State track: Blaine’s Williams sets new state hurdle mark

Blaine junior Alex Williams was in line to set a new state record in the 100-meter hurdles after a prelim time of 14.22. She beat the previous record of 14.32, set by Richfield standout Jessica January in 2012. A stumble on the wet track at Hamline University didn’t help Williams finish strong, but she settled for an eighth place finish in 17.61 seconds during Saturday’s Class AA finals.

Blaine's Alex Williams clears a hurdle early into the 100-meter prelim race at Hamline Friday morning. She finished in a state meet record 11.22 seconds. Photo by Greg Hunt

Blaine’s Alex Williams clears a hurdle early into the 100-meter prelim race at Hamline Friday morning. She finished in a state meet record 11.22 seconds. Photo by Greg Hunt

Her preliminary-round time will stand as the new standard in an event based as much on speed as timing and the ability to mesh the two together.

Williams placed 13th in the 300 hurdles with Coon Rapids sisters Amber and Kalley Harris 19th and 11th place, respectively Friday, June 6..

St. Francis’ Bailey Demar placed fourth in the triple jump (37 feet, 1 1/4 inches) after placing 16th in the long jump (16-1 1/4).

Blaine junior Alyssa Nebo placed fifth in the long jump, going 17-5 1/4 on her third attempt of the day.

Coon Rapids 4×400 relay team of Amber Harris, Brianna Clarke, Rozlynn Lund and Kalley Harris placed sixth in 3:58.61. The Cardinals won the Section 5AA title in a school record time of 3:59.03. That time snapped a 19-year-old record (4:04.9 set by Becky Ames, Shauna Coons, Beth Gipsky and Amber Affeldt in 1995) and the same team lowered that time in the state prelims going 3:57.74 to finish sixth and earn all-state honors.

Coon Rapids’ Amber Harris takes off from the starting blocks for the 4x400 preliminary race Friday at the state meet at Hamline University.Photo by Jason Olson

Coon Rapids’ Amber Harris takes off from the starting blocks for the 4×400 preliminary race Friday at the state meet at Hamline University.Photo by Jason Olson

“It was one of the records that we have been trying to get over the past few years and are happy that we were able to finally have a group come together at the right time,” Coon Rapids girls track coach Denny Green said.

Anoka’s 4×800 relay team of Isabelle Brezinka, Taylor Krone, Lexi Fritz and Lindsey Gast placed 17th in 9:43.65.

St. Francis’  4×100 relay (Demar, Taylor Karasch, Emma Street and Jessica Justin) placed 14th and the 4×200 relay (Justyne Schake, Cassidy Day, Karasch and Justin) placed 15th.

St. Francis’ Emma Street, back, passes the baton to Jessica Justin, front, for the final leg of the 4x100 relay during Friday’s preliminary round.Photo by Jason Olson

St. Francis’ Emma Street, back, passes the baton to Jessica Justin, front, for the final leg of the 4×100 relay during Friday’s preliminary round.Photo by Jason Olson

Blaine junior thrower ShaRon Miller placed sixth in the shot put with a toss of 40 feet, 1/2 inch.

Andover ninth-grader Jolene Daninger placed ninth in the 800-meterrun after qualifying for the last spot in the finals by five hundredths of a second. Huskies senior Raquel Thelen ran a 13.24 in the 100 dash to place 14th and classmate Stacy Bates was the only competitor in the 200 wheelchair dash, finishing in 40.39 seconds.

Spring Lake Park senior Jolyne Super placed second in the 800 meter wheelchair event in 4:12.25 and 100 wheelchair event in 31.68 seconds. Andover senior Stacy Bates was second in the 100 wheelchair event in 29.22 and the only entrant in the 200 dash (40.39).

Mini-Mags fourth

St. Francis ninth-grader Amanda Anderson placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 132-5 in her first time at the state meet.

She didn’t have a foul in six throws and saved her best throw for the end after going 132-1 and 131-0 leading up the sixth throw.

St. Francis ninth-grader Amanda Anderson placed fourth in discus in her first trip to the Class AA state tournament. Anderson reached 132-5 on her sixth and final attempt of the day Friday.  Photo by Jason Olson

St. Francis ninth-grader Amanda Anderson placed fourth in discus in her first trip to the Class AA state tournament. Anderson reached 132-5 on her sixth and final attempt of the day Friday. Photo by Jason Olson

Anderson’s already been christened with the Mini-Mags nickname by the Saints coaching staff, a reference to the all-time great thrower Maggie Ewen who graduated last spring and is a freshman at Arizona State. Ewen won several state titles and owns records in the discus (171-09) and shot put (54-8 1/2).

“I look up to Maggie so much,” Anderson said. “She’s like a big sister to me. She’s the reason I started throwing. After sixth grade I saw her throw and I was like, ‘I want to be her’ and I hope I can live up to her.”

Anderson would’ve made it to state in five of the eight sections last spring but couldn’t break through in a very tough field in 2013.

This spring she managed to set one discus record that wasn’t held by Ewen – the Mississippi 8 Conference mark.

“So being in a new conference was the only chance I had to set a new record,” Anderson said after reaching 137-11, to beat the previous mark of 123-02 set in 2007 by Sarah Reasoner of Cambridge-Isanti.

Boys results

St. Francis junior Jonathon Santiago had the second-quickest 300 hurldes time in the prelims of 38.51, lowering his seed time from 38.95.

Santiago posted the fifth quickest 110 hurdles prelims time Friday (15.18) to move on to the finals but did so after St. Paul Como Park’s Trevon Clay was disqualified for a false start moments earlier.

St. Francis junior Jonathon Santiago, right, clears a hurdle in the 110-meter hurdle prelims during the state meet Friday.Photo by Jason Olson

St. Francis junior Jonathon Santiago, right, clears a hurdle in the 110-meter hurdle prelims during the state meet Friday.Photo by Jason Olson

“Jon’s a competitor and isn’t even in his best shape,” Saints coach Andy Forbort said, after recovering from ankle and knee injuries.

St. Francis ninth-grader Genuine Matthews finsished ninth in the 200 dash finals in 22.54 seconds after posting a 22.35 in the prelims on Friday.

Matthews took the advice from his coaches to sprint the entire half lap instead of turning on the jets over the final 50 meters to close the game and finish strong.

“I just gave it all I’ve got and see what I’ve got,” he said. “The 200 was my last resort (for qualifying for finals) so I gave it my all.”

He ran an 11.23 in the 100 dash for a season personal best but couldn’t move on to the finals, ran in the wet conditions. His prelims time would’ve tied for ninth place.

St. Francis ninth grader Genuine Matthews collects himself immediately following his preliminary run in the 200 dash. Photo by Jason Olson

St. Francis ninth grader Genuine Matthews collects himself immediately following his preliminary run in the 200 dash. Photo by Jason Olson

Matthews also ran the final leg of the 4×200 relay that couldn’t make up for losing Colton Oie to a hamstring injury before state and didn’t qualify for the finals with Cole Draxten in the second leg. The Saints placed sixth in the first of two heats in 1:30.56.

Coon Rapids senior Charles Fatunbi placed fifth in his heat of the 400 dash in 50.14.

Both of Andover’s relays exceeded expectations to grab second in the 4×100 and third in the 4×200 relays. Despite successful races leading up to state, the Huskies were seeded among the bottom of each race, based on section times after running through the rain at Zimmerman the week before.

“We knew we wold get into the finals,” Kettler, a senior captain said, especially in the wet conditions for the finals. “We’re used to (the rain) now and coaches helped us handle it really well.”

The Huskies used the same all-senior line-up for both races including Jack Madsen, Chris Larson, Austin Lorch and Kyle Kettler.

The four were a big part of the success of the football team and that continued onto the basketball court where Madsen and Kettler laced up their laces and Larson and Lorch were team managers.

“We’re all really close friends,” Kettler said. “We are tough on each other in workouts.”

Andover’s Kyle Kettler, 7, turns on the speed for the final leg of the 4x100 relay prelims Friday.Photo by Jason Olson

Andover’s Kyle Kettler, 7, turns on the speed for the final leg of the 4×100 relay prelims Friday.Photo by Jason Olson

They won the first heat race (42.97) but was seventh overall in the preliminary round before Kettler took the baton from Lorch in the lead. Hopkins’ two-time defending 100-meter dash state champion, Shaheed Hickman, passed Kettler by the end to dash hopes of a state title by 15-hunreths of a second.

Two races earlier, the Huskies turned heads with a third place finish in the 4×200 relay, behind Wayzata and Osseo.

“After we made the finals I didn’t really feel too much pressure, I was just really excited to get the opportunity to run (again). I got the butterflies but it was more excitement and anticipation kind,” he said.

Larson placed 16th in the long jump going 19-10.

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

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