The 29th annual True Team track and field state meet, sponsored by the sport’s coaches association, takes place Friday and Saturday at Stillwater High School.
A unique scoring format rewards programs for their depth because every athlete competing earns points toward their team’s total. By contrast, a few ultra-talented athletes can, and have, won the “team” title for their school at the Minnesota State High School League-sponsored state meet in June.
The True Team meet features the large schools in Class 3A competing Friday evening and the smaller 2A and 1A programs competing throughout Saturday. North-metro athletes representing Anoka, Blaine, Mounds View and Totino-Grace hope to build on the solid runs, jumps, vaults and throws they posted last week at their respective section meets.
On the boys’ side, Anoka makes its first trip to the True Team state meet since 2008. The Tornadoes return on the strength of their hurdlers. They scored all three competitors among the top 10 of both the 110- and 300-meter events at the section meet. Senior Ky’eric Baynes added some star power, winning the 200 and the long jump.
Northwest Suburban Conference rival Blaine also did well in the hurdles, placing all three competitors among the top 11 of both events. The Bengals also tallied big points in 400, taking three of the top five spots, and 3,200, where they scored three in the top nine.
The jumps were Blaine’s best events. Logan Nelson, D’Angelo Brown and Mitchell Schaack swept the long jump. Brown also won the triple jump and Kyle Hockert won the high jump.
The big boys also came through as Blaine took three of the top 10 spots in shot put and discus throw.
Mounds View did similar damage in the throwing events but it was the Mustangs’ middle-distance crew doing the heavy lifting. Three Mounds View runners finished eighth or better in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
Matt Baker won the 110 as Mustangs’ grabbed several points in both hurdles events. Baker also won the high jump. Joseph Eggers won the pole vault.
Totino-Grace, winners of the past four consecutive Class 2A titles, is truly relying on its depth. Kevin Dado, first in the 1,600, was the Eagles’ lone event winner at the section meet.
On the girls’ side, Mounds View looks to build on its third-place finish at state from a year ago. The Mustangs dominated the Section 6 meet, getting all three of its competitors in the top 10 in 12 of 14 events plus winning three of four relays.
Individual events were won by Mikayla Toninato (100), Elizabeth Menne (200), Emma Bangert (1,600), Rachel Clark (3,200) and Kacey Davitt (triple jump). Veronica Rasmussen, Cassidy Smestad and Leah Klein swept the shot put while Rasmussen added the discus throw crown.
Anoka returned to the state meet thanks in large part to its middle-distance runners. Three Tornadoes placed all three runners in the top nine of the 400, 800 and 1,600 events. Freshman Sydney Paulson won the 3,200, junior Miranda Phipps won the high jump and senior Estee Sieben triumphed in pole vault.
Totino-Grace, which won five consecutive Class 2A titles from 2008-12, parlayed solid depth and Madelyn Anderson’s victory in the high jump into a return state meet trip.