Track: Blaine boys’ and girls’ claim Section 5AAA True Team glory; Panthers sixth in Section 6AAA

Blaine track and field swept the boys and girls Section 5AAA True Team titles and will compete Class AAA State True Team meet at Hamline University May 17.

For the Bengal girls the experience will be a first for the program after the team edged Forest Lake by 3.5 points (1,067.5 to 1064) for the title. The Bengals won nine events in the meet which emphasizes a team’s depth rather than individual results.

Courtney Purcell, right, leads a strong core of Blaine sprinters with Taylor Morgan and company in the Class AAA State True Team meet. Photo by Bill Jones
Courtney Purcell, right, leads a strong core of Blaine sprinters with Taylor Morgan and company in the Class AAA State True Team meet. Photo by Bill Jones

“The girls were very excited about the win, our goal was to have as many personal bests as we could,” Blaine girls’ track coach Ann Stalboerger said as they had their sights set on Forest Lake as the team to beat. “They have a very good distance team and we had to make sure that [our] distance girls ran out of their comfort zone and again have personal best times.”

She noted the personal records set by Danielle Peterson (seventh place in 5:35.92), Aubrey Shepard (eighth place in 5:36.92) and Dana Langlee (20th in 5:55.44) in the 1,600-meter run.

Several Bengals won events including Taylor Morgan who edged teammate Courtney Purcell for the 100 dash title, 12.51 seconds to 12.83 seconds, respectively. Teammate Katie Marciniak placed fifth which helped the team score 64 points in the opening event.

Morgan also won the triple jump with a leap of 35-03.50 and teammate Marissa Eggerich placed third in the event.

Britney Monteon won the 200 in 25.92, Purcell scored a third place finish and Marciniak was fifth.

Blaine's Courtney Purcell leads Alyssa Nebo in the 100-meter dash during the 21st annual Mega Meet. Photo by Bill Jones
Blaine’s Courtney Purcell leads Alyssa Nebo in the 100-meter dash during the 21st annual Mega Meet. Photo by Bill Jones

Alex Williams won both hurdle events including the 100 hurdles in 15.51 and teammate Peyton Meade was third in 16.17 seconds. Williams won the 300 hurdles in 47.52. Teammates Mikaela Shepard and Emily Ciesynski placed fourth and sixth, respectively.

Teamwork really came through for the Bengals in the relay events, winning three of the four events. The 4×100 team scored the win in 50.10; the 4×200 team won in 1:46.48 and the 4×400 team won in 4:12.02.


After placing second in the section True Team meet last spring, Blaine knew it had the potential to break through to the state meet this year.

The Bengals topped White Bear Lake by 35 points for the section title.

Blaine boys’ track coach Rob Nick said the meet was fun and they knew White Bear Lake would provide a very tough challenge for the Bengals. “I’m really proud at how our boys came out and competed,” he said. “Our kids are really excited for Friday. We have been fortunate to go to True Team State a number of years and every year it is a great experience for our athletes.”

The road to get to state was a tough one for Blaine and the field at the state meet is fairly even which will make for a competitive True Team State meet.

Patrick Mendin won the 400 in 50.95 and placed second in the 200 in 22.72. Teammate Joe Robel placed fourth in the 200 in 23.24 and ninth in the 100 in 11.61. Mendin led the Bengals in the 100 with a sixth place finish in 11.56 and teammate Mukebir Dautbegoviv was eighth in 11.60.

Nick said going into the section meet, Blaine’s strength would have came from the field events. The opposite occurred, which caught Nick by surprise. “The exciting part of True Team State is that I think our field events can all have quite a bit of improvement,” he said.

Blaine’s Nathaniel Jacobson was fifth in the 800 and ninth in the 1,600 with personal best times.

Hurdler Dajuan Copeland placed fourth in the 110 hurdles in 15.40 and fifth in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Caleb Butler was sixth in the 110 hurdles and seventh in the 300. Matthew Ciesynski scored an eighth place finish in the 300 hurdles and 10th place in the 110 hurdles.

Butler won the shot put, out-throwing teammate Jake Ringwelski for the title 51-07.00 to 49-03.00. Butler placed third in the discus with a throw of 143-00 and teammate Chris Gillund was fourth with a throw of 139-00.

The Bengals’ lone relay title came in the 4×200 which won in 1:32.66. The team placed second in the 4×800, third in the 4×400 and placed fourth in the 4×100.

Adekunle Ayinde placed second in the triple jump, one inch ahead of teammate Riley Hedstrom who was third and Ryan Grahek was fifth with a leap of 39-08.50.

Blaine’s long jump crew placed fourth, fifth and sixth to add significant team points. Tyler Drewlo was fourth with a jump of 19-11.25 followed by Mendin fifth in 19-10.00 and Christian Holth was sixth in 19-09.25.

Spring Lake Park 

Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony boys and girls each scored third place finishes at their respective Section 6AAA True Team meets at Mounds View High School May 7.

The Panther girls were 284 points behind champion Mounds View while the boys were 177.5 points behind the title-winning Mounds View squad.

On the boys’ side, Ryan Delmonico won the discus with a throw of 140-04 and teammate Derek Malbrue was third with a throw of 135-04. Panthers throwers swept the events while Daulton Olinger powered his way to win the shot put crown with a throw of 50-00.00, 19 inches ahead of Irondale’s runner-up. Malbrue was fourth with a throw of 47-09.00.

Spring Lake Park’s relays placed second in the 4×800 and 4×200.

Stand-out senior hurdler CJ Janu won the 300 hurdles in 38.43 and was second in the 110 hurdles to Irondale’s Ben Ojika (14.47 to 14.55).

Spring Lake Park’s Jacob Ojile won the 400 in 50.69 seconds.

On the girls’ side, Panthers senior hurdler Kirsten Whitney placed third in the 100 and 300 hurdles and was second in the pole vault clearing the bar at 9-00. Mounds View’s Kristine Dahl won the event with a clearance of 9-06.

Teammate Melissa Marsh was third in the 3200 in 12:05.08, less than a second behind second place.