25 May 2013

Boys Track: Back on top of the Missota

Conference 1600-meter champ Justin Hyytinen (photo by J. Lindquist)
Farmington used its depth and some gritty performances to win its third Missota Conference championship in seven years and their first since 2009.

The Tigers rolled up 192 points to claim the crown with Chanhassen finishing second with 159.  Chaska finished third at 137, followed by New Prague 126, Shakopee 82, Red Wing 71, Northfield 68 and Academy of Holy Angels 62.

"Our goal was finishing in top three," coach Brian Helmstetter said. "We were sixth last year so that is obviously a an improvement... We also had a goal to get two or three on the podium (top nine) vs none or one. That is how you win championships...I am very proud of these boys."

The Tigers set a championship tone from the very first race, roaring to a win in the 4x800 relay with Tyler Lerbakken, Sean Dougherty, Devon Webb and Jared Wolt dominating the field in 8:11.84..

Farmington wold go on to win three more events. Distance standout Justin Hyytinen who had a marathon of a day, won the 1600-meter run in 4:32.24. The fleet-footed sophomore also finished runner-up in the 3200-meter run and ran a leg on the second place 4x400 relay team.

300-meter hurdle champion Nehemiah Rockett  (photo by J. Lindquist)
Sophomore Nehemiah Rockett, who also had an outstanding day, scored the other Farmington first with a win in the 300-meter hurdles in 41.01. Rockett also ranked third in the 100-meter hurdles and ninth in the triple jump.

The 4x200 relay team of Mason Auge, Ryan Parco, Tommy Weigel and Tanner Grubb brought home the other gold medal, winning in 1:32.20.

Grubb took second in the open 200 meters and teamed up with Lerbakken, Hyytinen and Weigel to finish runner-up in the 4x400 relay. Weigel later added fourth place points in the 400-meter run.

Auge added to his day's impressive list of accomplishments with a fourth place finish in the 100-meter dash and an anchor leg on the 4x100 relay with teammates Derek Klotter, Sean McHenry and Alex Chadwick.

Dan Berg got on the stand for three awards: sixth place in the high jump and 300 hurdles and ninth in the 110-meter hurdles.

Wyatt Ferm, Conner Phu and and Mason Gaylord all supplied valuable points in the field events with Ferm taking third in the high jump; Phu fourth in the pole vault and Gaylord fifth in the triple jump.

In one of the big races  late in the meet, one that netted Farmington 18 team points, Lerbakken, Webb and Wolt finished 3-4-5 in the 800-meter run

All in all, 25 different athletes contributed points to the team's total. Of the 14 individuals events, the Tigers placed multiple athletes on the award stand in eight of them.

Tanner Grubb anchored winning 4x200 relay (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Helmsttetter especially singled out the performances of senior Adam Wallenta who cut 23 seconds off his personal best time to take sixth at 3200 meters and his six-man throwing team of Tanner Thode, Michael Husnick, Godfrey Mpetey, CJ Wynings, Brendan King and Alexander Burton.

 "To get three throwers on the award stand in each event was incredible," Helmstetter said.

Thode, Husnick and Mpetey ranked third, seventh and ninth in the shot put while Wynings, King and Burton took third, fourth and seventh in the discus.

"If you were to look at just individual improvements from last year to this year, it is impressive," Helmstetter said. "Across every event these guys have improved.  

"An important piece to this year has also been adjusting our coaching positions. We were able to hold on to some positions by making them part-time which allowed us to add additional coaches in other events. Our kids are getting attention from many different coaches and that is only positive."

Next up for the Tigers is the Section 1AA meet slated for Lakeville South this Thursday and Saturday.

2103 Missota Conference Boys Track Champions