Narrow margin prevents true-team repeat for Mustangs

 

Over the last 10 seasons, the Mounds View High School girls track and field team has captured four state true-team championships, which ties the Mustangs for the most over that stretch. There have also been some near misses in that time and one of them was last week.

Mounds View entered the Class AAA state true-team meet on May 20 at Stillwater Area High School as the defending champion. The Mustangs ended up having to settle for runner-up for the third time in 10 years and in all three the margin of defeat was less than 10 points.

Lakeville South edged Mounds View by 6 1/2 points to win its fourth title in five years. Other close calls came in 2011, when Hopkins squeaked out a 2 1/2-point win over Mounds View, and in 2008 when the Mustangs came up 5 1/2 points shy of Eastview.

Mounds View led Lakeville South by 17 1/2 points heading into the final event of the meet, the 4x400-meter relay, and needed to stay within four places of the Cougars in the race. That didnít happen, however, as Lakeville South placed second and outscored eighth-place Mounds View by 24 points.

Mounds View’s top single event was the pole vault as all three of its entrants placed in the top eight. Freshman Julia Fixsen won the event with a top height of 12 feet, senior Natalie Louderback took third and sophomore Sarah Voytilla finished eighth. The trio scored 72 points and outscored Lakeville South’s three vaulters by 37 points.

The relays were rough for Mounds View as Lakeville South finished ahead of the Mustangs in three of the four and enjoyed a 60-point advantage.

Other high finishes for Mounds View individuals included junior Leah Kleinís runner-up finish in the shot put, sophomore Marya Schuelkeís third-place performance in the high jump and senior Annalee Blakeís third-place finish in the 200-meter dash.

True team track and field is a concept born in Minnesota 30 years ago that allows each team in Class AAA to enter three competitors in each event (except relays) and no matter where a competitor finishes, he/she earns points towards the team total.

Two other state true-team girls champions were crowned on May 21. Red Wing claimed the Class AA title and the Class A crown went to Blue Earth

 

Boys

On paper, the Mounds View boys track and field team appeared headed to about a sixth-place finish in the Class AAA state true-team meet last week. Despite that, head coach Ross Fleming was shooting for a top three-finish.

That’s what he got.

Mounds View and seven other teams were basically competing for second. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Wayzata, the three-time defending champion, would roll to yet another title and that’s what happened. The Trojans beat runner-up Hopkins by 75 points.

The Mustangs rolled up to third place with 752 1/2 points and edged fourth-place Lakeville South by 5 1/2 points.

Mounds View’s top individual event was the 400 meters as all three Mustangs placed in the top 10. Senior Michael DeGroot was the runner-up, junior Charles Haik finished seventh and senior Brandon Lee took 10th.

Event victories went to Haik, sophomore Micah Smith and seniors Josh Hintz and Grant Delaune, who teamed up to win the 4x400-meter relay, and sophomore Calvin Cignanik, who won the pole vault with a top height of 14 feet. Mounds View received third-place performances from sophomores Jacob Gray in the triple jump and Michael Fahim in the discus.

Also bringing home true-team state titles last weekend were Willmar in Class AA and Montevideo in Class A.

Next up for Mounds View are the Suburban East Conference championships on May 24 and 26 at East Ridge High School in Woodbury.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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