07 May 2014

Boys Track: Oh-so close

Tanner Grubb 3 1sts at True Team (photo by J. Lindquist)
Prior to the start of Tuesday's Section 1AAA Championships at Lakeville North, Tiger coach Brian Helmstetter said he liked his team's chances in its attempt to win its first section title since 2008.

"There are three to four teams that should be up there," he said, "but if we perform like we already have or maybe a little better we should be right there at the end if the day."

In fact, the Tigers were there at the end of the long meet, finishing second to champion Lakeville North.

The Panthers earned the trip to the True Team state meet scheduled for next week in Stillwater with a meet best 960.5 points with the Tigers 10 points back at 950.5. Owatonna took third with  906.5 points, followed by New Prague 870, Lakeville South 811, Rochester Century 749, Mankato West 706.5, Rochester John Marshall 597.5, Rochester Mayo 486 and Northfield 287.5.

"We competed well and there are many things that could have changed that would have caused a different outcome," Helmstetter said, "but each school could say the same thing. It is all about how you compete the day of the meet.

"We identified holes at the beginning of the season and what has been fun to watch is the younger athletes compete to fill those positions. They all did well and I am proud of them for stepping up in the new events. 

Although Farmington  came up just short in the final standings, two Tiger individuals, Tanner Grubb and Justin Hyytinen stood out from the field.

Grubb had his fingerprints on 96 team points, winning the 200-meter dash (22.28) and 400-meter dash (50.54) and joining with Mason Gaylord, Ryan Parco and Jared Wolt in winning the 4x400 relay in 3:32.25.

Justin Hyytinen 1600 and 3200-meter champ (photo by J. Lindquist)
Hyytinen also logged triple duty, winning the 1600 and 3200-meter distance events with respective times of  4:35.38 and 9:58.63 and finishing a surprising second in the 400-meter dash in 51.64.Hyytinen personally accounted for 89 team points.

In addition to running a leg on the 4x400 relay team, Parco placed third in the open 400, sixth in the 200-meter dash and eighth in the long jump.

Nehemiah Rockett and Wyatt Ferm also had a big meet for the Tigers. Rockett ranked second and fourth respectively in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles while Wyatt took third in the pole vault and fourth in the high jump.

In addition to winning the 4x400, three other Farmington relay teams ranked among the top three, including the runner-up 4x100 foursome of  Caleb Bray, Jack Erickson, Sean McHenry and Mason Auge; the second place 4x800 quartet of Luis Rodriguez, Wolt, Adam Dougherty and Devon Webb and the third place 4x200 grouping of  Auge, Gaylord, Bray and Erickson.

Gaylord took fourth in the triple jump while CJ Wynings and Auge finished fifth respectively in the discus and 100-meter dash.

Other top 10 Farmington finishers: 
800-meter run: 6. Wolt; 8. Webb
1600-meter run: 7. Alex Hart
Long jump: 10. McHenry
Discus: 10, Brendan King

Ryan Parco 4 top 10 finishes (photo by Jim Lindquist)