The Boys 1600 meters at the 107th Carleton Interscholastic Meet tomorrow will feature three state champions battling for a win at the oldest track meet in the state.
2005 MSHSL Class AA cross country and 2006 3200 meter champion Elliott Heath of Winona will battle 2006 Class AA harrier champ Hassan Mead of Minneapolis South and 2006 Class AA 800 meter champ Isaac Veldkamp of Eden Prairie at Laird Stadium in Northfield.
The historic meet also features 2006 Class AA 1600 m champ Ben Blankenship of Stillwater, the defending champ in that event at Interscholastic, looking to better his early-season 9:15 clocking in the 3200m. Rob Finnerty, the 2005 Class AA 3200m champ and the winner of that event at the Hamline Elite-Meet a week, ago will race 800m.
The meet features four boys teams that finished in the top-10 at the State Meet last year, including runners-up Robbinsdale Armstrong. In girls competition, State runners-up Lakeville North headline the meet. Top female individuals include Bloomington Kennedy distance runner Danielle Berndt, Winona thrower Chari Lehnertz, and Chaska pole vaulter Lauren Stelten.
The Carleton Interscholastic Meet began in the 1800s and survived a hiatus in the late 1970s to last for more than a century.
Also ... Chris Marshall, a good friend of Down the Backstretch, has compiled what he thinks are the most complete performance lists for the boys 800m, 1600m, and 3200m events in the state. Heading into this weekend's action, the top-10 times in those events are:
David Pachuta Eastview 1:54.54 UST Invite
Mike Shelendich Mounds View 1:55.16 Bob Stewart Invite
Zach Mellon Buffalo 1:55.26 Hamline Elite
Ian Campbell Bloomington Prairie 1:57.26 Hamline Elite
Nick Ramberg North Branch 1:57.82 Hamline Elite
Tom Burke Edina 1:57.95 EP Booster
Paul Hilsen Lakeville South 1:57.8* Rosemount Tri
Sam Shidla Mound-Westonka 1:57.9 Mound-Westonka
Alex Wrobel Mounds View 1:58.48 Hamline Eilte
Mike Mueller Hopkins 1:58.4 Hopkins Quad
Andy Richardson Irondale 4:17.10 Hamline Elite
Ryan Little Eden Prairie 4:18.39 Lake Conference Relays
Ben Blankenship Stillwater 4:18.44 UST Invite
Mike Hutton Apple Valley 4:19.41 Lake Conference Relays
Paul Hilsen Lakeville South 4:19.72** Hopkins Quad
John Stublaski Henry Sibley 4:20.02 Hamline Elite
Elliot Heath Winona 4:20.53 Lakeville Invite
Tyler King Lakeville North 4:20.50 Hamline Elite
Harry Backlund Highland Park 4:22.24
Jackson Wiley Eden Prairie 4:22.34 Lake Conf. Relays
Rob Finnerty Burnsville 9:04.55 Hamline Elite
Hassan Mead Mlps South 9:06.07 Hamline Elite
TC Lumbar Edina 9:06.69 Hamline Elite
Elliot Heath Winona 9:07.94 Hamline Elite
Ben Blankenship Stillwater 9:15.46 Lakeville Invite
Tom Burke Edina 9:22.52 Lakeville Invite
Andrew Quinn BSM 9:26.79 Hamline Elite
Jon Lambert Wayzata 9:39.26 Hamline Elite
Kaafi Adeys Willmar 9:39.59 EP Booster
Matt Yak Northfield 9:39.59 Lakeville Invite
(Notes: * = hand-timed ** = likely hand timed)
And another thing ... We hope to have links up on Saturday evening to video from the Carleton Interscholastic. Check DtB after 7:00 p.m. on Saturday for video clips of the state champs in action!
Finally ... In case you missed them, there's a Star-Tribune feature on Tommy McNamara HERE and a Pioneer Press story about Sade Pollard HERE. If, somehow, you missed out on the Hamline Elite-Meet, there's a Star-Tribune wrap-up of it HERE.
(Full disclosure: I'm an assistant track coach at Carleton College.)