Tambe defends sprint title

Blaine’s Ayuke Tambe won his second straight state title in the 100 meter dash Saturday at the Class AA state meet at Hamline University.

Blaine’s Ayuk Tambe celebrates after crossing the finish line and winning the boys’ 100 meter dash in state tournament action. Photo by Steve Guider

Blaine’s Ayuk Tambe celebrates after crossing the finish line and winning the boys’ 100 meter dash in state tournament action. Photo by Steve Guider

When the race started out, Tambe said it didn’t look good. He was behind five runners off the blocks including the eventual runner up Travis Griffin from North St. Paul.

But it may have helped.

Tambe may not the tallest sprinter, but he makes up for a smaller stride with faster foot speed.

“My acceleration is my best part so I just let it all go,” Tambe said. “In this race one little mistake, one thing can mess up the whole thing. I just stayed relaxed.”

Up against the best high school sprinters Minnesota had to offer, Tambe found another gear when he was lagging behind.

“With like a thousand people watching there’s so much adrenaline,” Tambe said.

With his wheels a blur, Tambe caught up and finished first with a time of 10.79 seconds, which was a personal record and a new school record.

He couldn’t find an explanation for how his legs work.

“I really can’t feel my legs when I’m running,” Tambe said. “I don’t know how I do it. At first I was a soccer player. When I started track when I was a freshman I was like the fastest guy on the team just due to my acceleration.”

Tambe was dealing with a hamstring injury most of the season, so he was thrilled to just be healthy enough to defend his state title.

“That’s every sprinter’s nightmare,” Tambe said.

Last season he won with a time of 11.17, which would have put him out of the top 10 this year.

He was also the part of the 4×100 relay that finished fourth along with Kunie Ayinde, Patrick Mendin and Joesph Robel.

Mendin had some excitement of his own earning the bronze in the 200. Ayinde was 10th in the high jump and Chris McCleod 13th in the discus.

Overall the boys’ team finished 11th.

The girls’ team finished in 18th place. Taylor Morgan ran eighth in the 100. She was part of the third-place 4×200 relay with Kiersten Falck, Britney Monteon and Courtney Purcell. Morgan, Purcell and Monteon joined Alyssa Nebo in the 4×100 that placed fifth.

Marissa Eggerichs was the seventh-best long jumper.

Andy Rogers is at
andy.rogers@ecm-inc.com

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