Athletes responsible for three of the four all-time records set this spring are among those to watch at the Minnesota State High School League track and field state meet running Thursday through Saturday at St. Michael-Albertville.
Spectators won't need to wait long for the decorated trio of Hayden Bills, Jordyn Borsch and Juriad Hughes Jr. All three are competing in their signature Class 3A events starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Bills, a senior at Rosemount, hit 66 feet, 8 ¾ inches in shot put to claim the record, and he will have redemption on his mind after failing to make the event finals at state last season. He is also the favorite to repeat as discus throw champion.
Borsch, a Maple Grove senior, blazed to a record 400-meter mark of 53.47 seconds. She won the event at state last year and also claimed the 100 title. She is a favorite in both events this week, along with the 200. Of course, she knows well success isn't year-to-year transferable. Last spring, she spoiled the mission of Edina senior Maddie Dahlien to sweep the sprint events.
Hughes Jr., a junior at Irondale, soared an unprecedented 24 feet, 11 inches in long jump, erasing St. Paul Central legend Von Shepard from the record books. Shepard had held the state's longest untied record since 1982.
As for the fourth record, the 4x800 relay time of 8 minutes, 59.04 seconds clocked by the Wayzata team of Grace Weber, Grace Mignone, Abbey Nechanicky and Teegan Anderson won't be challenged — at least not by the co-authors. After dominating the cross-country scene, Nechanicky traded competing for coaching this spring to ensure she would be full strength for her freshman season at Colorado this fall. She laced up the spikes just once this season and helped her relay team set a record.
Among the remaining top athletes to watch in Class 3A boys events are Noah Breker, senior, Armstrong (1,600 and 3,200); Devin Jordan, senior, Eden Prairie (high jump, long jump and triple jump) and Harlow Tong, junior, St. Paul Central (100 and 200). Top girls competing are Sofia Condon, senior, Anoka (pole vault); Sydney Drevlow, sophomore, Hopkins (1,600 and 3,200); Claire Kohler, junior, Minnetonka (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump).
In Class 2A, the girls 100 and 200 feature Providence Academy junior Brooke Hohenecker and Holy Angels junior Ashley Fisher. And watch for Hutchinson junior Isabelle Schmitz in the 400, 1,600 and 3,200. On the boys side, Jordan senior Kaleb Sharp returns to defend his 800 title and pursue a 1,600 crown.
In Class 1A, Minneapolis North senior Jaivon Hill is back in the 100, along with the Polars' 4x100 relay.