The Prior Lake boys track team left the Section 3AA field in its dust May 31 on its home track.

The Lakers claimed their fourth straight title, qualifying two relays and 10 individuals for the Class AA state competition, which is June 7-8 at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Prior Lake finished with 202 points to win the crown, which was miles ahead of runner-up Eastview (89) and third-place Bloomington Jefferson (87).

Representing the Lakers at state will be seniors Keaton Schroeder, Antonio Vargiu, Jack Steinkamp, Jarod Henderson, Nicholas Mullins and Michael Wu, juniors Parker Ellis, Taylor Flaata, Braeden Ericsson and sophomore Gabe Smit.

Wu, Ellis, Smit, Schroeder and Henderson each won individual section titles, as did the 4x200 team of Wu, Schroeder, Mullins and Ellis, which broke the school record with a winning time of 1:29.19.

Ellis also won the long jump with a leap of 22-3 1/2. He's the defending state champion in that event. He was runner-up in the triple jump to qualify in that event too (43-04) and ended up fifth in the high jump (6-0).

The top two finishers in each event, including relays, make the state field. The other way to get there is by meeting the state standard.

Henderson won the shot put for the Lakers with a toss of 56-05. He was also fifth in the discus (143-06).

Wu claimed the 400 with a time of 50.30. Schroeder won the 100 (11.21), while Mullins was second in the 200 (23.01). Smit topped the field in the 1,600 (4:30.95).

Ericcson was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (40.31), while Vargiu was second in the pole vault (11-11), as was Steinkamp in the long jump (21-09).

Prior Lake's 4x200 relay team of Mullins, Flaata, Wu and Ericsson finished second to make state (3:23.72).

The Lakers' 4x100 relay was disqualified, while the 4x800 relay of senior Chase Hebel, junior Jacob Zolar and sophomores Kyle Nordling and Kyle McCullough finished sixth (8:22.16).

Prior Lake had a lot close calls in the throws. Senior Mathis Saad was third in the discus (147-05) and senior Erik Thompson took fourth (147-04). In the shot put, senior Nick Norby was third (51-0 1/2) and senior Thomas Gonser took fourth (48-04 1/2).

Junior Nate Raddatz was eighth in the long jump (20-5 1/2), while Ericsson was fourth in the pole vault (11-05) and Steinkamp was seventh (11-05). Flaata was fifth in the high jump (6-0).

Sophomore Lane Reetz ended up sixth in the 110 hurdles (16.07) for the Lakers, while Nordling was fifth in the 3,200 (9:50.51) and junior Thomas Sullivan was sixth in the 400 (53.28).

Other finishes for Prior Lake included senior Mason Lubansky in the 200 (11th, 23.62), junior John Brennan in the 200 (14th, 23.79), junior Jace Hackett in the 400 (15th, 54.18), Zollar in the 800 (13th, 2:04.45), Hebel in the 800 (15th, 2:05.74), sophomore Blake Vander Weide in the 3,200 (13th, 10:10.21), senior Abdullahi Ali in the 110 hurdles (14th, 16.83), sophomore Thomas Mestnik in the 300 hurdles (12th, 43.44), junior Carter Effertz in the high jump (15th, 5-8) and junior Benjamin Bohnsack in the triple jump (15th, 39-02).

Other team finishes included Eagan (4th, 78), Woodbury (5th, 75), East Ridge (6th, 63), Bloomington Kennedy (7th, 62), Burnsville (8th, 58), Apple Valley (9th, 57), Park (10th, 53), St. Thomas Academy (11th, 28), Holy Angels (12th, 25), South St. Paul and Henry Sibley (13th, 12), Richfield (15th, 11) and Simley (16th, 6).

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.


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