Boys track and field: State champs honor O’Neill as MVP

Senior Connor O’Neill has been named the Most Valuable Athlete for the state champion Stillwater boys’ track and field team, which produced a total of nine all-state athletes this spring. (Gazette-ECM photo by Rick Orndorf)

Senior Connor O’Neill has been named the Most Valuable Athlete for the state champion Stillwater boys’ track and field team, which produced a total of nine all-state athletes this spring. (Gazette-ECM photo by Rick Orndorf)

Versatile senior Connor O’Neill was named the Most Valuable Athlete for the state champion Stillwater boys’ track and field team following a productive season that included a runner-up finish at the state meet in the pole vault.

A standout performer in four events for the Ponies, O’Neill was among a group of nine Ponies to earn points and all-state honors at the Class AA state meet. Stillwater scored 65 points to outdistance Forest Lake (59.5) and Wayzata (57) for its second state title in three years and fifth overall. The Ponies also finished second in the Suburban East Conference before winning the Section 4AA title, which was the program’s 23rd in the past 32 seasons. Stillwater also won the True Team Section 2AAA championship before placing second at True Team state. O’Neill was also the Points Champion for the Ponies.

Sean Bjork, Eric Colvin, Eli Krahn, Wayde Hall, Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Tayler Aarness, Luke Richie and Nate Bird joined Connor O’Neill in earning all-state honors. Krahn, who set a national freshman record while winning the 1,600 meters, also placed second in the 3,200 at state. Hall was the state runner-up in the 1,600.

Eleven Ponies received All-SEC honors this season, including: Makao Day, Bjork, Hall, Aarness, Hesse-Withbroe, Colvin, Krahn, Bird, Isaac Hale, O’Neill and Sean Tompkins.

Bjork, who will continue his running career at St. Olaf, is this year’s recipient of the Ern Peaslee Memorial Award.

 

Boys track and field

All-Conference: Makao Day, Sean Bjork, Wayde Hall, Tayler Aarness, Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Eric Colvin, Eli Krahn, Nate Bird, Isaac Hale, Connor O’Neill and Sean Tompkins; State qualifiers: Sean Bjork, Eric Colvin, Eli Krahn, Wayde Hall, Kevin Meads, Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Tayler Aarness, Luke Richie, Nate Bird and Connor O’Neill; All-State: Sean Bjork, Eric Colvin, Eli Krahn, Wayde Hall, Bailey Hesse-Withbroe, Tayler Aarness, Luke Richie, Nate Bird and Connor O’Neill; Ern Peaslee Memorial Award: Sean Bjork; Points Champion: Connor O’Neill; Most Valuable Athlete: Connor O’Neill; Captains elect: To be announced.

 

Contact Stuart Groskreutz at stuart.groskreutz@ecm-inc.com

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