Hurdles standout CJ Janu, a Spring Lake Park student who will run with the University of Iowa in the fall, won the state 110-meter high hurdles with a finals time of 14.37 seconds, beating longtime rival and friend Ben Ojika of Irondale and Cody Walton of Forest Lake in the Class AA State Track and Field meet at Hamline University June 8.
Walton edged Janu in the 300 hurdle finals 38.20 to 37.60, while St. Francis sophomore Jonathon Santiago placed fourth in 39.00 and should be a sprinter to watch in the coming years.
Panthers coach Don Fineran said Janu was very excited as he crossed the finish line in the 110 as the champion beating Ojika and Walton. “They have had some classic races over the past two years,” he said.
“[Walton] took CJ in the prelims and he didn’t run a particularly clean  race, and then again in the finals the same thing. Kudos to [Walton], CJ was behind most of the race and just could not reel him in.”
Janu’s state title was the first from Spring Lake Park since David Nordberg won the discus in 1982.
Junior Ejodamen Ejiya had an eighth-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 44-01.50.
Isaac Krause ran a 1:56.79 in the 800 dash to set a new program record, breaking the former record set in 1970s. He failed to qualify for the finals with a 10th-place finish in the preliminaries because only the top nine move on to the finals. “Great time, just happened to be in a great field,” Krause said.
Andover had a busy two days at the state meet as the black and gold took part in nine events.
Steven Cotter was third in the 800 run finals in 1:54.91.
“He wanted to lead the race and we told him to go for it,” Huskies coach Mike Bobbe said about the strategy going in. “With 150 meters left he had the lead but got caught. He ran the race he wanted to run and we were happy about that.”
Andover’s 4×100 team of Samuel LeClair, Christopher Larson, Austin Lorch and Cameron Sanchez placed seventh in 43.68 and the 4×200 team of LeClair, Larson, Lorch and Nicholas Krouse placed sixth in 1:29.73. The 4×400 relay team of Patrick Etim, Grant Wood, Lorch and Cotter failed to qualify for the finals after 12th-place finish in the prelims in 3:24.38.
Krouse came into the triple jump with the fourth longest seed distance, but fouled on each of his three preliminary attempts to fail to register a jump.
Nick Macfarlane placed 17th in the high jump, clearing 6-00, but couldn’t make it over the bar at 6-02, despite slight brushes on both attempts. “He was a little disappointed with that, but happy to be there,” Bobbe said.
Anoka’s Moe Strong and Ky’eric Baynes came through with some big-time jumps to finish among the elite in the Class AA triple jump June 7.
Strong, a senior, placed fourth going 45 feet 01.25 inches and Baynes, a sophomore, placed sixth going 44-10.50. He placed 15th in the long jump with a 20-02.75 and 15th in the high jump, clearing the bar set at 6-00.
Tornadoes sprinter Gabbi Guimont turned in a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.36.
Blaine junior jumper Ted Rainwater-Walker placed fourth in a very competitive high jump event, clearing 6-05 as did Coon Rapids’ Jason Lilja, but he placed sixth on the number of jumps it took to clear the bar. Eastview’s Ryan Lockard won the state title as the only jumper to clear 6-07.
Rainwater-Walker cleared the same height he did at sections and had two very strong attempts at 6-6 at state, but couldn’t keep the bar from falling.
The Bengals 4×200 relay team of Dajuan Copeland, Kunle Ayinde, Joe Robel and Patrick Mendin placed third in the finals in 1:28.67, tying runner-up Osseo after the foursome from Wayzata set a new Minnesota State High School League all-time record of 1:26.92, bettering the mark set by North St. Paul in 2012 of 1:27.23.
Blaine’s time was a new school record and it took a thousandths of a second to determine second and third place.
“This is the best overall finish we’ve had in the 4×200 and was over a second faster than the time they ran at sections,” Blaine boys’ track coach Robert Nick said. “Overall we were very happy with the way things went.”