The Jordan Hubmen are the 2019 Class A state track and field champions.
Jordan ran away with the team title on Saturday afternoon at Hamline University as they scored 87 points to claim the championship. Providence Academy was second with 58 points, followed by Pierz in third with 36 points.
“I felt all along that we were a team that could win the state championship but at the same time there are so many variables that it’s hard to know for sure,” head coach Ben Nylander said. “You could be having a great season but all it takes is a key injury at the end of the season or a baton drop at sub-sections and things could go drastically different. So we really tried to stay focused as much as possible on the process as opposed to the end result. I had several coaches come up to me following the meet and were so excited to see such a complete well-rounded team win the title. Too often in Minnesota, one really good individual or a small group of individuals can score enough points to win because the points get divided up among so many teams.”
This is only Jordan’s fifth state championship in any sport and only its second state title by a male team. Jordan won a fastpitch softball title in 1980, a football title in 1983, and volleyball titles in 2006 and 2008.
Not only did the Hubmen win the state title, they did it in record-breaking fashion.
Jordan’s 4x100 relay team of Jerry Powell, Thomas Dietel, Bryce Sievers and Marlon Wiley set the Class A state meet record both times they competed. In the prelims on Friday, the relay team scorched the track at Hamline with a time of 42.74 seconds. That broke the record set last year by Southwest Christian of 42.88.
That same relay team returned Saturday for the finals and again broke the previous state meet record but couldn’t match its prelim time. They won the state title with a time of 42.79.
“It was pretty awesome to see them do that,” Nylander said. “At the start of the year I could never have imagined that we could run that fast but our guys just kept getting better and better and their handoffs were just so amazing all season long. They had high expectations for themselves and it showed.”
That record-breaking performance is nothing new for Jordan as it has been breaking quite a few state records in the past 11 years.
Cameron Boy set the state meet record in the 200 meters at 21.53 seconds in 2009 and also broke the 100 meters state meet record that year despite finishing second overall in the meet.
Wiley broke the state meet record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.75 seconds in 2017 but it was ruled wind-aided. Jenna Kes also broke the state meet record in the triple jump that year with a jump of 40-2.75 feet but it was also ruled wind-aided.
Jordan captured one other event state title and that came in the 4x200 relay. The team of Powell, Dietel, Sievers, and Caden Bruzek won the state title with a time of 1:29.25. That was just 0.3 seconds off the state meet record.
The Hubmen relays were strong all meet long. Besides winning the two state titles, the 4x800 relay team finished second and the 4x400 relay team finished sixth.
The 4x800 relay team of Mason Vogel, Max Ceplecha, Aiden Langheim and Symon Keiser ran a 8:04.01 to finish second.
The 4x400 relay team of Keiser, Bruzek, Vogel and Ceplecha set a new school record on its way to sixth place.
In the individual events, Wiley placed in the top three in both the 100 and 200 meters. In the 100, he finished third with a time of 11.21 seconds. In the 200, he also finished third with a time of 22.6 seconds. Providence Academy junior Max Peckenschneid won both the the 100 and 200 meter titles.
Hurdler Ben Larson had a big state meet as he earned all-state honors in both hurdle events. He finished third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.01 seconds and fifth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.7 seconds.
Senior Symon Keiser finished in fourth place in the 800 meters with a time of 1:58.29. He qualified for the 800 finals with a school record time of 1:57.01 in the prelims.
In the field events, Sievers grabbed a third place medal in the triple jump with a distance of 44 feet, .5 inches. He hit that jump on his second attempt of the meet. The winning distance was 45-3.75 by Pierz’s Matthias Algarin.
Dietel jumped 21-07 feet on his first jump of the competition to finish in fourth place in the long jump.
Ceplecha ran a 51.22 seconds 400 meter in the prelims to finish third in his heat but didn’t qualify for the finals. He was in 10th place after prelims and the top nine advance.
“Every athlete that competed over the weekend scored points for the team so that was a really cool and rare accomplishment,” Nylander said. “I think that the overall key to winning was having a group of very talented athletes that were willing to sacrifice for the team. Our relay teams changed several times over the season and several times near the end of the year as injuries or other changes happened. I can’t say enough about guys like Julian Morales who was changed off the 4x200 at the end of the year when he hurt his foot and yet he handled it so well and was a supportive teammate. I also think that our other key was being well rounded. There were teams that could match us in certain event areas but nobody could match up with us in all of the event areas that we were strong in.”
Jordan won’t be able to defend the Class A state title because they move up to Class 2A next season.
The Jordan girls track and field team had two place winners at the state meet in Madi Kes and Kendra Krueger.
Kes, a junior, finished in fourth place in the triple jump with a distance of 37-5.5 feet. She did that on her sixth and final jump. She also competed in the long jump but didn’t place. Her best jump was 15-9.
Krueger, an eighth-grader, ran the 1,600 meters in 5:12.51 to earn a podium finish in ninth place.
Those two finishes earned the Jaguars seven points at the state meet, which put them in 44th place. The Blake School won the state title with 57 points.
Two other Jaguars competed at state: Basia Babcock and Jessie Westman. Bobcock finished the 3,200 meters in 12:02.05 to finish in 14th place. Westman cleared 9-6 feet in the pole vault to finish in 12th place.
“It was great having four girls competing at the state meet,” Nylander said. “This is the most girls that we’ve ever had at the meet. I was really impressed by the performances particularly of Madi Kes in the triple jump and Kendra Krueger in the 1,600. Madi jumped really close to her personal record and did an excellent job. Kendra ran the third fastest time in school history in the 1,600.”