Lakeville track: Cougar boys take 2nd

North’s Moorhouse runner-up in shot put

Jeremiah Jacobson placed in two sprints to help Lakeville South finish second in the Class AA boys track and field meet. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

This was the best track and field team Jon Gilmer has coached in Lakeville, and it has the hardware to prove it.

Lakeville South’s boys finished second in the state Class AA meet last weekend at Hamline University, which could be the highest finish for a boys squad in Lakeville history. It’s definitely the highest finish in Gilmer’s 33 years as a coach at Lakeville High School and Lakeville South.

“It’s the best team we’ve had at Lakeville South,” said Gilmer, a 2016 inductee into the Lakeville North Panther Hall of Fame. “We had a lot of top kids who did well, then we had a lot of other kids that fit in underneath in those fourth and fifth places. So this is by far our best team – probably the best team I’ve ever had at Lakeville, period.”

Spurred by event victories by Eric Rousemiller (shot put) and Noah Shafer (pole vault), as well as a strong sprint performance by Jeremiah Jacobson, who medaled in two events, Lakeville South held a one-point lead in the team standings with one event remaining. The lead wasn’t likely to hold up because South didn’t have an entry in the 4×400 relay, while several of the teams chasing the Cougars did. But the only team to jump over South was East Ridge, thanks to its victory in the 4×400. East Ridge finished the state meet with 51 points; South led a group of seven teams with 40 to 44 points and earned a spot on the awards podium as well as a runner-up trophy.

“It came down to the 4×4 and we didn’t have a team running,” Gilmer said. “So we needed help from other teams to place, and they did, and it allowed us to be second.”

The scoring format of the Minnesota State High School League meet is weighted heavily toward teams with individual standouts, and the Cougars believed they had enough of them to make a run at the team championship.

“You want to do well individually, but we came in, looked at the competition and thought we had a really good shot” at the team championship, Shafer said. “We had Rousemiller, who won, we had me, we had Jeremiah. We had a bunch of kids we thought could do well, and we did well.

“We were in first until the last race. There were some places where we lost points and could have had it. Everybody wanted first, and that’s what you always go into a meet hoping for, but we did what we could. Overall, we’re happy with how it turned out.”

Rousemiller and Shafer won their events Friday. Rousemiller, who took second in shot put at state in 2016, moved to the top step of the awards podium this year with a winning throw of 60 feet, 10.75 inches, almost 2 feet better than his winning throw at the Section 1AA meet. Finishing second was Jake Kubiatowicz of North St. Paul, who on Saturday won the Class AA discus competition.

Rousemiller will play football at the University of Minnesota as a recruited walk-on, although earlier this season he left the door open to throwing in college if the Gopher football program approves.

Shafer, who will pole vault at North Dakota State next season, was the only competitor in the Class AA state meet to clear 14-6.

“I wasn’t necessarily super-happy with the height,” said Shafer, who wanted to pursue the all-time state record of 16-1.25. “I was happy with winning but was hoping for a much better height. It worked out anyway. We got the win and we got the (team) points.”

Jacobson, a junior, took third in the 200-meter dash in 21.68 seconds and fifth in the 100 in 10.76. He also ran the anchor leg on the Cougars’ seventh-place 4×200 relay. With 13 points individually and a contributor to three relay points, Jacobson “was a big component for us,” Gilmer said.

Adam Vote, Logan Gudmundson and Josiah Udo ran the first three legs of the 4×200 relay final for South. The Cougars’ time was 1 minute, 29.62 seconds.
South junior Cooper Jackson finished seventh in the 800 in 2:00.25. The 4×800 relay of Joshua Willard, Jack Otterson, Adam Unke and Jackson medaled, finishing ninth in 8:07.89. That was despite Unke rolling his ankle during warm-ups before the race. He still was able to run.

Lakeville South scored 15 points in the girls Class AA meet to tie for 25th place. St. Michael-Albertville won the team title, with Farmington placing second.

Before leaving to pursue a volleyball career at UCLA, South senior Jenny Mosser earned a state high jump medal. She finished second in the event Friday, clearing 5-7, 3 inches higher than her winning jump at the Section 1AA meet.

Mosser, Osseo eighth-grader Nyalaam Jok and Benilde-St. Margaret’s sophomore Madison Johnson all cleared 5-7. Jok cleared 5-8 on her final attempt, while Mosser and Johnson missed on all their attempts.

The South 4×100 relay of Sydney Klausler, Kyah Orr, Lillian Terry-Ohland and Makenna Johnson was eighth in 49.78. Patty Jo English, Rachel Emerson, Cassandra Jenny and Taylor Sorenson finished seventh in the 4×800 relay in 9:28.66.

Lakeville North

Lakeville North senior Evan El-Halawani finished second in the two hurdles races at the Class AA boys meet. He was defending champion in the 300-meter race. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Lakeville North senior Evan El-Halawani wasn’t able to win a second consecutive Class AA championship in the 300 hurdles, but he ended his high school career with two more state medals.

El-Halawani finished third in the 110 and 300 hurdles Saturday at Hamline University, earning all of Lakeville North’s 16 points in the team competition. The Panthers were 18th of 60 Class AA boys teams that scored points.

El-Halawani ran 38.14 in the 300 hurdles finals, not far off his winning time of 38.07 in the 2016 state meet. Mounds View senior Joel Smith won in 37.81, with East Ridge’s Collin Sieffert finishing second in 38.11.

In the 110 hurdles, El-Halawani was third in 14.30, improving by two places over his 2016 state finish. Henry Adams of Edina (14.07) and Peter Asplin of Dassel-Cokato (14.25) were first and second.

Lakeville North senior Madeline Moorhouse finished second in shot put at the Class AA girls meet, coming up just 1 inch short of the championship. Moorhouse’s best throw of 45-3.75 came on her third attempt of six and was more than 2 feet farther than her winning effort at the Section 1AA meet.

Alexandrea Hurst of Robbinsdale Armstrong won with 45-4.75.

North junior Danielle Bellino grabbed some attention in Friday’s state preliminaries when her qualifying time in the 800 was almost two seconds faster than the No. 2 qualifier.

In Saturday’s finals in hot, windy conditions – not conducive to fast times in the 800 – Bellino took third in 2:16.62. The top four runners finished within a half-second of each other. Sophie Schmitz of Willmar won in 2:16.26 and Emma Bangert of Mounds View was second in 2:16.45.
Bellino, Sofia Earle, Emma Drangstveit and Isabella Larson were fourth in the 4×800 relay in 9:19.87. Edina won the event for the second consecutive year.

Moorhouse, Bellino and the 4×800 relay combined for 24 team points, putting the Panthers 12th in the Class AA team standings.