Initially, the Andover boys didn’t think much of finishing fourth in a nine-team track meet. But after taking a few minutes to gather some perspective, they found many more positives than negatives.
The Huskies, making their fourth appearance at the state Class AAA True Team finals, took fourth place, equaling their best-ever finish.
The top two teams at Friday night’s state finals, Minnetonka and Wayzata, are large schools from the powerful Lake Conference. Rosemount, the other team to finish ahead of the Huskies, won the state title two of the previous three years.
“From a competitive viewpoint, our guys were at first a little disappointed,” Andover head coach Mike Bobbe said. “When we looked at the bigger picture, we broke three school records and we had guys perform really well against some strong teams.”
Andover won three events at the Class AAA finals at Stillwater High School. Senior DeShawn Crutch ran the 110-meter hurdles in 15.11 seconds, edging Wayzata’s Nick Martin by eight-hundredths of a second.
Thomas Anderson, a senior who was favored in the throwing events, won both by substantial margins. His winning shot put of 54 feet, 5 inches won the event by more than four feet. In the discus, he set a school record of 178 feet, 11 inches, more than 22 feet farther than the runner-up’s best throw.
Huskies junior Steven Cotter ran a school record 4 minutes, 21.95 seconds in the 1,600, placing fifth. Christopher Meados finished eighth in 4:23.99, and his time also broke the previous Andover record.
Chris Larson finished fifth in the 200 dash in a school record 22.83 seconds.
Zach Roy, a senior, finished second in the long jump at 22 feet, 1 inch. He is the second jumper in Andover history to hit 22 feet.
Roy also was sixth in the triple jump. Larson was seventh in the 100. Mitch Fisher placed 10th in the 3,200. Conner Cenaiko was fifth in the pole vault, Joe Putz took fourth in the shot put and Kevin Olson was ninth in the discus.
Crutch fell in the 300 hurdles and dropped to 21st place. He was injured in the race, but Bobbe said he was optimistic that Crutch would be able to compete in the Northwest Suburban Conference Championships this week.
For the Huskies, doing well in the True Team was “our number one goal of the year,” Bobbe said. “The conference, section and state meets are nice, but those are opportunities for individual athletes to shine,” he said. “The True Team shows the depth of your team, and that’s what we want to build in our program.”
Andover set goals of winning its True Team section, the NWSC title and the Minnesota State High School League’s Section 7AA team championship. The section meet is May 30 and June 2 in Princeton.
“We got one (goal) and we should have a shot at the other two,” Bobbe said Monday afternoon.
Mike Shaughnessy is at firstname.lastname@example.org