Something old, something new, both dressed in gold and royal blue.
Wayzata enjoyed a sweep at the 32nd annual True Team state track and field meet Friday evening at Stillwater High School. The Trojans’ boys tallied 1,251.5 points and ran away with a record-tying sixth consecutive championship.
Mounds View finished second (1,142.5) and Hopkins third (1,049.5).
The girls scored 1,225 points to beat Rosemount (1,128) for their first title.
Wayzata girls’ coach Alicia Pierskalla spoke for both of the school’s programs when she said, “We could not ask for a better day. Everyone performed to their best.”
The True Team section and state meets, sponsored by the Minnesota Track and Field Coaches Association, reward programs for their depth because every athlete competing earns points toward his or her team’s total.
On the boys’ side, success was expected. Coach Aaron Berndt said the Trojans returned an estimated 90 percent of their points from last year’s state championship team.
Bunching up top finishes in the 400 and 1,600-meter races, along with the long jump, helped build a cushion. Even when second-place Mounds View and third-place Hopkins posted strong events, they barely scratched their deficits.
“We don’t leave a lot of room to catch,” Berndt said. “And when we’re good, we pile up the points.”’
Nick Hedlund won the triple jump and took third in the high jump. Khalid Hussein won the 1,600. Drake Daniels prevailed in the 110 hurdles and placed sixth in the 300 hurdles. Dante White added points in long jump (second), the 100 (fifth) and high jump (16th).
“We were really focused on winning,” Daniels said. “We’ve been talking about it since the beginning of the year.”
The Wayzata boys’ captured their sixth consecutive Class 3A True Team state title, tying Mounds View (1998-2003) for longest title reign in the large-school class.
The girls’ brought confidence after topping a loaded Section 7 that included three of the four wild card teams at Friday’s state meet: defending champion Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins.
“We were happy with our performances at the section meet and said, ‘Let’s see if it can bring it home,’” Pierskalla said.
Runners-up a year ago, Wayzata surged to victory behind multi-event contributors such as Emma Atkinson (first in the 1,600, second in the 800), Madeline Tapper (first in the triple jump, second in long jump), Carissa Travis (third in discus throw, eighth in shot put) and Jordan Hedtke (fifth in the 100, part of the winning 4x100 relay).
“Everyone performed really well and it’s been a good day for us,” Hedtke said.