Record-setting day for Irondale freshman

Julia Hayes
Julia Hayes
Alex Kelner
Alex Kelner

Julia Hayes burst onto the prep track and field scene last season as she qualified for the state meet in the 300-meter hurdles as an eighth grader on the Irondale High School girls team. She continued her climb this season and is now headed to state in three events.

Her bread and butter is still the hurdles and she became a double section champion while setting a record in the process. Hayes won the 300-meter hurdles for the second year in a row and broke the section record again.

Hayes actually broke the record twice. In the preliminaries, she ran 43.53 to set a new section mark. Two days later in the finals, Hayes shaved a tenth of a second off her prelim time to set the section record at 43.43 seconds. That was nearly two seconds faster than the runner-up’s time.

Hayes also won her first section title in the 100-meter hurdles by edging 2014 section champion and record-holder Alexandra Williams of Blaine. Hayes’ time of 14.60 seconds was 0.03 seconds faster than Williams.

As if that wasn’t enough, Hayes also anchored Irondale’s 4x400-meter relay team that finished second and is headed to state. Juniors Emily Brandt and Greta Nundahl and sophomore Elizabeth Axberg joined Hayes in posting a time of 4:04.14, which was nearly a half-second faster that third-place St. Michael-Albertville.

Irondale boys

The Knights amassed five state entries at the Section 5AA meet last week. Two of them came via section victories.

Senior Alex Kelner picked up one of those individual titles when he won the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.33 seconds. That was a tenth of a second faster than what he ran in the prelims.

Kelner also had a hand in Irondale’s other section title as he joined fellow seniors Bryce Warren and Sam Vossler and sophomore Branden Boleman in taking first in the 4x400-meter relay. They beat runner-up Anoka by almost two full seconds.

Kelner added a third state entry via his second-place finish in the 400-meter dash. He was more than a full second faster than the third-place finisher from Anoka.

Warren is also a multiple-event state qualifier. In addition to the relay, he also made state in the triple jump by beating the qualifying standard. His top distance of 45 feet and one half inch beat the standard by 4 1/2 inches.

Sophomore Lee Waddell had an interesting section meet in the pole vault. He and Coon Rapids senior Austen Palmer finished tied for first by clearing 12 feet, 11 inches on their first attempts.

When neither was able to make 13 feet, two inches, a jump off was held to determine the section champion.

Waddell lost the jump off but his second-place finish was good enough to get him to the state meet.

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

Section 5AA track and field meet

Boys — Team Scores
1 — Blaine    141.5
2 — Mounds View    114
3 — Champlin Park    96.5
4 — Anoka    90
5 — Irondale    87.5
6 — St. Michael-Albertville    62
7 — Centennial    57
8 — Maple Grove    53
9 — Totino-Grace    48
10 — SLP/St. Anthony Village    39
11 — Osseo    34
11 — Park Center    34
13 — Columbia Heights    33
14 — Coon Rapids    12
15 — Rogers    8
16 — Fridley    7.5

Girls — Team Scores
1 — St. Michael-Albertville    195
2 — Mounds View    170
3 — Champlin Park    92
4 — Blaine    90
5 — Centennial    60
6 — Irondale    58
7 — Coon Rapids    57.5
8 — Totino-Grace    50
9 — Maple Grove    41
10 — Anoka    29
11 — Fridley    23
12 — Rogers    20
13 — Park Center    19
14 — SLP/St. Anthony Village    8
15 — Osseo    3
16 — Columbia Heights    2.5

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