ST. PAUL — Four of its six state entrants earned All-State honors (Top 9) as the Eden Prairie High School boys track team cracked Class AA’s Top 10.
“Sixty-six percent of the guys placed,” said Eden Prairie coach Eric Gahr. “That’s impressive.”
Hopkins won the team competition, counting a meet-best 78 points. Rosemount finished second with 76 points, Wayzata third with 68 points. Mounds View (59) and Roseville (30) finished four and five. Eden Prairie finished in 10th place with 24 points. Ninth-place Rochester Century counted 25 points, 11th-place Buffalo 23 points. Fifty-three teams scored points.
Individually, Ben Sather had Eden Prairie’s best meet, placing second in the pole vault competition with a personal-best vault of 14-09.
“He PRed at state,” said Gahr. “It doesn’t get better than that.”
Sather was seeded at 14-02. First-place counted 15-0.
Jake Derouin finished third in the 3200-meter race, clocking 9:17.53.
“It was hot and Jake ran a great race,” said Gahr.
Note: Derouin’s time was the fifth-fastest in Eden Prairie High School history. Counting the 9:14.57 he ran in the Section 6AA finals, Derouin now claims the Eagles’ third-fastest and fifth-fastest times. The school record, set in 2007 by Ryan Little, is 9:11.19.
Randy Williams finished sixth in the triple jump competition, leaping, on his first try, 45-04.
“He hurt his heel on his first jump,” said Gahr. “He’s had issues with that all season. It’s too bad because he got off to a great start.
“Still,” he added, “he did what he had to do.”
Xavier Watson finished eighth in the high jump event, clearing 6-02.
Watson was seeded at 6-04.
“He didn’t see enough good competition during the season,” said Gahr. “He’s not the same jumper when he goes up against guys who are better than he is.
“That’s youth,” he added.
Watson is a sophomore.
Gulled Abdi ran to a 15th-place finish (51.37) in the 400-meter dash during Friday’s preliminary race. Dylan Nduulu placed 14th in the long jump (19-04.75).
“The big stage breaks people down,” said Gahr. “Dylan had popped something (21-11) out of no where at the section meet.
“It’s tough to be 22-foot jumper when you’ve never been there before,” he added. “The same goes for Gulled. He wasn’t a 49 before the section meet.”
Not one of Eden Prairie’s six state qualifiers was a senior.
“Bunch of juniors and a sophomore,” said Gahr.
While there are no guarantees they’ll be back, returns are possible.
“They all have huge potential,” said Gahr, “so next year could be a lot of fun.”