Mustangs return to top of true-team heap

Matt Baker
Matt Baker
Kayla Day
Kayla Day
Veronica Rasmussen
Veronica Rasmussen
Cassidy Smestad
Cassidy Smestad
Mikayla Toninato
Mikayla Toninato

Over the past eight years, the Class AAA state girls true team track and field championship has been decided by more than 60 points only once. In the true team format, that is a narrow margin considering the winning team usually scores around 900 points.

The 2015 state meet was another tight affair, and when the dust finally settled, Mounds View had its first championship since 2010. The Mustangs outscored runner-up Lakeville South, which entered the meet as the three-time defending champion, by only 18 points.

"It's just so fun to see the competition that gets going here," said Mounds View co-head coach Aaron Redman.

Of its four most recent titles, which date back to 2007, Mounds View has won them by an average of 30 points. The Mustangs have also finished second by less than 10 points twice.

Mounds View entered the final event of the meet, the 4x400-meter relay, with a 30-point lead. Barring a last-place finish or a disqualification, the Mustangs were going to win the meet and their fifth-place finish was enough.

Avoiding a disqualification had to have been on the minds of the Mustangs after a pair of miscues in relay races cost them a shot at the championship last year. Mounds View finished third, 43 1/2 points out of first place. With 36 points going to the winning team of each relay, those DQs were costly.

Mounds View earned points in all four relays this year, including that magical 36 points for winning the 4x800-meter relay.

"It was another night of great performances across the board," Redman said.

Mounds View athletes achieved 24 personal bests during the meet.

The Mustangs' only other event victories came in the two throws and helped them amass a nice point total from those events. Mounds View scored 146 points thanks to six top-seven finishes.

Veronica Rasmussen won the discus while Cassidy Smestad finished fourth and Leah Klein took seventh. In the shot put, Smestad came through with the top effort, Rasmussen settled for second and Klein was again seventh.

The pole vault was another successful event for Mounds View as its three competitors finished in the top five. Kayla Day and Julia Fixsen finished in a tie for second and Natalie Louderback took fifth for a total of 72 points.

In the high jump, Fixsen was second, Marya Schuelke tied for fourth and Brooke Gunderman tied for seventh.

Mounds View added two other runner-up performances as Mikayla Toninato ran second in the 100-meter dash and Maddie Quickstad was second in the 200-meter dash.

With the true team title secured, Mounds View now turns its attention to the wild finish that is the prep track and field season. The Mustangs compete this week in the Suburban East Conference championships, which they have won four times in the last five years.

Next week is the Section 5AA state qualifying meet. Mounds View has claimed the team title at that event seven times in a row.

The final meet of the season is the state meet on June 5 and 6. The team title isn't all that important in the state meet, but Mounds View last won it in 2009.

"We definitely put most of our emphasis on this," Redman said, referring to true team. "We're ecstatic about this right here."

Boys

Mounds View's boys team also took part in the state true team meet last week and like seven other teams, spent most of the meet watching Wayzata run away with the championship. The Trojans won their third consecutive state title and once again did it in dominating fashion.

Wayzata outscored the runners-up from Stillwater by 148 points to outdo its title-winning spread from 2014. The Trojans won last year's state title by 139 points over Mounds View.

This year, Mounds View dropped to fifth with 680 points. Wayzata won it with 927.5 points and Stillwater finished with 779.5.

Mounds View's top finish in any single event was second, which Matt Baker achieved in the 110-meter hurdles. He added a fifth-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles and was sixth in both the high jump and long jump.

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


Class AAA state true team track and field championships

Boys — Team Scores
1 — Wayzata    927.5
2 — Stillwater    779.5
3 — Eden Prairie    775
4 — Blaine    714.5
5 — Mounds View    680
6 — Prior Lake    609
7 — Lakeville South    598.5
8 — Anoka    464.5
9 — Moorhead    436.5

Girls — Team Scores
1 — Mounds View    888
2 — Lakeville South    870
3 — Minnetonka    853.5
4 — Wayzata    686.5
5 — St. Michael-Albertville    670.5
6 — Eagan    578.5
7 — Forest Lake    562
8 — Anoka    464.5
9 — Stillwater    436.5

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