The Section 7AAA Girls True Team Track Meet was an intense battle between neighboring rivals Minnetonka and Wayzata.
Will it be the same thing this week in the State True Team Meet? Fans can find out when the action begins at 4 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Stillwater High School. Minnetonka edged Wayzata at sectionals 1,058.5 to 1,047. The outcome was in doubt during the final event, and most of the fans in the stands were aware of how close it was.
“I expected a close meet between Wayzata, Edina and us,” said Minnetonka head coach John Steffen, referring to the section True Team competition. “Edina had a couple key people out, so it came down to us and Wayzata.”
The difference in the meet may have been the hurdles – and specifically the 300-meter race.
Wayzata coach Alicia Pierskalla thought that might be a make-or-break event for her team.
“Unfortunately, one of our hurdlers was out sick and another was out with an injury,” she said.
That gave Minnetonka a window of opportunity to dominate the event. Skipper senior Clare Liedtke won the 300s and added a win in the 100 hurdles. Emma Harrison added a bounty of points with her third place in the 300s.
“Our hurdlers really came through,” said coach Steffen. “All of them were solid. Our field events have been strong for a long time, and we picked up points there.”
Gabrielle Evans was a point-winner with a second place in the pole vault. She had a personal best of 10 feet. Teammate Elisabeth Dalki added a third place.
Minnetonka came up big in the triple jump with Olivia O’Brien placing second. Annika Muller and Erin Steele finished fifth and seventh. In the long jump, Minnetonka sophomore Faith Robinson took third place and O’Brien placed fifth. Alexandra Woods of the Skippers tied for fourth place in the high jump and added a seventh place in the long jump. Skipper shot-putter Kayla Andersen took fifth place.
The highlight of Minnetonka’s effort on the track was a first place in the 4×400-meter relay. Harrison, Grace Hoelscher, Erin Shoemaker and Elizabeth Halbmaier ran 4:05.18 to beat a fast Wayzata foursome by more than a second.
The Skippers had a solid second-place finish in the 4×200 relay with Liedtke, O’Brien, Harrison and Robinson turning in a time of 1:47.49.
Halbmaier placed third in the 1,600. Sophie Whicher gave Tonka third place in the 3,200. Hoelscher took sixth in the 800. Robinson finished third in both the 100 and the 200. O’Brien added a sixth place in the 200.
“There were some exciting races, and we had some of our best times of the year,” Steffen concluded.
Now it’s on to state.
Senior captain Thomas Kohn of the Minnetonka High boys track and field team is finally healthy, and he proved that in the Section 7AAA True Team Meet May 10 at Chanhassen High School.
Kohn won the triple jump with a season best of 43 feet 7, inches and took second in the long jump with a best of 21 feet, 5 inches. He anchored the Skippers’s 4×200-meter relay to a second-place finish. That relay included Ethan Li, Goodness Akindemowo and Nehemiah Montague.
Minnetonka showed power in the weight events with Austin Hopp taking third in the shot put with a best toss of 48-11 and Tres Green taking second in the discus with a best of 141-6.
In the pole-vault, Minnetonka had a fifth place from Austin Davis, who cleared 12 feet, 6 inches.
While the Skippers excelled in the field events, they also had several notable performances in individual events on the track.
Akindemowo was second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.10 seconds. His teammate, Christopher Clarke, finished sixth in the 200 in 23.10, while Skipper half-miler Jacob Hermann took sixth place in 2:00.42.
Moving on to the distance events, senior captain Matt Wilkinson placed fifth in the 3,200 and eighth in the 1,600.
Minnetonka hurdler Chris Chayet was 12th in the 110s with a personal best of 16.35 seconds.
The Skippers had a strong showing in the 4×800 relay with Harry Koeppen, Luke Sellman and Liam McConnell joining Hermann to finish fourth.
Skipper head coach Josh Stephan was pleased with a fourth-place team finish. The only teams ahead of Tonka in the final standings were Lake Conference rivals Wayzata, Edina and Hopkins. Wayzata and Edina will advance to represent Section 7AAA in the State True Team Meet at 4 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Stillwater High School.
“In the section meet, we didn’t leave a lot of points on the track,” said Stephan. “Thomas Kohn’s performance had a big impact on our team score. Goodness, Christopher Clarke and Nehemiah Montague did a great job, along with Tres Green and Austin Hopp in the throws. Evan Green, Jacob Hermann and Matt Wilkinson ran some good races. Austin Davis has been steady in the pole vault all season and might have a shot at 14 feet.”
These are the scores from the Section True Team Meet: Wayzata 1,080, Edina 1,034.5, Hopkins 1,003, Minnetonka 859, Chanhassen 691, Eden Prairie 672.5, Waconia 568.5, St. Louis Park 562.5, Armstrong 435.5 and Cooper 361.5.
Contact John Sherman at [email protected]