Friday, June 01, 2007

Sectional Season Underway -- Really Underway!

Does this remind anyone of the old Ginger/Mary Ann question ...

What's hotter: Six guys running 9:21 or faster in a Sectional 3200 meters -- as in 6AA earlier in the week -- or a solo 8:57 -- which Elliott Heath managed at 1AA last night?

I didn't see 6AA but the grapvine says the following went down: Finnerty 9:05, Lumbar 9:09, Burke 9:11, Wiley 9:13, Little 9:17, Hutton 9:21. I did witness Heath's performance and wouldn't be quick to discount just how appealing that was.

And, the bulk of Sectional competition is yet to commence. Who knows what further excitement awaits. The news and information flowing into place like Dyestat's Minnesota forum are mostly from the "prelim sessions" that feature a few field event finals and, oh yeah, the 3200 meters -- the most talent-packed event in the state this year.

You can find a schedule of Sectional meets on the MSHSL site. I assume results will end up on RaceberryJam as they have in years past, although Dyestat seems to be place to find the latest news for now.

But back to Heath's 8:57 ... The USA Junior Cross Country champ led from the break over Northfield's Matt Yak and Eastview's Travis Burkstrand at 1AA in Northfield last night. The trio went through 400 in 63.5 but Heath already had 10 meters on the chasers by 800, split in 2:10.4 (66.9).

Heath was 30m clear by 1200 meters -- he turned a 67.7 for 3;18.1 at three-quarters and 68.6 for 4:26.7 at the 1600. He was 3+ seconds sub-9:00 at that point, but at the pace he was going likely to time out over the nine-minute standard by a few ticks.

Heath continued to slow in the second mile -- 69.0 to 2000m, 69.9 to 2400, but picked it up a beat to 2800 with a 68.9. If he had something in the tank he could come close ...

Heath's tank was brimming, it appeared. He ripped home in 62.9 -- with only the clock to spur him on -- for an unofficial 8:57.3.

Yak finished second and will also go to State; Burkstrand was a non-qualifying 3rd.

Update: If all else fails, there is the Star-Tribune ... I guess I should have looked there for some Sectional data.

You can find some of yesterday's results HERE.

The Star-Trib's fine prep sports reporter John Millea has a feature story on B.J. Otto's quest for the state's all-time long jump record HERE.

And, though we're partial to the Chris Lists when it comes to boys 800m-3200m marks, the Star-Tribune's final Metro track Honor Roll is HERE.

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