South Suburban track talent on display next week
Conference championships to be held at Burnsville
To get an idea of how competitive the South Suburban Conference track and field championships will be, “Just look at the state honor roll and see how many kids from the conference are on it,” Apple Valley boys coach Rod Dirth said.
A number of the state’s top athletes will compete in the SSC meet Tuesday and Wednesday at Burnsville High School. Tuesday’s preliminaries start at 3 p.m., with Wednesday’s finals beginning at 3:30.
On the boys side, “Rosemount has a pretty strong team, Prior Lake is good and Eastview has really been coming on,” said Dirth, who added that he believes Apple Valley also can contend.
Prior Lake, Lakeville North and Lakeville South – three schools that qualified for this week’s state True Team finals – are the teams to beat on the girls side.
Lee Bares of Lakeville South is defending state Class AA champion in the boys pole vault and has already cleared 15 feet, 3 inches this season – 3 inches higher than his state-winning vault of last season.
Apple Valley is defending Class AA boys champion in the 4×100-meter relay and has three of the sprinters back from that group. A dropped baton stalled the Eagles in that race at a True Team section meet last week.
Quinn Hooks, one of the returning Apple Valley relay sprinters, also should contend in jumping events.
Eastview’s Leandre Kennedy won two sprint events at last week’s True Team Section 3AAA meet. Apple Valley’s Mitch Hechsel also won two races, and the Eagles’ Jalen Stewart was the high jump winner.
Eagan’s Adam Peters has cleared 14-3 in the pole vault.
Burnsville senior Cole O’Brien had his track season cut short in 2011 because of a leg injury but finished fifth in the state cross country meet last fall.
Dirth said the boys discus should be a competitive event with four athletes having already thrown 155 feet or better this season.
Eagan eighth-grader Maddie Gourley, in her first season of varsity track and field, is second on the state honor roll in the 200 dash and fourth in the 400.
Eagan’s Danielle Anderson, Burnsville’s Vivian Hett and Lakeville North’s Taylor Perkins are part of a potentially loaded field in the girls 3,200. Lakeville South’s Shaina Burns is one of the state’s top hurdles racers.
Lakeville South’s Jordyn Thornton, Lakeville North’s Emma Erickson and Burnsville’s Lateeka Thompson are among those seeking girls shot put and discus titles. Eastview’s Melita Ware is one of the conference’s top long jumpers, and Lakeville South’s Morgan Pieri is second on the state honor roll in the high jump.
Apple Valley’s Kelsey Harms and Hannah Linder, along with Eastview’s Allison Funk, all have cleared at least 11 feet in the girls pole vault this season.
State True Team
Rosemount will defend its Class 3A boys championship at the state True Team track and field meet at 4 p.m. Friday at Stillwater High School.
The Irish qualified by winning the Section 3 championship last week by 41.5 points over second-place Apple Valley.
Rosemount’s Chandler Dye and Calvin Lehn were first and third in the 1,600 at the section meet, and Dye was second in the 800.
Prior Lake, Lakeville South and Lakeville North advanced to the Class AAA girls True Team finals. Lakeville South won the Section 1 title, Prior Lake took first in Section 3 and Lakeville North earned a wild-card spot.