Record holders return
Co-authoring one of the most remarkable sequences in state meet history were Meleah Biermaier of Thief River Falls and Wayzata’s Ruby Stauber. Championship Saturday a year ago saw Biermaier lower the 300-meter hurdle record to 42.13 seconds, breaking the record set in 1987. The next event, the 800, ended with Stauber clocking a 2:06.5 to smash the record from 1984 by almost two seconds. Both seniors are back for an encore.
How do you like these apples? Two of the state’s top throwers call Apple Valley home: Eagles senior Kieran McKeag and junior Natalie Manders at nearby Eastview. McKeag won the Class 2A shot put title (59 feet, 8½ inches) and finished fifth in discus throw. Manders took the discus throw crown (153-3) and placed sixth in shot put. Earlier in the 2015 season, Manders threw the discus 167-6, good for second all-time. McKeag is working his way back from a football knee injury but plans to defend his title.
Sister Act Two
They compete in different classes and use their talents in different events, but Minneapolis Edison’s Jada and Jia Lewis and Alexandria’s Bethany and Megan Hasz share elite status. The Lewis sisters have won a combined five Class 1A state titles in sprint events. Bethany Hasz swept the 1,600 and 3,200 distance events at state, races twin sister Megan missed because of injury. They have placed either first or second in the past three cross-country state meets.
Seniors Evan McClellon of Armstrong and Jaret Carpenter of Wayzata are gunning for a grand finale. McClellon ran to second in the 100 and 200 at state. The good news: Both state champions graduated, opening the door for McClellon. Carpenter was the highest-placing junior in both 1,600 and 3,200 last spring and won the cross-country title in the fall.
Relay, relay fast
Minnetonka’s mastery of the girls’ 4x800 relay is poised to continue. Beginning in 2003, the Skippers ran to glory eight times in 13 championship races, including the past four Class 2A state titles. Three members return: Grace Hoelscher, Maria Bailey and anchor Lucille Hoelscher, who closed out the 2015 victory despite battling the flu.
David La Vaque