Mounds View’s Rasmussen proves she’s elite

Julia Hayes
Julia Hayes
Alex Kelner
Alex Kelner

For the second year in a row, the Mounds View High School girls track and field team captured an event win at the Hamline Elite Meet. This year's meet was held April 24 and Mounds View senior Veronica Rasmussen came away with a gold medal.

Rasmussen captured the top spot in the girls shot put competition with a best put of 42 feet, 10 inches. That effort gave her first place by only a quarter of an inch over Detroit Lakes senior Shay Nielsen.

A three-time state meet qualifier, Rasmussen is headed to the University of Minnesota this fall on a track scholarship.

Of her three trips to state, none has been in the shot put. They were all in the discus, which she also competed in at the Elite Meet. Rasmussen ended up sixth.

Mounds View had eight other entries at the Elite Meet and three of them in were relay races. The Mustangs posted finishes of second, second and third in those events.

The 4x100-meter relay team of junior Rachel Boyer and seniors Elizabeth Menne, Mikayla Toninato and Maddy Quickstad posted a time of 49.90 seconds and finished about a third of second behind a foursome from St. Michael-Albertville.

Menne also ran in the 4x400-meter relay along with freshman Emma Bangert and seniors Jordan Nustad and Anna Solfest. Their time of 4:03.15 was more than four seconds slower than that of champion Lakeville South, but still good enough for second place.

Bangert and Nustad also teamed up to run the 4x800-meter relay along with seniors Nicole Wahlin and Christine Hessini. They finished third with a time of 9:34.84. Minnetonka took first and Bemidji was second.

Senior Cassidy Smestad added a fourth-place finish in the shot put and senior Kayla Day tied for fifth in the pole vault.

Other Mounds View qualifiers included seniors Rachel Clark and Solfest, who both competed in the 1,600 meters, finishing eighth and 13th, respectively. Toninato also ran in the 100-meter dash but did not advance to the finals.

On the boys' side, Mounds View had nine entries. Matt Baker was a three-event qualifier but competed in only two. He finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles and 11th in the high jump.

He also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles but did not run it.

Baker's fifth in the 110 hurdles tied him for Mounds View's best finish. The 4x800-meter relay team of junior Grant Delaune, seniors Alex Plasencia and Devon McDonald and sophomore Tim Pease also took fifth.

The Mustangs added a seventh-place performance by their 4x200-meter relay team of sophomore Charles Haik, seniors Ryan Kaczynski and Connor Stamper and junior Nick Varichak. The 4x400-meter relay team of juniors Josh Hintz and Michael DeGroot, senior Grant Herbert and Delaune took ninth.

Seniors Denis Li, Joey Eggers and Ben Carpenter also competed at the Elite Meet. Li tied for ninth in the long jump, Eggers tied for 10th in the pole vault and Carpenter was 16th in the 3,200 meters.


The Knights had five entries in the Elite Meet between their two teams.

For the girls, freshman Julia Hayes competed in both hurdle events. She ran fifth in the 300-meter hurdles and was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles. A year ago, she finished third at the state meet in the 300 hurdles.

Senior Alex Kelner had a hand in all three of the entries from the Irondale boys team. He took second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.77 seconds. Only North St. Paul's Akeem Sirleaf was faster as he crossed the finish line in 22.32 seconds.

Kelner also ran in the 400-meter dash and finished seventh.

Kelner's third event was the 4x100-meter relay, which he ran in with teammates Branden Boleman, Victor James and Sam Vossler. The foursome did not finish the race and therefore did not earn a place.

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


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