Any team that scores 1,000 points in a section True Team track and field meet has all but assured itself a trip to the State True Team Meet.
However, that was not the case in Section 7AAA boys competition this year, and Hopkins will sit home when the State True Team Meet is contested Friday, May 19, at Stillwater High School.
In a highly competitive Section 7AAA Meet May 10 at Chanhassen High, three teams scored more than 1,000 points, but only champion Wayzata (1,080) and runner-up Edina (1,034.5) will advance to state. Hopkins (1,003) will be idle on Friday.
“When you qualify for state out of this section, you’ve earned it,” said Hopkins head coach Nick Lovas. “I am extremely proud of our team. We had so many athletes step up in incredible ways. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Lovas added that history may have been made May 10.
“I can’t recall this happening before,” he said, referring to the fact that three teams surpassed 1,000 points in a True Team sectional.
“To score 1,000 and not make it is hard,” Lovas observed. “But we made it hard for Wayzata and Edina. Usually, when you score 1,000, you think you’ll get in for sure. I wish we would have been rewarded with a different result, but the guys know that in many cases we competed above and beyond our [previous] best performances.”
While it was a team effort, three seniors stood out for the Royals.
Seth Eliason won the 800 in 1:56.95 and the 1,600 in 4:18.02.
Boye Mafe placed second in the high jump at 6-6, second in the shot put at 49-3 fourth in the triple jump with a personal best of 42-10 and 3/4. He also finished eighth in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Nate Johnson showed his versatility with a seventh place in the triple jump at 41 feet and a fourth place in the pole vault with a personal record of 13 feet. He was 15th in the long jump with another personal record of 19-7.
Among Hopkins’ underclassmen, the standouts were led by sophomore sprinter Joe Fahnbulleh, who won the 200-meter dash with a personal-record time of 22.83 seconds. He added a fourth place in the 100 dash with a time of 11.25 and was sixth in the 400 in 51.69.
The Royal sprinters performed well from top to bottom with clutch performances from King Allah, Jaylen Champion, Cimeon Daniel, Ben Leervig, Sam Leervig, Demetrius Patton and Marvin Ratansingh.
Joe Swenson stepped up in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing fourth with a time of 40.33, which was his personal record.
Overall, it was not just a good day, but a great day for the Royals.
“We will use our momentum from this meet as we prepare for the Section 6AA Meet,” said Lovas.
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