Boys’ track set to take it outside

Andover

2012 finish: NWSC, Section 7AA and Section 4AAA True Team champions finished fourth at State True Team and seventh at the state meet.

Coach: Mike Bobbe

 

A new top sprinter will emerge this spring after Blaine’s reigning state 100 dash champion Ayke Tambe graduated in 2012.

A new top sprinter will emerge this spring after Blaine’s reigning state 100 dash champion Ayke Tambe graduated in 2012.

Key returners: The defending Northwest Suburban Conference, Section 7AA Team and Section 4AAA True Team champions return distance runners Steven Cotter and Chris Meados; sprinters Chris Larson and Austin Lorch; jumpers Nick Krouse, Cam Wold, Nick Macfarlane and Jake McNallan.

Captains include Cam Sanchez, Cotter, Grant Wood and Krouse. Thomas Anderson is a freshman thrower at Arizona State University.

Outlook: Andover’s depth comes in the sprints and jumps with some key top-end talent in the distance events.

Anoka

2012 finish: 4-15, 10th in NWSC; 5-17 overall, lost in section 7AAA quarterfinals.

Coach: Pete Tremaine

Key returners: Seniors Tony Erickson (sprint), Jon Tawfick (middle distance), Royce Myren (hurdles), Moe Strong (jumps); junior Jon Barstow (middle distance), Brian Kraemer (distance), Tyler Peterson (hurdles); and sophomore Ky’Eric Baynes (jumps).

Outlook: Anoka opened the season at the Northern Badger Classic at UW-Stout March 23.

Anoka’s Moe Strong should be among the state’s top jumpers, especially in the long jump. Bottom left: Coon Rapids hi

Anoka’s Moe Strong should be among the state’s top jumpers, especially in the long jump.

Anoka senior Strong won the long jump and finished runner-up to sophomore teammate Baynes, who won the triple jump by one inch. Strong also placed fourth in the high jump. Peterson placed fifth in the 55 hurdles and Erickson was seventh in the 55 dash. Jon Tawfick was fifth in the 400 dash.

Strong won the triple and long jumps at the St. Thomas select indoor meet March 30. Sophomore sprinter Tedd Sherva posted the sixth quickest time overall in the 55 dash of 6.82 seconds.

Look for the Tornadoes to be strong in the jumping events and sprints with Peterson and Erickson leading the way.

Blaine

2012 finish: Second at True Team sections; third at NWSC and fourth at Section 5AA meet. The team placed 11th at state with participants in eight events.

 

Spring Lake Park senior CJ Janu has been recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the football season. Look for another state-contending effort this spring from the future University of Iowa runner.  Photos by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park senior CJ Janu has been recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the football season. Look for another state-contending effort this spring from the future University of Iowa runner.
Photos by Bill Jones

Coach: Robert Nick, 13th season at Blaine.

Key returners: Captains are Dajuan Copeland, Kunle Ayinde, Joe Robel and Zachary Wright. Copeland qualified for state as a hurdler. Ayinde is a sprinter and jumper and qualified for state in multiple events. Robel is a sprinter and was part of a state qualifying relay and Wright will be one of Blaine’s top distance runners. Senior distance runner Ian Durbin returns after losing nearly all of last spring due to mononucleosis in April. Senior Patrick Mendin placed third at the state meet in the 200 and is the best jumper on the squad this season. Caleb Butler, a junior hurdler and thrower, earned all-conference honors last season.

Outlook: Nick hopes to continue an impressive run for Blaine track in which they have finished lower than third place only once in 12 years at the Northwest Suburban Conference meet.

“We will be very solid in all events with good senior leadership, like the work ethic so far,” Nick said. The team has four athletes with state experience over the last two seasons looking to make it three straight trips.

Coon Rapids

Coach: Russ Sulivan, 10th season at Coon Rapids.

Coon Rapids high jumper Jason Lilja has the potential to be a top-five contender in the state.

Coon Rapids high jumper Jason Lilja has the potential to be a top-five contender in the state.

Key returners: Senior jumper Jason Lilja is back as the lone returning state participant. Lilja, Harvey Jackson and Vernon Hachaba will serve as captains. Other key returners include Jacob Granger, Casey Lewis, Charles Fatunbi, Austen Palmer and Jackson Bednar.

Outlook: Lilja returns to the track after placing ninth at the Class AA state meet and the team is looking for a top two finish in the section True Team meet and a return to the state True Team meet.

Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony

2012 finish: The defending North Suburban Conference champs also picked up wins at the Wolfpack True Team Invite (Park, Cottage Grove), Central Minnesota Mega Meet (Sauk Rapids-Rice) in addition to runner-ups in the Section 6AAA True Team meet and Section 5AA runner-up.

Coach: Don Fineran, 32nd season at Spring Lake Park (39th season overall).

Key returners: The Panthers return 12 all-conference and three all-staters. Senior CJ Janu earned all state honors in the 110 and 300 hurdles plus ran on the 4×200 relay team. Seniors Justin Greaves and Jacob Ojile were also part of the 4×200 relay team. All-Conference returners include senior Robert Ben, high jump; junior Eji Ejiya, triple jump; senior Ryan Delmonico, discus; senior Daulton Olinger, shot put; and the 4×800 relay team of sophomore Donovan Jones and senior Isaac Krause. Krause also earned honors in the 800; junior Richie Toweh on the 4×100 relay. Honorable mention honors went to seniors Chris Wakefield and Conner Keefe.

Outlook: Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony graduated several key athletes from last season but should collect plenty of points this spring. “How good depends on who steps up to fill the voids created at all areas of our team: sprinters, distance and field events,” Fineran said ahead of 20th season of the cooperative program between Spring Lake Park and St. Anthony Village.

St. Francis

2012 finish: Seventh in the North Suburban Conference finals and Section 7AA True Team meet and 11th in the Section 7AA meet.

Coach: Andy Forbort, eighth season as St. Francis coach.

Captains: Isaac Lindahl (thrower), Aaron Jacques (distance), Sam Wellman (sprints/relays), Wayne Ruble (pole vault) and Connor Tradewell (sprints/relays).

Outlook: The Saints increased the number of students coming out by 60 this spring, which is a enormous growth, especially among those looking to try something new, outside of a primary sport like football, soccer or basketball.

Jason Olson is at jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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