Minnesota’s top track and field athletes converged on Hamline University for the annual Hamline Elite Meet Friday.
The meet serves as an early-season test for the top competitors in the state, regardless of class or previous experience.
Thirteen meet records fell among the 36 combined events.
Anoka junior jumper Ky’eric Baynes won the triple jump with a leap of 45 feet, 2 1/2 inches to continue a great start to the season.
“[He] had a good night,” Anoka coach Pete Tremaine said. “He still has not put all three phases together on the same jump. He’s ahead of where he was last year at this time.”
Baynes placed fourth at state (44-10 1/2) last spring and was two inches off his seed distance coming into Friday but out jumped Park Christian’s Matt Moberg by 4 3/4 inches for the win.
St. Francis freshman sprinter Genuine Matthews made the 100-meter dash finals by one-hundreth of a second, then placed fifth in the finals with a time of 11.11 seconds, tying Moorhead senior Brady Andersen. After reviewing the finish line photo, Andersen was four thousands of a second ahead of the Fighting Saint.
Saints coach Andrew Forbort said Matthews was excited for the meet but added: “We just wanted him to enjoy the experience and face some of the state’s best.
“[He] definitely turned some heads, it’s hard to believe he is only a ninth grader.”
Forbort said they are still trying to figure out the best mix of events for Matthews to excel, but he should be among the best in the state in the 100 and 200.
Andover senior Chris Meados placed seventh in the 1,600 run in 4 minutes 27.78 seconds and classmate Colton Syler also placed seventh in the 110 hurdles in 15.49 seconds.
Huskies coach Mike Bobbe felt great with both guys.
“[Chris] was delayed in some training with a foot injury from indoor season so we are extremely happy with his performance in an outstanding field,” Bobbe said. “We were excited Colton got the opportunity to race there. He’s the leader of the hurdlers after waiting his turn behind some very competitive hurdlers.”
Rivals Andover and Anoka ran against each other in the 4×200 relay. The Huskies foursome of Armin Bobaric, Christopher Larson, Austin Lorch and Kyle Kettler ran a 1:30.68 to place fourth and Anoka placed eighth with the team of Sam Licari, Sumowoi Harris, Roland Oyou and Baynes in a season-best time of 1:32.32.
Bobbe said the exchanges are key for Andover to be competitive because the speed is there and the 4×200 overshaddowed the 4×100 disqualification.
The Huskies 4×100 relay team of Jack Madsen, Larson,Lorch and Kettler were disqualified for a false start but came into the race with the third quickest seed time.
“I actually feel okay with the false start because we have DQ’ed a few races at the elite meet and all of those teams have qualified for state,” Bobbe said.
Blaine junior Alex Williams placed third in the 100 hurdles in 14.80 or two-hundreths off the meet record time set by Lakeville South’s Shaina Burns.
Anoka senior Steph Nielsen placed sixth in the long jump reaching 16-10 3/4 or 2-1/4 inches off her seed distance of 17-1 1/4. Minnetonka senior Mia Barron went 19-2 3/4 to set a new meet record, bettering Blaine’s Nicole Murphey who reached 18-1 3/4 in 2009 and is 2 1/2 inches from the all-time state record set last spring.
Nielsen also ran the 100 dash in 12.88 to place 14th.
Anoka sophomore Miranda Phipps placed sixth in the high jump clearing the bar set at 5 feet 2 inches. Jumping to that mark early into her first season competing shows the potential is there for her to continue to climb the standings. “Simply qualifying to be amongst the elite jumpers was a major accomplishment,” Tremaine said.
Anoka entered two relays including the 4×400 team of Briana Floding, Taylor Krone, Isabella Brezinka and Lexi Fritz placed seventh in a season-best time of 4:05.57, lowering their seed time from 4:07.76.
The 4×800 team of Brezinka, Krone, Lindsey Gast and Fritz placed 10th among 12 teams in another season best time of 9:47.95.
St. Francis junior Bailey Demar placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 37-3 1/2, or 22 inches behind Minnetonka senior Mia Barron who won the event in a meet record distance of 39-1 1/2.
Demar has compiled an outstanding season so far, rewriting the school record three times already this season.
Forbort said her technique is outstanding but her speed and strength has generated some very long jumps in an event dominated by much taller athletes.
Saints ninth grader Amanda Anderson placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 122-5.
Anderson reached 122-2 during the section meet last spring which would’ve qualified for state in five of the eight sections but in Section 7AA she placed fourth in a very competitive group.
Forbort said Anderson learned a lot about competing after seeing all-time great Maggie Ewen rewrite the record books last year.
“[Anderson] has no reason to try and be Maggie but she is going to create her legacy as Amanda after the next four years,” he said. She’s already reached 34-1 in the shot put this spring but did not compete in the event at Hamline.
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