Thursday, April 27, 2017

Previews of Hamline Elite Meet

Huddled in the stands of Hamline’s Klas Field the spectators will take warming retreats into the dining room under the stands at this year’s Hamline Elite Meet. On the track, the athletes will be coping with the weather as well.  Not heat, but Minnesota Spring frigid temps will compel those in the stands to break out the winter gear and the athletes need to warm up and stay warm without using too much energy.  

While last year’s event saw record setting times, the emphasis this year will be tactics, races for places rather than sizzling hot times.   Veteran sprinter Bloomington Kennedy senior Honour Finley, who holds the State All-time record for 400 meters of 53.96, is running the 200 and defending her title in the 400. St. Michael Albertville’s Anna Keefer will try and improve on her fourth place finish in last year’s 100 meters and challenge Finley in the 200.

The middle and long distance girl’s races are deep with talent with a host of seniors attempting to go out in style with top performances in their events.  The longest race, the 3200, features primarily younger veterans.  Washburn’s Emily Covert, Minnetonka’s Sophie Whicher, Math and Science Academy’s Tierney Wolfgram, Farmington’s Anna Fenske,  Edina’s Morgan Richter and her senior teammate Amanda Mosborg, and two more seniors: Perham’s Brynnan Covington and Marshall’s Claire Boersma  leading the way.  If the wind is light and the lead pack stays together this race has the potential to bring back memories of the 2013 classic MSHSL boy’s championship 3200.

Irondale sophomore Julia Hayes will attempt a double in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles to improve on her runner up finish in the 2016 100 hurdles and a third place finish in the 300.  Prior Lake’s Madison Bremer will take a shot at Kasson-Mantorville grad (now a standout for the Gophers) Taylor Wiebke’s meet record of 5’9”. Rosemount’s Lexy Berger, Mankato West’s teammates Erica Benson and Aliyah Dawkins, Prior Lake’s Madison Scholl will challenge Bremer.  Mounds View’s Julia Fixen is the favorite in the pole vault.

Rosemount’s Berger will be doubling in the high jump and pole vault. SMA’s Keefer tops that with her sprint races and the long jump where she is the defending champion. St. Cloud Tech’s Jody Lipp is also back to defend her triple jump title.  St. Francis’ Amanda Anderson will defend her discus title.  Last year’s runner up, Armstrong’s Alexandrea Hurst, is the favorite to win the shot put.

In the boy’s events St. Francis’ Genuine Matthews will defend his title in the 400, and is hoping to improve on his third place finish in the 100. MSHSL  2016 cross country champ Patrick Roos of Edina will attempt to add a track gold medal to his resume and will have company from Wayzata’s Khalid Hussein, Maple Grove’s Alex Miley, and Hopkins’ Seth Eliason. Miley may double coming back in the 1600 where Edina’s Zach  Miller has the fastest qualifying time. Eden Prairie’s Denzel Brown is doubling in the 100 and 200.  Wayzata teammates junior Frank Fetrow and sophomore Patrick Leonard are the top two qualifiers in the 800.

Lakeville North’s Evan El-Halawani will try to improve on his fifth place finish from last year as well as Edina’s Abdihafid Sahal, who was seventh. Sahal won the 300 hurdles in 2016, followed by El Halawani.  Pipestone Area’s Tyl Woelber and Hutchinson’s Maquire Peterson have both cleared 6’7” in the high jump to lead the qualifiers for that event. Mounds View’s Calvin Cigank returns to defend his title in the pole vault.  Triple and long jump are wide open with many contenders for the titles.  An almost all senior group in the shot put with North’s Jake Kubiatowicz looking to repeat as discus champion and has made a ten foot improvement in the shot that puts him in a position to sweep both titles.

MileSplit Preview is HERE.

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