Wayzata moves on to state meet
Through 16 of the 18 events, Wayzata High’s boys track and field team trailed Edina in the chase for the Section 7AAA True Team title.
As fans watched from the stands at Chanhassen High, there was speculation that Wayzata’s string of four consecutive section True Team championships might come to an end. But Trojan head coach Aaron Berndt had confidence his team could pull it out.
“It was close right up to the end,” said Berndt. “I told our guys not to panic, that all they had to do was hit their seed times, and we would be fine. They went out and did what we expected. This is the fourth straight section True Team title for our senior class. They know how True Team works, and they’ve been looking forward to this all season.”
Berndt is a coach who promotes True Team competition. In fact, the day the season began he wrote on the white board: “Only 67 days until True Team.”
When the day arrived, Wayzata was ready. But so was Edina. And so was Hopkins for that matter.
Wayzata didn’t win as many individual titles as Edina. However, the Trojans were strong across the board.
Trojan senior Lewis Gibson had a nice win in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.30.
Another notable highlight for the Trojans was Ben Grosse’s win in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches. He needed to be at his best to hold off a challenge from Boye Mafe of Hopkins. High jump was a good event for Wayzata, as senior Mitchell Faust placed sixth and freshman Dante White placed seventh.
Junior John Taylor also helped the Trojans in field events, taking third in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump.
Wayzata marked in the pole vault as well with Ben Hidani placing third and Gabe Lockheimer Toso taking sixth. Before placing in the high jump, Faust took fourth in the discus with a season best of 134 feet, 3 inches.
Wayzata’s best relay performance was a championship in the 4×400 with the team of Tommy Leisen, Lewis Gibson, Jack Ostapeic and Frank Fetrow. Their time was 3:26.20.
Wayzata took second place in the 4×800 relay with Ostapeic, Mitchell Tolander, Patrick Leonard and Anders Sonnesyn posting a time of 8:04.68.
Grosse gave Wayzata fifth place in the 300-meter hurdles, while Wayzata freshman Drake Daniels placed sixth in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Andrew Brandt of the Trojans was fourth in the 3,200-meter run. Wayzata jelled in the 1,600 with Khalid Hussein, Gemechu Meskele and Liban Jama placing 3-4-5. Leonard finished second in the 800 and Sonnesyn placed fifth. Drake Kapler was Wayzata’s top finisher in the 100-meter dash.
Looking ahead to State True Team, which gets underway at 4 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Stillwater High, coach Berndt is optimistic. He is looking forward to another showdown with Edina, which qualified for True Team state competition as the wild-card team.