Track and field competitions look different in 2021, most notably that boys and girls each have their own meets in some conferences. But the athletes are off and running once again this spring.
Chaska won 12 events, dominating a boys Metro West Conference quadrangular with 139 points on April 21. Benilde-St. Margaret (49), Robbinsdale Cooper (47.5) and Bloomington Kennedy (35.5) were also in the competition.
Cameron Walle was a double event winner in the 200 and 400 meters in 24.68 and 54.92, while Jack Cox sprinted ahead of the field in the 100 meters in 11.98 seconds. Ryan Starkey and Ethan Leonard won the 1- and 2-mile races in times of 5:03.70 and 10:31.96. Andrew Dial claimed first place in the 300 hurdles as well in 47.27.
Chaska swept throws with top distances of 122 feet, two inches, from Ryan Mercer in discus, and 48 feet, three inches, from Colton Rada in shot put. Aaron Stavnaw in pole vault (eight feet, two inches) and Reese Turner in long jump (18 feet, seven inches) were other Hawk individual winners.
The Chaska girls had three track victories in a home triangular with Bloomington Jefferson and St. Louis Park on April 20. Sydney Grossklaus led seven Hawks in positions one through seven in the 200 meters in a winning time of 29.84.
Chaska, victories in the 4x100 and 4x400, also got multiple top performances from Daneyah Hughes in the 100 meters (13.82), 100 hurdles (18.45) and shot put (29-7.5).
Chanhassen won 11 events in a Metro West boys conference triangular at Bloomington Jefferson on April 20. The Storm scored 80 points to 72 for the host Jaguars with St. Louis Park adding 31 points.
Eli Mau was a double winner, running 11.7 in the 100 meters before hitting 20 feet in long jump. Eric Sather won pole vault at a height of 12 1/2 feet with Alec Ungar a double winner as well in the 200 meters (24.37 seconds) and high jump (six feet).
Ryan Stratton in the 800 meters (2:13.88), Jaxon McDonald in the 3,200 meters (10:37.26), Charlie Coenen in the 110 hurdles (16.67), and Tyrique Williams in the 300 hurdles (48.09) were other Storm event winners.
In a home girls Metro West quadrangular, Chanhassen won 10 events including the 100 meters (Diane Rakotomalala, 13.31), 800 meters (Jennifer Pierson, 2:45.70), 1,600 meters (Isabella Roemer, 5:08.37) and 300 hurdles (Taryn Gellner, 52.74).
Field victories came from Emma Starkey in high jump (five feet), Lilian Sather in pole vault (eight feet) and Kaela Reinhart in triple jump (29 feet, 11 inches).
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC
In her years as a track and field athlete, Julia Red Wing has competed in a vast amount of event disciplines. After watching the Holy Family senior track and field sensation run, jump and throw her way into some excellent early season marks and smash her first school record, the question is, "is there anything she can’t do?"
It only took two meets into the young track and field season, but Red Wing is already lighting things up.
With Holy Family hosting its first meet in almost two years, Red Wing gave the fans something to talk about by breaking the school record in triple jump, reaching 34 feet, 4 1/2 inches, eclipsing that of long time track and field standout Erin Brown set in 2013.
"As we watch an all-out assault by one athlete on our school record books, we realize it’s just the beginning," said Parzyck. "We’re all hoping to see a lot more by season’s end."
Red Wing nearly broke records in victorious throws in the discus and shot put as well at a Wright County Conference quadrangular on April 20.
She won shot put in 34 feet, 10 inches, a victory of over three feet, before stretching the tape out to 108 feet, seven inches, in a winning disc throw.
"Not only can she do a lot of things to help her team; she wants to do a lot of things every meet to help her team," Fire head coach Ian Parzyck said. "Julia will be the first to tell you that she would rather compete in the maximum four events per meet in every meet and would do more if the rules allowed."
Berkley Neubauer also won the long jump competition in a distance of 13 feet, nine inches.
Another Red Wing, freshman and Julia’s younger brother, Thomas, also claimed victory in a throwing event. He was first in discus with a distance of 112 feet, two inches and fifth in shot put.
Captain Joey Richelsen continued his torrid start to the season, holding off a late charge from the competition to outsprint the field in the 400 meter dash in 55.38 seconds. Fire junior Wyatt Persful was also fourth in the 400 with Richelsen taking fifth in the 200 meters.
Mehlayna Straub broke two school records in Southwest Christian's first competition in nearly two years April 20 in Belle Plaine.
Straub and teammate Felicia Luther posted discus throws of 84-10 and 75-8.75 to best the previous record of 74-10. Straub also broke the triple jump record with a leap of 33 feet.
Straub won the 200-meter dash in 26.74 seconds, while running on the 4x100 relay team with Lillian Rediger, Callie Coughlin, and Madeline Paradise for second place in 57.97.
Freshman Kaitlyn Wercinski was also runner-up in the 300 hurdles in 55.86.
In the boys competition, Brandon Mosley was first in the 800 meters (2:18.25) with Owen Seltz and Wyatt Wercinski claiming the top two spots in the 1,600 meters in 5:02.93 and 5:15.90.
Southwest Christian was second in the 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Brandt Schultz was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (49.90) and fourth in triple jump (31-2.5).