Friday, April 29, 2016

Hamline Elite Meet Results: Records and Bodies Fall on Klas Center Track

As the weather turned from the earlier week's rain into a sunny, near perfect day for track and field, eleven Hamline Elite Meet records fell as well as a host of athletes Friday evening at Hamline's Klas Arena track.  Defending MSHSL and Hamline Elite Meet 100 and 200 meter champion Jedah Caldwell broke two of them broke two of the 11 records while successfully defending her Hamline titles.

The winner of the boy's 3200 and runner-up in the girl's 3200 both dropped to the track after crossing the finish line.  Wayzata's Jaret Carpenter started off the boy's 3200 too aggressively, running the first 200 meters in 31 seconds.  That early energy expenditure cost him as he "was hurting" the last three laps. While he was able to hold his form and pick up his pace on the last of those three, the fatigue caught up with him in the second and third to last last laps, which were the slowest of his eight trips around the track(65:39, 67.80, 66:42, 67:18, 68:32, 69:03, 69:04, and 66:56.).  As a coach from another team noted of Carpenter's recent accomplishments, the 2015 MSHSL XC champion has dominated the distance events during his senior year.  At Hamline his "opponent" was the clock.

Jared Carpenter and Jack Manderscheid "relaxing" after the race. Photo by
Gene Niemi
Carpenter achieved his goal of running under nine minutes, burhe missed Mike Torchia's meet record by a little more than half a second. He gave it everything he had, and noted that he hopes to get in a race later in the season where others will take the pace so that he'll have some help in running faster times.

In the women's 3200 Winona Cotter's Grace Ping led for five of the eight laps before Forest Lake's Emma Benner took the lead and extended it during the last two laps.  Benner had a side ache while warming up for the race and thought she was in trouble, but when the race started she "felt great. The best I've ever felt."

Emma Benner triumphs in the 3200. Photo by Gene Niemi
After the race she hugged her father and declared: "I get a dog!"  The remark reflected the "game" she and her mother played during Emma's first year of running the 3200. Emma would get a reward if she broke 12 minutes.  She didn't, but her mother said the deal was still good if she broke 12 the next year. Emma did. This year the incentive was if she could run below 10:30 the family would adopt a foster dog. Emma's winning time: 10:28.72.

For Cretin-Derham Hall's Brieasha Hobbs, her reward for being uninjured this year was second place in the 100, 200, and 400.  It's a triple she has run each of the last three years, but when she was injured last year during the meet she could only jog her final event, the 200.  Committed to run for the Gophers next year, she says she won't be tripling.  She's not fast enough in the 100, she said.   Hopefully, she added, will run the 200 or 400 and probably on relays.

Wayzata's Ruby Stauber, the defending Hamline Elite and MSHSL 800 champion, broke the four year old meet record in that event, and anchored the winning Wayzata team in the 4 by 400 relay.  That was despite the fact that this was her first outdoor 800 this year and she hadn't attempted to "peak" for the Hamline meet nor had done much speedwork leading up the race.  Stauber finished second in the 800 at the New Balance Indoor nationals in 2:05.56 earlier this year, and another runner who will be joining Stauber at LSU next year has already run 2:02 this season.

She knows she'll have to run faster to keep up with the competition.  Stauber will first point toward the MSHSL championships at Hamline in June.  After that she hopes to see what she can do at one or more of the National high school outdoor championship meets.

Alexandria's Bethany Hasz, without twin sister Megan, who is still having trouble with shin injuries, led from start to finish in the girl's 1600,  After a 70 second first lap, Bethany cruised through two 75 second laps before closing with another 70 to come within two seconds of the meet record for the event with a time of  4:51.91.
Edina's Abdi Sahal interviewed after winning the 300 hurdles. 

East Ridge's Karina Joiner was first in the 100 meter hurdles and second to Thief River Fall's Meleah Biermaier in the 300 meter hurdles. Joiner ran faster than the meet record in both events while Biermaier finished sixth in the 100 hurdles. Defending three time MSHSL pole vault titlist Rochester Century's Andy Jacobs won the pole vault despite having to train indoors most of the past week and recover from a cold.  Jacobs almost cleared 13 feet, but had to settle for a 12'4" meet record. The event was completed under the lights as the last event of the meet. As the earlier sunshine generated heat was gone, the vaulters wrapped themselves in colorful, heavy blankets between jumps.

Mirroring Caldwell in the girl's sprints, Robbinsdale Armstrong's Evan McClellon dominated the boy's sprints setting meet records in both the 100 and 200.  When he was asked what he wanted to do for an encore, McClellon said: "run faster."  A former football player, McClellon said his mother suggested the diminutive McClellon try track.  It has proved to be a wise choice.

Como Park's Trevon Clay almost pulled off a double.  He won the 110 hurdles  in 14.41 and took second in the long jump. He tied in distance with the LJ winner Isaiah Weston of St. Michael-Albertville, but Weston broke the tie by having the furthest second best jump.

St. Francis' Genuine Matthews improved by two seconds in the 400 to win in 48.75.  After not qualifying for last year's Hamline Elite meet, Matthews vowed to step up his game for 2016. He concentrated on getting a qualifier this year and kept that focus  to win the race by two tenths of a second over Pine Islan's Kyle Groven with a final straightaway acceleration.

Defending MSHSL Class AA 800 champ, "woke up" from a slow first lap("We were walking," he said) to rip a 54 second last lap to take the Hamline elite title. The Hopkins distance squad showed how they won the MSHSL Class AA team title in 2015 by taking 1-4-6-7th places in the 1600. Owen Hoeft, tall and lean, has the height of a basketball player, but he's proven his talent over hill and dale in XC and now on the track with his win.

Owen Hoeft and Kevin Dado dueling in the 1600
Photo by Gene Niemi
Just as his former teammate Joe Klecker did last year, Hoeft led from the gun.  And, just as Klecker had to battle with Justin Hyytinen in his shadow for nearly the entire race, Hoeft could not shake Totino Grace's Kevin Dado until the last lap where Hoeft ran 61.4 to Dado's 65.04.  Hoeft had gone into the race wanting to run under 4:10 to break Klecker's event record, but he didn't run the first 800 fast enough.  At the MSHSL championships Hoeft is hoping to run both the 3200 and 1600.  Dado gave it his all  dropping to the track after he finished.

The boy's competition ended with a fall as well, but this one wasn't from fatigue.  Wayzata and Chaska were battling for the lead going down the home straight of the 4 by 400 relay. Anchors Josh Prater for Chaska and Ethan Tuch for Wayzata were sprinting stride for stride up to the line when Prater launched himself over the finish, did a somersault and came up the winner by six hundreths of a second.

As the winning foursome was going to the award stand one of Prater's teammates said: "Do you believe it?"  They believed and they did it.

Hamline Elite Meet Results HERE.
Strib recap of the meet HERE.

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