Bungum toughs it out, lands second
ST. PAUL — The weather conditions for Saturday’s state track and field meet at Hamline University were less than ideal, with rain and temperatures hovering in the low 60s.
And when it came to Triton’s Dylan Bungum, his lane assignment could easily have drawn a frown, too. He was stuck way out in lane seven in the 110 hurdles after coming in in seventh place in Friday’s preliminaries.
But if there was a guy in Saturday’s state Class A 110 hurdles who wasn’t going to let anything bother him as he got into his starting blocks, it was this guy, Bungum.
The Triton senior knows he’s going to be dealing with much tougher situations in a few months, when he begins college, football and the regimented rigors at Air Force Academy. Bungum wouldn’t have picked the service academy if he weren’t tough-minded.
So Saturday’s set-up registered as an opportunity, not a pain.
"I wasn’t going to let a little rain bother me," said the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Bungum. "And when I got lane seven, I just said to myself, ‘I can still win from here.’ "
Well, Bungum didn’t win, but he sure came close. The senior powered his way to a 15.22 time, good for second. DeLaSalle’s Rahmann Patterson was first in 15.11.
"I was just set on keeping my focus," Bungum said. "I wasn’t going to let the weather or anything else get me down. I’m disappointed that I didn’t actually win. But that DeLaSalle kid was really good."
Tigers second in 400 relay
Stewartville’s Braden Bentley makes a whole lot better leader and anchor of his team’s 400 relay team than he does a cook.
At the team’s hotel on Friday night, the senior burned the heck out of the group’s macaroni and cheese.
Saturday, though, he stayed with that burning theme as he smoked the competition in the final leg of the 4 x 100 race. After receiving the baton in fifth place, Bentley blazed past three guys in helping his team to a second-place finish. The combination of Richard Skic, Korey Drees, Rodney Smith and Bentley were timed in 43.90. DeLaSalle was first in 43.55.
Second place was one slot better than the Tigers managed a year ago.
"I saw a lot of people ahead of me (after receiving the baton), but I just went out and tried to win anyway," Bentley said. "I always feel like we can win, no matter what."
Tapp third in high jump
Isaac Tapp considered it a given that he’d finish no higher than third place in the high jump.
That because the Stewartville junior was staring way up at what the state’s top two performers had done this season, Walker-Hackensack/Akeley’s Austin Dennis and Central Minnesota’s Aaron Wubben. They’d gone 6-feet-7 and 6-6, respectively, in their section meets. Tapp’s best this season had been 6-4.
So, when Tapp landed third at state Saturday, he was happy with it. What he was less happy with, however, was his height. He went 6-2.
That was still a lot better than last year at state when he managed just 5-8. That first time under the bright lights was tough.
"I was really nervous last year," he said. "But I felt a lot better this time. Next year my goal is to get 6-6."
Montgomery also managed 6-2 Saturday but had more misses than Tapp and settled for fourth overall.
Friedrich, Ramer fifh
Two of Section 1A’s more high profile runners each landed a fifth place Saturday. Pine Island sprinter Seth Friedrich did that in the 200 and Kasson-Mantorville’s Logan Ramer did it in the 800.
A year ago, Friedrich made it to state in three events, the long jump, 100 and 200. He was third in the long jump, but didn’t make it out of the preliminaries in the sprints.
He was pleased with his improvement in the 200, where he was timed in 22.83. Last year he ran a 22.95 in the prelims.
"I’m happy with fifth place," he said. "Fifth place isn’t bad at all."
As for Ramer, he was fifth in the 800 for the second straight year. However, there was definite improvement in his performance. He clocked a 1:58.91 in the finals. Last year he ran a 2:00.12 at state.
King of Section 1A
Taylor King of Byron continued his late-season roll. After being a bit of an afterthought among Section 1A sprinters through the first three-quarters of the year, King showed himself to be king.
He ran a stunning 11.0 in the 100 state preliminaries, then clocked an 11.39 in Saturday’s finals. That was good for fourth place. King was the only Section 1A sprinter to make the 100 finals. Dover-Eyota/St. Charles senior Shawn Berg had just missed with his 11.29 time in Friday’s prelims.
Other top finishers
Plainview-Elgin-Millville landed a pair of fifth-place individual performances. Tommy Tjepkes was fifth in the 300 hurdles (40.03) and Grant Timm was fifth in the 1,600 (4:25.70).
In the relays, Caledonia/Spring Grove got a third place in the 800 (1:30.88) and an eighth place in the 400 (44.87). Runners on both those teams were Jim Costigan, Alex Diersen, Adam Drenckhahn and Isaac Fruechte. Stewartville picked up a seventh place in the 800 relay.