Mayo's new coach plans long stay
Recruiting helped boost turnout dramatically
By Paul Christian
and Ken Hanson
Sean Allen is the third girls track coach at Rochester Mayo in three years, but he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon.
Allen, 31, relocated to Rochester in January to become executive director of First Homes. He was an assistant girls track coach a year ago, specializing in the hurdles, sprints and pole vault.
His background also includes three years as an assistant at Northfield, for both the girls and boys. Three years ago, Northfield -- with all first-year coaches -- advanced to the True Team state meet.
Allen is from Northfield and ran college track and cross country for two years at St. Olaf.
"We have 55 out this year'' at Mayo, he said, "and last year we had 30, so we're pretty excited about that. Recruiting helped. We recruited quite a bit in winter.''
The Spartans finished in last place Tuesday night in a quadrangular in Albert Lea, but Allen is far from discouraged.
"It was a close meet,'' he said, "but we have had some injuries recently that put us in a bad position.''
Two of Mayo's solid contributors -- eighth-grade twins Staci and Tressa Beckel -- were out with injuries, and according to Allen, a "couple of others are out for a few days.
"We didn't run the 800 or two relays and we didn't get points we normally get in the triple jump, long jump, hurdles and high jump,'' he said.
Allen was happy, however, with some other performances, like freshman Julie Brandt, who was second in the 3200 and was a member of the 4x800 relay which finished second. It was the first time Brandt had ever raced that distance.
Senior Kristi Boese was also a member of that relay along with placing second in the discus and third in the shot put. Other members of hte relay were Stephanie Baird, an eighth-grader and freshman Sarah Rupkalvis.
Another freshman, Katelyn Carlson, was also second in the shot put with a personal throw of 34-4 and senior Millie Suk was third in the long jump and pole vault and fourth in the triple jump.
Sophomore Kathryn Lewallen was second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles.
Lewiston-Altura senior Ashley Luehmann of Lewiston-Altura has been spreading her wings this season. She has been competing -- and turning heads -- in not only the shot put and discus throw, but the 200 dash and the long jump. Luehmann, who took fifth at state last season in the shot put and seventh in the discus throw, was one of the Class A leaders on the statewide Apple Raceberry JaM.com track and field Web site this week in 200-meter dash (27.16 seconds) and the long jump (16 feet 73⁄4; inches).
She's facing stiff competition again this season from Triton senior Arin Andrews, who edged her in both the shot and discus in the Section One, Class A meet last season, though Luehmann finished higher than Andrews in the events at state.
Luehmann has the best distance in the Rochester area in the shot put this season at 38-41⁄2.; She has the second-best distance in the discus (121-11), behind Andrews.
Lanesboro/Fillmore Central sophomore Brittany Smith defies the prototype of a triple jump athlete. Many of these athletes are nearly 6 feet tall. For example, the Section 1A triple jump champion last season, and runner-up at state, was 5-foot-11 Nina Petersen of Byron.
Smith, however, stands 5 feet, 21⁄2; inches. But it was Smith who stood on the tallest step of the awards stand Tuesday at the Verne Herman Invitational track and field meet in Plainview. She turned in a jump of 32-9 to win by 16 inches over second-place finisher Erin Oberton of Winona Cotter and third-place finisher Camelle Meyer of Plainview. Smith said she's working at improving the second phase of her triple jumps.
Lewiston-Altura junior Tyler Ties recently broke the school pole vault record by going 13 feet 31⁄2; inches. The previous record was held by his uncle, Dick Montgomery, who is the L-A athletics director. A distant relative of Ties', freshman Bo Ties, is also an outstanding pole vaulter on the L-A team.
If you have information for the Thursday High School Track and Field Notebook, e-mail to Ken Hanson (area track) or Paul Christian (Rochester teams) at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.