MVHS boys track gunning for double state titles

From 1999 to 2001, Mounds View’s boys track and field teams swept the true team and high school league state championships. The Mustangs have a decent shot at pulling off a double title again this season.

Mounds View already has the state true team title under its arm, having won that a few weeks ago by a dominating margin of more than 200 points. The high school league team title is up for grabs this weekend at the state meet. Mounds View earned 11 state entries at last week’s Section 4AA meet.

Of those 11 entries, six came via a section championship. Quinn Evans won the 400-meter dash, while Sean Duling was first in the 110-meter high hurdles. Tommy McNamara added a blue ribbon in the triple jump and Brandon Hoey was tops in the shot put. Mounds View’s other two section wins came in the 4x400 and 4x800-meter relays.

The Mustangs other state entries went to McNamara in the long jump, Matt Fleigle in the pole vault, Drew Fleigle in the long jump, Hoey in the discus and the 4x200-meter relay team.

Unofficial tallies from other section meets show very few teams with as many entries as Mounds View. Robbinsdale Armstrong has 12, St. Cloud Tech has eight and Moorhead and Burnsville have seven each.

Irondale gained two state entries from the section meet. The Knights’ 4x100-meter relay team of Chichi Ojika, David Bernardy, Damola Ogundipe and Mike Day won the section title and will compete at state. Andy Richardson placed second in the 1,600 meters to notch a spot at the state meet.

On the girls’ side, Mounds View amassed eight state entries while Irondale and St. Anthony have one each.

Mounds View’s Alison Gamache, the defending state champion in the 300-meter hurdles, will get to defend that title this year after placing second in the event at sections. She also qualified for state in the 100-meter hurdles, which she placed third in at last year’s state meet.

Katlyn Merrill is set to compete in three events at state. She was runner-up in both the long jump and triple jump, and teamed up with Jessica Balzer, Rachel Mereness and Leah Hansen to win the 4x400-meter relay. Balzer also qualified in the 400-meter dash.

Julia Renner and Amy Van Meter captured Mounds View’s other state entries by winning the triple jump and discus, respectively.

Irondale’s Johanna Sprang earned her state spot by bettering the qualifying standard in the pole vault. She placed third in the event at sections.

Jenna Severson of St. Anthony and the Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony co-op team won the 400-meter dash to qualify for state.

The state meet is Friday and Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul. In a change from past years, Saturday’s finals are being held in separate sessions based on class. The Class AA competition begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday while the Class A session will start no earlier than 3 p.m.

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