, 3:22.36; 4. Stillwater (Makao Day, Nate Ricci, Luke Richie and Eric Colvin) 3:25.32.

4×800 relay — 1. Stillwater (Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Tayler Aarness, Luke Richie and Sean Bjork) 8:10.09; 2. Roseville, 8:20.94.

Long jump — #1. Paul Akintade (SPHP) 23-5 1/2; 2. Johnathan Osifuye (Wo) 23- 1/2; *3. Elijah Campbell (SPC) 22-8 3/4; *4. Trevor Simanski (WBL) 22-4 1/2; *5. Evan Blomquist (WBL) 22-4; *6. Akeem Sirleaf (NSP) 22-3; *7. Michael Jaehne (Ros) 21-10; *8. Sam Loveland (Ros) 21-9 1/4. Prelims: 12. Alex Klein (St) 20-11 1/2; 14. Michael Liddell (St) 20-6; 21. Nate Ricci (St) 19-7 1/2.

Triple jump — 1. Elijah Campbell (SPC) 45-10 1/2; 2. Bernard Vinson (WBL) 45-1 1/4. Prelims: 12. Michael Liddell (St) 39-9 1/4; 16. Isaac Hale (St) 38-7; 19. Nicholas Wanovich (St) 38-2 1/2.

Shot put — 1. Malek Evans (NSP) 50- 1/2; 2. Noah Lee (WBL) 49-10 3/4; 6. Alex Burback (St) 46-9. Prelims: 13. David Peterson (St) 42-8 1/2; 15. Danny Buege (St) 41-9 3/4.

Discus — 1. Nate Bird (St) 163-5; 2. Quintin Abel (WBL) 147-2; 3. David Peterson (St) 145-11; 9. Aaron Tipcke (St) 131-9.

High jump — 1. Tycel Page (SPHP) 6-5; 2. Jordan Burich (Ros) 6-3; 6. Connor O’Neill (St) 6-3; 7. Isaac Hale (St) 6-1; 17. Taylor Holthaus (St) 5-7.

Pole vault — 1. Allen Swenson (ER) 14-5; 2. Connor O’Neill (St) 13-11; 3. Sean Tompkins (St) 13-5; 10. Colin Eason (St) 11-5.

 

* Additional state qualifier

# Section record

$ Stillwater school record

up arrow