Boys track and field preview

Andover
Coach: Mike Bobbe
Outlook: The Huskies are coming off an impressive 2013 season with a third-place finish in the Northwest Suburban Conference; runner-up in the section true team and section meets.

Andover senior captain Chris Meados is a part of what should be a very dominant squad again this spring. The Huskies placed third in the Northwest Suburban Conference Championships and runner-up in the Section 7AA true team and Section 7AA meets.

Andover senior captain Chris Meados is a part of what should be a very dominant squad again this spring. The Huskies placed third in the Northwest Suburban Conference Championships and runner-up in the Section 7AA true team and Section 7AA meets. Photo by Bill Jones

Andover was represented in each of the relays at state and six individual events.
Senior captains Chris Larson and Chris Meados each return after competing at state. Larson took part in the long jump and 200-meter dash and will defend four section titles.
He led off the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams with fellow senior captain Austin Lorch running the second leg.
Meados competed in the 1600-meter run and will go for a third state appearance.
Original jumps coach Aaron Ruth returns to the Huskies.
Bobbe believes the team will remain as competitive as ever in the distance, sprints and jumps but realizes the team needs to develop key younger contributors to remain successful.

Anoka
Coach: Pete Tremaine
Outlook: Look for a young Tornadoes group to gain experience and confidence throughout the season. Juniors

Anoka’s Ky’eric Baynes has his eyes set on a return trip to the state track meet in June.

Anoka’s Ky’eric Baynes has his eyes set on a return trip to the state track meet in June.Photo by Bill Jones

Ky’eric Baynes and Teddy Sherva return to lead the jumpers and sprints, respectively, along with senior distance runner Jeff Barstow. Baynes brings back experience at the state meet.

Coon Rapids
Coach: Russ Sullivan
Outlook: Many key contributors return from last season including Charles Fatuni (400 and high jump); Jackson Bednar (800 and 4×800 relay); David Dujmovic (1600 and 4×800); Casey Lewis (100, 200 and 4×100); Isaiah Whitmore (200 and 4×200); Trevor Tallaksen (300 hurdles, 4×800 and 4×400); Cody Peters (shot put) and Derek Vetsch (discus).
The Cardinals have three new coaches with Chris Love (jumps), Jason Lindquist (assistant throws) and Nick Dalske (hurdles).

Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony
Coach: Jason Liston, first year
Outlook: After 10 years on the coaching staff, Liston is set to take over for Don Fineran who retired after 32 years. “[It] is quite the task,” Liston, a native of Baldwin, Wis. wrote in the preview questionnaire. He was asked during a conference coaches meeting in December how to replace a coach with three decades experience. “I hadn’t thought of it that way. At this point, Don’s built a great program and its my job to make sure the wheels don’t fall off.”
The Panthers will attempt for a fifth straight North Suburban Conference title in the final season of the conference.
They had five state participants including 110 hurdles state champion CJ Janu. Janu, now a freshman at the University of Iowa placed second in the 300 hurdles.
Seniors Grant Walter and Richie Toweh will be cornerstones for the group. Walter ran an 11.07 at state and the distance group returns with junior Nick Lawson looking to lower his personal-best time in the two-mile from 10:13. Joey Lee returns as the top thrower and is set to reach beyond the 50-feet mark (46-3 personal best).
New coaches include Bob Bichler (distance) and Dustin Sluzewicz (sprints/horizontal jumps). Bichler is a new physics teacher at the high school.
Sluzewicz recently graduated from Bemidji State where he played football with Brian Leonhardt. “He is already making a difference in the program with his background [200 meter state finalist in Illinois],” Liston said. “His fresh perspective is paying dividends.”

St. Francis
Coach: Andrew Forbort, ninth season
Outlook: Junior John Santiago returns as the lone state meet participant with a fourth place finish in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
Forbort said Santiago’s time of 39.00 seconds in the final was the second fastest time by a sophomore in state history, according to Tim and Bill Miles.
St. Francis returns with several contributors from last season in many events to help balance the team scoring in the move from a third-place finish in the North Suburban Conference to the Mississippi 8 Conference this spring.
St. Francis and St. Cloud State graduate Brittney Moffatt returns to the Saints as the distance coach and Patrick Coffee will man the pole vaulters after coaching at Anoka and Milaca.

Blaine
Coach: Rob Nick
Outlook: Coach did not respond to requests for information.
Legacy Christian
Coach: Dennis Meints, third season
Outlook: What Legacy misses in sheer numbers, the Class A program makes up for in individual performance. Senior captain Luke Johnson missed qualifying for the state high jump by two inches, a mark he cleared earlier in the 2013 season. Junior captain Caleb Hinrichs is six-tenths off the state honor roll time in the 200 meter dash after the first meet of the season.

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

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