Five years as a varsity thrower on one of Minnesota’s strongest track and field programs, yet Veronica Rasmussen of Mounds View never had reached what she considers the pinnacle of high school track.
The Mustangs slipped past three-time defending champion Lakeville South, outscoring the Cougars by a mere 18 points, to win the Class 3A True Team girls’ state championship at Stillwater High School.
The victory is Mounds View’s sixth championship overall but its first since 2009.
“This is way better than the [MSHSL] state meet,” said Rasmussen, who won the discus competition and finished runner-up to teammate Cassidy Smestad, in the shot put. “You have girls coming together like I’ve never seen, cheering each other on, screaming until they lost their voice. This is my favorite meet ever.”
Coach Aaron Redman knew his team had a chance to win this year after a couple of unfortunate disqualifications doomed their chances last year.
On the boys side, Wayzata won its third straight championship in comfortable fashion, outscoring second-place Stillwater by 148 points.
After seeing how his team prepared for the meet, going all the way back to January, Trojans coach Aaron Berndt said he wasn’t surprised.
“We have guys whose main goal is to make the 50-man team over here,” Berndt said. “And another 50 who are battling just to be alternates.” One of those 50 was junior sprinter Sam Kolpin, who had never run a varsity relay until this year. He ran second leg on the Trojans’ winning 4x100 relay team and added crucial team points in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
“This is our biggest meet of the season,” Kolpin said. “This is what we’re all aiming toward.”
• Prior Lake senior Eric Dols had a noteworthy individual effort, winning the shot put with a throw of 62 feet, 4 inches. The throw is the best in Minnesota this spring.