Goals remain high for Mounds View girls track and field

In 11 seasons as co-head coaches, Aaron Redman and Scott Ylkanen have built the Mounds View High School girls track and field program into a state power. In that time, the Mustangs have won conference titles, section championships, state crowns and state true-team titles.

With that kind of history, the expectations are always high, and this season is no different.

Mounds View enters the 2015 season having won four of the last five Suburban East Conference championships, the last seven Section 5AA titles and the last 10 section true-team championships. Among the goals for this year's team is to extend all of those streaks.

Back from last year's team are 27 letterwinners and among them were 12 state entrants. Three of those state entrants won a state championship.

Mounds View's returning champions are Mikayla Toninato, Annalee Blake and Rachel Boyer, who teamed up to win the Class AA state title in the 4x200-meter relay. The fourth member of the relay team was Nicole Geist, who was a senior last year.

Toninato, Blake and Boyer also competed at state in at least one other event. Toninato also ran in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay. Boyer was also on the 4x100-meter relay team and Blake ran in the 4x400-meter relay.

Five other relay state entrants are back this season, including Elizabeth Menne, who ran in the 4x100 and 4x400. Christine Hessini and Natalie Nowatzke ran in both the 4x400 and 4x800 and Nicole Wahlin and Anna Solfest were members of the 4x800 team.

Mounds View's four other returning state entrants all participated in field events. Veronica Rasmussen made state last year in the discus and Cassidy Smestad qualified in the shot put. Also back are state pole vaulters Kayla Day and Natalie Louderback.

With Rasmussen and Smestad back, Mounds View might have the best throwing crew in the state. They are both seniors who started throwing as eighth graders. Rasmussen is headed to the University of Minnesota on a track scholarship next season. Sophomore Leah Klein also returns for the Mustangs.

The thin areas in the lineup this season include the jumps and hurdles.

Mounds View opened the season on Saturday with the Mustang Invitational. The schedule this week featured a pair of meets on back-to-back days. The Suburban East Conference relays, originally scheduled for April 7, were postponed until April 13 due to weather. Mounds View also hosted a five-team conference meet on Tuesday. Both events were held past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

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