A little more than one month ago, all the talk was about the weather-related delays to start of the spring sports season. Ready or not, the end is in sight as the busiest two weeks of the high school year are set to kick off.
Six state tournaments will take place over the next 14 days, beginning with boys’ tennis Tuesday and running through the baseball championship series at Target Field on June 17.
Here’s a look at the three tournaments taking place this week:
When: Tuesday through Friday
Where: Class 2A is at Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota while Class 1A again will be held at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in south Minneapolis.
Class 2A: With four-time state champion Dusty Boyer now playing at the University of Nebraska, the singles field is wide open. Edina’s Max Olson and Minneapolis South’s Jesse Sprinkel are the likely favorites. On the team side, Wayzata earned the No. 1 seed but will be pushed by No. 2-seeded Elk River, the defending state champion.
Class 1A: The team final is almost certain to be a battle between archrivals Blake and Breck. Expect two-time state champ Myles Tang of Breck to face Blake sophomore Charlie Adams in the singles final.
When: Thursday and Friday
Where: Caswell Park, Mankato
This tournament is the lone team-only state tournament to be held completely outside of the metropolitan area (skiing, which is held in Biwabik, and cross-country, in Northfield, have strong individual components; baseball holds the first two rounds of the Class 2A tournament in St. Cloud).
The 2012 champs in all three classes — Stillwater in Class 3A, New Ulm in Class 2A and Cherry in 1A — are back to defend their titles.
The potential matchup to watch could come in the 3A semifinals, with two of the best pitchers in the state — Stillwater’s Hannah Heacox and Maple Grove super sophomore Sydney Smith, who already has given a verbal commitment to Louisiana State.
Track and field
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: Klas Field, Hamline University
Friday is generally considered the day of preliminaries, but two Class 2A finals that day are worth a look.
The field for the boys’ 3,200-meter run is strong, led by Joey Duerr of Chaska, Connor Olson of Wayzata and Obsa Ali of Richfield.
On the girls’ side, check out St. Francis senior Maggie Ewen, who will go down as the best girls’ discus thrower in Minnesota history. She broke her previous state record with a throw of 175 feet, 9 inches in early May. Ewen will throw the discus on Friday and compete in the shot put on Saturday, attempting to sweep the two events for the third year in a row.