Local athletes compete with elite at state track and field meet

Records were broken and titles were reclaimed during last weekend’s Class AA state track and field competition staged at Hamline University, St. Paul, June 8 and 9.

 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

Blaine’s Ayuke Tambe defended his sprint title, while throwing sensations Maggie Ewen of St. Francis and Tom Anderson of Andover broke all-time state tournament records and claimed first-place in their respective discus throwing and shot put events.

Anderson sets state meet all-time record


It surprised no one that the state meet’s best throwers were from the northwest suburbs, because Maggie Ewen of St. Francis and Andover senior Thomas Anderson dominated in those events all season.Although Anderson did not reach his stated goal of becoming the first Minnesota high school athlete to throw the shot put 70 feet, he did set the state meet all-time record of 65 feet, 4 1/4 inches in winning his second consecutive Class AA championship Saturday.

 Andover’s Thomas Anderson set an all-time state record, throwing the shot 65 feet, 4 1/4 inches to win the state tournament. Anderson also took first place in discus, throwing 182 feet, 5 inches. Photo by Bill Jones

Andover’s Thomas Anderson set an all-time state record, throwing the shot 65 feet, 4 1/4 inches to win the state tournament. Anderson also took first place in discus, throwing 182 feet, 5 inches. Photo by Bill Jones

DyeStat, a national online clearinghouse for track and field information, ranked Anderson’s state meet throw as fifth best in the country among high school throwers this season. But Anderson has actually thrown farther. He set the Minnesota all-time record of 65 feet, 8 inches at a meet in Stillwater in April.

Anderson, who will compete at Arizona State University, also won the Class AA discus championship with a personal-best throw of 182 feet, 5 inches. He helped push Andover into the top 10 in the boys’ team standings at state. The Huskies tied for seventh with 31 points.

The Huskies’ 4×800 meter relay of Kurt Hellmann, Mitch Fisher, Lucas Kivimaki and Steven Cotter placed fifth at state. Cotter also placed eighth in the 800-meter run.

Boughner earns silver in 200-meter dash


Anoka’s Cole Boughner was second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.06 seconds at the Class AA state meet last weekend at Hamline University.He finished 0.16 seconds behind the winner Keelon Brookins from Tartan.

“I was seeded second so I expected it, but it was still nice getting,” Boughner said. “The starts and the finishes, there’s a lot can go wrong. I’ll take it.”

It was Boughner’s last activity as a high school athlete. He is headed to St. Thomas University next year to play quarterback for the football team.

Track has been a nice way to stay in shape and refine his athletic abilities.

“The coaches don’t seem to mind,” he said with a smile. “It’s not like you’re going to get hurt unless you step on something.

“It really helps you learn how to train and really helps you with competitiveness.”

Lining up beside your competition instead of face-to-face has been nice, too.

“No one is trying to tackle you,” he said. “At least I hope not.”

He hasn’t decided whether to pursue track in college.

Boughner was also part of the sixth-place 4×200 meter relay with Anthony Erickson, Brandon Lindquist and Stewart Heltemes. Teammate Mustaful Strong was sixth in the triple jump,

The boys’ team finished 18th overall.

For the girls, Katelyn Fritz was 17th in the girls’ 3,200-meter run.

Janu earns silver in 300-meter hurdles


Spring Lake Parks’ CJ Janu earned a number of all-state honors at the Class AA state track and field meet last weekend at Hamline University.

 CJ Janu competes in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in second place behind all-time record setter Rilwan Alowonle of Park of Cottage Grove. Janu of Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony also competed in the 110-meter hurdles and finished third. Photo by Bill Jones

CJ Janu competes in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in second place behind all-time record setter Rilwan Alowonle of Park of Cottage Grove. Janu of Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony also competed in the 110-meter hurdles and finished third. Photo by Bill Jones

His top finish was in the 300 meter hurdles, where he finished second in 37.94 seconds.

It was a personal record by 0.20 seconds.

“That was my goal to take silver,” Janu said. “It was everything I wanted to be. I finally broke 38 seconds.”

He was chasing Rilwan Alowonle from Park of Cottage Grove, who broke the state record running in 36.59. Janu said Alowonle’s performance inspired him to run even faster.

“That’s what did it,” Janu said. “Without him there I don’t know if I could have done that.”

In the 110 meter high hurdles Janu placed third about a half-second behind Alowonle.

“I’m perfectly fine with that since I’m a junior,” Janu said.

He was one of two underclassmen in the top nine.

Janu also ran the 4×200 meter relay for Spring Lake Park, which didn’t go as planned. After coming in third in the preliminary round, a poor handoff in the finals added a few seconds sliding the boys to eighth.

“It was pretty disappointing,” Janu said. “I felt bad for the guys that just made it in that event, but it’s still something to be all state.”

Teammate Bryant Lymburn finished 14th in the pole vault. The boys’ team finished 15th overall.

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