Boys track and field | Section 1A top state contenders
SECTION 1A'S TOP CONTENDERS
Sprints: Caledonia/Spring Grove's Ryan Pitts is one of the top qualifiers in the 100 with his 11.18 time. Fellow Section 1A sprinter Isaiah Brogden (Bethlehem Academy) is even better, at 11.13. But the clear favorite is Prairie Seeds Academy's Moise CJ Damey. He ran 10.73 in his section meet.
In the 200, Brogden's 22.51 is the second best among all qualifiers. Jonathan Webb of Minnehaha Academy comes in at 22.09. Pine Island's Ben Farrell is in the upper middle of the pack with his 22.88.
400:Surprisingly, nobody in state Class A entered with a sub-50 qualifying time. The best was Rushford-Peterson/Houston freshman Noah Carlson at 50.09. Pine Island's Kyle Groven (50.21) and Lourdes' Nick Steinmetz (50.40) are also strongly in contention.
800:Pine Island's Mitchel Acker looks like the third best 800 man in the state field. The sophomore comes in with a section winning time of 1:58.04. Redwood Valley's Ryan Phillips (1:55.41) and Waseca's Shane Streich (1:57.02) are ahead of him. Acker has run 1:57.89.
1,600:This race should be hotly contested. Lourdes' senior Ian Torchia has a shot at a state championship, but it won't be easy. Torchia was timed in 4:26.24 in the section meet. Waseca defending champion Shane Streich was clocked in 4:18.55 and won it last year with a 4:17.32 time. Two others in the 4:22 range are Perham's Keeghan Hurley and St. Cloud Cathedral's Nicholas Golebiowski.
3,200:Lourdes 2006 graduate Mike Torchia still owns the Class A all-time record of 8:59.19. Nobody in the 2014 field is going to come close to that. However, there could be another Torchia winning a state 3,200 title Friday. Mike's younger brother Ian is the leader of this pack, with his 9:29.84 section winning time. Nobody else in the state field was within 15 seconds of that in their section meets.
Hurdles:Look out for Byron's Nick Sigrist, particularly in the 300 hurdles, where he finished second at state last year with a 40.44 time. Sigrist was timed in 40.36 in last week's section meet. Sigrist may have a tougher time this state meet, though, as his section time is just the sixth best in the state field. Sigrist has run 39.86 this year, though. Defending champion Sam Lundquist of St. Croix Lutheran is again formidable, with his 39.51 section time. So is Albany's Mitch Kollodge, who was even better at 39.48. . .In the 110 hurdles Sigrist is in the middle of the pack. The top time here belongs to Tollefson, at 14.54. Sigrist ran 15.46, and has run 15.39. Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Riley Mickow is also strong, with his 15.79 section time.
Throws:The man to beat, even though he comes in with the second best section throw in the state, is Chatfield's Jayme LaPlante. LaPlante threw it 171-8 in the section meet, while Waseca's Tyler Kolander was good for 177-0. However, LaPlante has thrown it 179-8 this season. The Chatfield senior landed second at state last year with a 167-9 throw. Section 1A will be extremely well represented in the event, with LaPlante, Hayfield's Cody Carpentier, Stewartville's Shane Curtis and Rushford-Peterson/Houston's Matt Culhane all having qualified. . .In the shot put, LaPlante is also the favorite. He tossed it 54-10 1/2 in his section meet, the best in the state. Hayfield's Carpentier is also right up there with his 51-5 section heave.
Long jump, triple jump:Section One sports a pair of long jump contenders in Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Alex Slawson (21-8 1/4 in section meet) and Rushford-Peterson/Houston's Noah Carlson (20-11). Carlson, just a freshman, has gone 21-6 3/4 this season. There are a pair of favorites here, though. Providence Academy's Conor White checks in with a 22-1 1/2 section jump and Holy Family Catholic's Chazz Johnson went 22-0. . .Carlson and P-E-M's Dalten Fox are both in the middle of the state pack in the triple jump (42-7 1/4 and 42-3 3/4, respectively). Ottertail Central's Tony Ukkelberg went 44-1 in his section meet.
High jump:Caledonia/Spring Grove's West Spier has sailed 6-6 this season, though he managed just 6-1 in the section meet. The top state qualifier is Chisholm's Jaustin Culberg at 6-7. Three others went 6-5 in their section meets. Spier went 6-5 last year at state, good for fifth.
Pole vault:Byron's Nick Sigrist went 12-7 in the section meet. That has him tied for eighth among state qualifiers. The top vaulter is Pequot Lake's Tyler Tappe, at 14-6.
Relays:Lourdes is set to potentially make a huge statement in the relays. Its 4x100 team ranks first in the state field (43.80), its 4x200 team ranks first (1:30.03), its 4x400 team ranks first (3:22.95), and its 4x800 team ranks sixth. Among teams ahead of Lourdes in the latter is Cotter, at 8:14.21. Tops is Holdingford's 8:11.33 time. Lourdes is among four section teams having qualified in the 4x100. Plainview-Elgin-Millville (44.10), Caledonia/Spring Grove (44.44) and Lake City (44.46) are the others. . .P-E-M isn't far behind in the 4x200 at 1:32.28.
— Pat Ruff