Hold up. What was Tierney Wolfgram doing when she won the 3,200-meter run at the Class 3A, Section 2 True Team section meet last week?
Inadvertently breaking Minnesota State High School League rules, as it turns out. Not wittingly, of course. One of Minnesota’s elite distance runners the past three-plus seasons, Wolfgram transferred from Math & Science Academy to Woodbury High School in March and thus was ineligible to compete in varsity meets for one calendar year.
But Wolfgram, a sophomore, got the OK to race in the True Team section meet sponsored by the sport’s coaches association from Woodbury girls’ track and field coach DJ Billingsley.
School District 833 spokesperson Shelly Schafer wrote in an e-mail that Billingsley “mistakenly believed that Tierney would be allowed to compete at the varsity level because the meet was not sanctioned by the Minnesota High School League. However, when [Woodbury] Activities Director [Marvin Wooten] was made aware of the situation, he immediately reached out to the Minnesota State High School League to self-report the situation.”
The school received a letter of censure but Wolfgram was not punished. And her performance didn’t alter the team competition. Woodbury placed a distance fourth. The two girls behind her in the 3,200 were from Stillwater, which won the meet anyway.
Incidentally, Wolfgram’s winning time of 11 minutes and 54-hundredth of a second ranks as one of the state’s top half-dozen times this spring. That would indicate the fracture in her left foot has nicely healed.
She solidified her place among Minnesota’s top runners as an eighth-grader, winning the Class 1A cross-country state title in November 2016 and adding the 3,200 and 1,600 crowns the following spring at the state track and field championships.
Wolfgram defended her cross-country title in 2017.
Last fall, Wolfgram placed sixth in the elite women’s field of the Twin Cities Marathon. Her time of 2:40:03 ranked as the fastest ever by a 15-year-old American girl according to USA Track & Field.
Less than a month later, Wolfgram fell during the cross-country state championship meet and didn’t not finish.
She won’t be eligible to qualify for the Class 2A state cross-country meet as a junior this fall but can obliterate the field in junior varsity meets.