BEASTS IN THE EAST
No one did it better in more events at the Class 2A state meet last June than Cretin-Derham Hall’s Brieasha Hunter and North St. Paul’s Akeem Sirleaf. Both reached the podium three times. Victories in the 100- and 400-meter dashes and second place in the 200 made Hunter the state’s dominant female sprinter. Sirleaf won the 200 and added fourth-place finishes in both the 100 and the long jump.
Hunter headlines a solid group of female athletes in the Class of 2016. Meagan Blair of St. Paul Highland Park placed third in both the long jump and triple jump at the state meet last season. Chanhassen’s Jedah Caldwell sprinted to third in 200 and fourth in the 100. Twin sisters Bethany and Megan Hasz of Alexandria each placed in the top four in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Wayzata’s Ruby Stauber ran to third in the 400. Eagan’s Maddie Gourley hopes to regain her place among the state’s top juniors after an injury at the state meet hampered her bids in the 100 and 200.
SPRINTERS ON THE MOVE
You won’t catch them standing still, even in the offseason. Caldwell and fellow sprinter T’Nia Riley brought their talents to new schools in 2014-15. Caldwell went from Centennial to Chanhassen while Riley kept the same area code, switching from Minneapolis South to North. She posted all-state finishes in the 100 (fifth) and 200 (sixth) as an eighth-grader.
EDISON’S DYNAMIC DUO
Speaking of speed in the city, Minneapolis Edison sisters Jia and Jada Lewis return after co-authoring the Tommies’ Class 1A state team title. Youth was served as Jia, an eighth-grader last season, won the 100 and 200. Jada, a freshman, placed third in both events. Watch for more this spring. The Tommies’ top-seeded 4x100 relay was disqualified at the state meet and could not add points to the overall score. Earlier this spring, Jada won the long jump at the Early Bird Indoor trials at the University of Minnesota.
WRATH OF KRAHN
Seniors Connor Olson (Wayzata), Joey Duerr (Chaska) and Joe Klecker (Hopkins) took the top three spots last fall at the Class 2A state cross-country meet but Stillwater’s Eli Krahn owns distance races on the track. As a sophomore last season, Krahn defended his 1,600 title and won the 3,200.
DAVID LA VAQUE