This weekend’s state track and field championships are all about the times, distances and heights that add up to individual and team glory. Here are other notable numbers to ponder as the action begins Friday morning at Hamline University in St. Paul:
That’s the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for Saturday, but it’s not a deal-breaker and the meet will go on as scheduled. The Minnesota State High School League’s heat guidelines, which list specific practice recommendations, just caution athletes to “stay out of the heat between events and stay well hydrated.”
That’s the number of inches North St. Paul senior Jake Kubiatowicz is from setting the state discus throw record. His personal best of 199-7 ranks second to Karl Erickson, who threw 201-7 for Rochester Century in 2001. “I’ve been training with the state record in mind all season,” Kubiatowicz told the Star Tribune earlier this week. Kubiatowicz, who will compete for the University of Pennsylvania next season, also holds the state’s top shot put mark this spring (61-7) and is favored to sweep the guys-who-throw-heavy-stuff events.
The combined number of all-state medals Denzel Brown and Anna Keefer are expected to earn for their talents in multiple events. Brown, a senior at Eden Prairie, ran the top reported times this spring in the 100-meter dash (10.53 seconds) and 200 (21.11). He is the defending 200 champion. The Eagles’ 4 x 100 relay, which includes Brown, is tops with a 42.41 mark. Keefer, a senior at St. Michael-Albertville, holds top times in the 100 (11.86), 200 (24.74) and long jump (20-1¼). She is the defending long jump champion. Only one other 4 x 200 relay team has clocked a faster time than Keefer and her Knights teammates. The sport’s coaches association is actively pursuing Mr. and Ms. Minnesota Track and Field awards to debut in 2018. Brown and Keefer would have been locks this season.
Minneapolis Edison is going for its third Class 1A girls’ team title in the past four years. Once again, sisters Jada and Jia Lewis lead the charge. They both qualified in the 100 and 200 and will each run a leg of the 4 x 100 relay. Three events were enough for the Tommies to prevail last spring. But winning the relay is key. The Lewis sisters, along with Chauntel Fleming and Linda Senaphanh, hold the field’s best qualifying relay time (48.80). The foursome are defending 4 x 100 champs.
Just two athletes currently holding all-time state records: Keefer and Bloomington Kennedy senior Honour Finley. Keefer long jumped 20-1¼, breaking both the 20-foot barrier for Minnesota high school girls and a string of her own close, yet unsuccessful attempts. Keefer earned a scholarship to North Carolina. Finley set her 400 record of 53.96 last June at the USATF Junior Championships. She is the two-time defending 400 champion and has signed to run at Kansas. The duo compete head-to-head in the 200.