Last spring Moe Strong and Ky’eric Baynes represented Anoka well in the long and triple jumps, each earning all-state finishes.
Fast forward to Friday and Baynes found himself not only well-within all-state status in the triple jump, but within striking distance of winning a state title.
He set the Section 5AA triple jump record (47-feet 8-inches) one week earlier but couldn’t quite replicate that result at state. He finished second to Hopkins’ Terrance Bowers going 47-0 3/4.
Baynes followed that with a 14th place finish in the long jump at the Class AA state meet Saturday going 20-4 1/4.
Baynes said it was hard to train and compete without Strong, who graduated last spring, at the start of the season. “But I have to learn to go without him,” Baynes said.
Focusing his energy into refining his jumps was a goal during the off-season according to Anoka jumps coach Wayne Larson.
Larson said Baynes’ consistency in all three phases of triple jump was a focus throughout training and during the season.
“He’s had a lot of meets where he’s done well but has not been able get all three phases together. Now he’s finally got all three phases going and its showing in his distances.”
Baynes returned to state as a favorite in the triple jump while another pair of Tornadoes rose to the challenge on the high jump.
“It’s just little technique things,” Larson said. He added that the season has been different without Moe around: “It’s hurt (Baynes) a little competition wise but it’s helped him concentration and consistency wise to buckle down.
“But it was cool to see them play off each other, the same way Claire and Miranda have done this year.”
This spring senior Claire Lundberg and sophomore Miranda Phipps have constantly rose to the occasion and the state meet was no different.
Phipps placed seventh clearing the bar set at 5-feet, 2-inches. Lundberg continued on to tie for fifth place with Prior Lake ninth grader Madison School for fifth place with the bar at 5-4.
Larson praised Lundberg’s ability to clear the bar. “She has incredible ability and I told her the other day that she’s the most consistent high jumper I’ve ever seen which is really good for Miranda to see,” Larson said. “When she finishes a jump she knows exactly what she’s done. It’s cool to see how she’s grown.”
One of the oldest Class AA meet records was broken Friday after Minnetonka senior Mia Baron won the long jump going 19-1 1/2. Anoka’s Kristi Kropp held the mark of 18-10 3/4 since 1982.
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