11 June 2014

Boys Track: One big highlight reel

All-stater Tanner Grubb one of 19 seniors (photos by J. Lindquist)
Three meet championships, including both the Missota Conference and Section 1AA titles; a strong showing at the prestigious Hamline Elite meet; nine-state meet qualifiers; a record ninth place finish at the state championships; multiple school records and countless personal best performances.

Not even a late spring and the miserable weather that followed could keep Farmington from another memorable season.

"A big goal for this season was to make sure the seniors left something behind to remember," coach Brian Helmstetter said. "Many of them had been varsity athletes for four years and we wanted them to show the younger grades how hard work equals success. They certainly did that."

A large class of 19 seniors received letters for their efforts during the 2014 campaign: Mason Auge, Alexander Burton, Sean Dougherty, Jack Erickson, Mason Gaylord, Tanner Grubb, Jeff Gutierrez, Jacob Hove, Brendan King, Derek Klotter, Jakob Lee, Sean McHenry, Godfrey Mpetey, Josh Patterson, Santana Perdomo, Hunter Sevenich, Riley Stevenson, Jared Wolt and CJ Wynings.

**A complete list of letterwinners appears at the bottom of the page.

Although most coaches would be more than satisfied with a second place finish, Helmstetter noted his team's runner-up effort at the Section 1AA True Team Championships was the only meet he would like to have back.

"We came within 10 points of winning it so that was somewhat of a disappointment," he said. "But instead of falling part after not achieving that goal, we re-grouped and rose up to win the conference and section."

Justin Hyytinen broke 3 school records (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Six individuals and two relay teams won all-Missota Conference honors. The individuals included Grubb (200 and 400-meter dashes); Justin Hyytinen (1600 and 3200-meter runs); Nehemiah Rockett (110 and 300-meter hurdles); Wyatt Ferm (high jump); Wynings (discus) and King (discus).

The 4x400 relay team of Rockett, Ryan Parco, Devon Webb and Hyytinen won all-league honors as did the 4x800 quartet of Sevenich, Wolt, Adam Dougherty and Webb. Webb also received all-conference honorable mention in the 800-meter run.

The individual state meet qualifiers included Hyytinen (1600 and 3200), Grubb (200 and 400) and Wynings (discus).

The Tigers set a school record by qualifying all four relay teams for state: 4x100 (Caleb Bray, Erickson, McHenry, Auge); 4x200 (Auge, Erickson, Ryan Parco, Grubb); 4x400 (Rockett, Parco, Webb, Hyytinen) and 4x4800 (Hart, Adam Dougherty, Wolt, Webb).

Grubb (track) and Wynings (field) were named team co-MVP's while Hyytinen, who personally re-wrote the FHS distance record book by setting new standards in the 800, 1600 and 3200-meter runs, was the recipient of the Tiger Award. McHenry and Parco shared the team's Most Improved Award.

In addition to Hyytinen's record-shattering season, Grubb also set a new standard in the 400-meter dash (48.82). The 4x400 relay foursome of Rockett, Webb, Hyytinen and Grubb also established a new school mark at the state meet (3:20.97).

"Justin has another year left but those other two records may stand for awhile," Helmstetter said.

Helmstetter said one of his biggest tasks next spring will be replacing this year's seniors, especially when it comes to leadership.

"Because we had such a strong senior group, our younger athletes haven't had as many opportunities to be team leaders," he said. "The success we have next season will depend on the work and dedication we put in during the off-season. That will start with our leaders."

Getting more athletes to come out for the sport also ranks high on Helmstetter's to-do list.

"There are too many FHS athletes that are not out for spring sports," he said. "Those are the guys who could help us make some noise in our new conference next season."

Farmington moves to the highly competitive South Suburban Conference next year but Helmstetter said he doesn't see his team suffering much in the way of culture shock.

"The South Suburban Conference meet will obviously be tougher," he said, "but we compete against most of those schools already. The new conference should help us better prepare for the section."

2014 Boys Track letterwinners (grades 9-11)
Jake Bauerle,  Wyaatt Ferm, Garret Haugen, Zach Herrera, Mike Husnik, Justin Hyytinen, Ryan Parco, Nehemiah Rockett, Dan Som and Tanner Thode
Caleb Bray, Adam Dougherty, Alex Hart, David Husnik, Dalton States, Alex Swearingen and Devon Webb
David Gutsalyuk and Alexander Hall 

2014 Boys Track participants (grades 9-12)
Sam Ellison and Westin Loeshke
Max Aldana, Jonathan Bovee, Cristian Brollier, Robin DeCastro, Dylan Hammerschmidt. Matthew Jenny, Elie Kahlerrah, Long Lam,Dylan Pitzen, Luis Rodriguez, Jacob Roepke, Zachary Teiken, Calvin Vue, Peyton Woller and Nick Zellen
Gavin Bassett, Jesse Chanthakhoun, Alexander Clemonts, Derek Cole, Adriano DeOliveira, Nino Doungbouty, Cole Dubbels, Dylan Gerlach, Josh Grimm, Zachary Knutson-Rivers, Aaron Koenigsberg, Jake Langr, Ryan Newton, Dylan Otterness, Braeden Peterson, Robel Ponds, Jackson Reed, Kyle Rotvold, Matthew Rowe, Samule Rutz, Nhezzim Salmeron, Jackson Schneider, Jake Schwartz, Tyler Shafer, Kyle Smith, Ben Sorenson and Matthew Townsend
Zachary Adamson, Bryant Aguilar, Christopher Erickson, Keon Gates, Kellen Grundman, Zachary Johnson, Derek Kulla, Kurawel Negash, Matthew O'Malley, Sam Okikiolu, Miguel Ponce, Zachary Redlin, Bryan Scavone, Taylor Tabolich, MacCoy Urbia and Rob Vasquez