From sprints to distance races, the track promises fierce competition at the state track and field championships beginning Friday in St. Paul.
The heat is on
St. Paul Johnson’s Keylan Jackson and Lakeville South’s Jeremiah Jacobson battle in the same heat of the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Winona’s Robert Warren holds the top seed time in each race (10.79 and 21.64 seconds). Warren runs in a 200 heat with Hopkins junior Joe Fahnbulleh.
In Friday’s only track final — the 3,200 — Farmington’s Lauren Peterson will defend her title against the past two cross-country state champions, teammate Anna Fenske and Minneapolis Washburn’s Emily Covert. In the 1,600, defending champion Fenske sees both girls and Edina’s Emily Kompelien, who has the fastest seed time. Kompelien also holds the top time in the 800, just seventh-hundredths of a second ahead of Minnetonka’s Libby Halbmaier and Wayzata’s Emma Atkinson.
When Alexis Pratt enrolled in Stillwater as a freshman last fall, North St. Paul lost the leadoff leg of its record-setting 4 x 200 relay. Pratt qualified for the 100, where she is almost certain to face former Polars relay mates J’Ianna Cager and Shaliciah Jones in the finals. North St. Paul returns to defend its 4 x 100 title.
Going the distance
The two longest boys’ races feature two runners: Wayzata’s Khalid Hussein and Edina’s Max Manley. Add one more name, Minneapolis Washburn’s Joseph Minor, to Friday’s 3,200 mix. Less than two seconds separate the trio. Hussein and Manley top the 1,600 field.
1A distance power
Like the big schools, the Class 1A girls’ 1,600 and 3,200 fields offer star power with sisters Lauren and Grace Ping of Winona Cotter and Tierney Wolfgram of Math & Science Academy in Woodbury. Wolfgram swept both events last spring after Grace Ping did likewise in 2016. Lauren Ping could challenge for both titles. The three are seeded about two seconds apart in the 1,600. Lauren was seeded faster by almost 15 seconds in the 3,200.
Rosemount’s Shae Buchman looks to repeat as Class 2A 100 hurdles champion while Eastview’s Natalie Windels, the defending 300 hurdles champ, seeks a sweep. … Reid Pierzinski of Pequot Lakes returns to try for another sweep of the Class 1A 110 and 300 hurdles. … East Ridge senior Allyson Weiss, the two-time defending Class 2A triple jump champion, also holds the top seed in the long jump. … Minneapolis North’s T’Nia Riley goes for a third consecutive sweep of the Class 1A 100 and 200 events. … Alexandria’s Mya Lesnar, daughter of professional wrestler Brock Lesnar, holds the top seed in Class 2A shot put. ... Defending pole vault champion Julia Fixsen of Mounds View holds the state record at 13 feet, 9 inches.