Class AA state track: Wiebke outshines the field

ST. PAUL — Of course, Taylor Wiebke felt some pressure.

Taylor Wiebke cleared 5-9 to win the Class AA state title Friday.

ST. PAUL — Of course, Taylor Wiebke felt some pressure.

She finished as the state runnerup in the high jump last year, has been ranked No. 1 most of the year and at the Section Two, Class AA True Team meet last month in Winona, set a Minnesota high jump record of 5-feet, 11-inches.

No doubt, there was a big target on her back Friday morning.

"I was a little nervous, yes,'' she said, "but after I made my first jump, I was fine. I felt like it was going to be a good day.''

It was more than a good day. It was a great day for the Kasson-Mantorville junior, who won the Class AA high jump at Hamline University, clearing 5-9.


Last year, Wiebke finished second behind Caraline Slattery of Lakeville South. This year, the roles were reversed, with Slattery the state runnerup.

"It felt good to take that next step up the podium,'' Wiebke said. "This is something I've worked for and wanted since, well, last year.''

Wiebke was impressive all day.

She started at 5-0 and then climbed to 5-2, 5-4, 5-6, 5-7 and finally 5-9. She missed her first jump at 5-4 but made all the others on her first jump.

"I think the best thing to happen was her missing the first one at 5-4,'' said K-M coach Erik Myran. "It was probably a blessing in disguise. That was not a Taylor-like jump. It made her refocus and after that she was real sharp.''

After making 5-7, Wiebke knew she had it won. That's when Slattery bowed out.

"I knew she (Slattery) was going to be my competition,'' Wiebke said. "Did I relax some after that? Who knows?''

Wiebke also made her first attempt at 5-9 and missed three straight at 5-10 1/2, which would have set a state meet record (5-10 set in 1986 by Linda Barsness of Rochester John Marshall).


"My first two (at 5-10 1/2) were kind of close but my third attempt was not pretty at all,'' Wiebke said. "But that's OK. It was a great day. I'm 100 per cent satisfied.''

Wiebke was a middle distance runner when she first went out for track in the seventh grade and was an alternate on K-M's state champion 3200 relay in 2009.

"She is blessed with pure athleticism,'' Myran said, "and works extremely hard on her form and pays attention to detail.

"In practice, she always wants to look at the video when she misses in order to see what she did wrong.''

It's been a busy week for Wiebke, with finals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Then she had some pain in her foot early in the week and we were worried about that,'' Myran said.

But on Friday, everything came together. Everything clicked.

"I thought about the record, sure,'' she said, "but there's always next year.''


Last summer, Wiebke didn't jump at all, instead concentrating on volleyball and basketball. She will play some summer basketball this year, too, but she will also jump quite a bit. They'll leave the high jump pit "out'' for awhile at school and she'll work out, too, at the Rochester Athletic Club with her brother Derrick.

On July 5-6, Wiebke plans to compete at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships (under 20) at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

The qualifying standard for that meet is 5-8 3/4.

Class AA notes

• John Marshall senior Isaiah Minnich finished fourth in the shot put, tying his personal best of 55-feet, 7 1/4. He threw that on his first attempt. After that he threw 55-6, 50-4, 53-6 3/4, 54-5 1/4 before scratching. Payton Otterdahl of Rosemount won at 61-0 1/2.

• John Marshall sophomore Emma Christensen made it to the podium on Friday, finishing ninth in the 3200 with a personal best time of 10:48.84. She qualified last week in the Section 1AA meet by winning with a time of 11:07.12. Emily Castanias of Chanhassen won in 10:28.58. Christensen will run in the 1600 today.

• Century senior Emma Allen qualified for today's finals in the 400. She ran a 58.55 in Friday's preliminaries. Teammate Karli Fink ran a 26.12 in the 200, and did not advance.

• Hayward Ashworth, Century senior, finished 13th in the pole vault making 12-6. He made his first two heights before bowing out. This was his first year competing at state. His pole vault coach is his father, Ray Ashworth.


• A pair of Red Wing seniors did not qualifying for today's finals. Darrick Jackson failed to qualify in the 400 (50.77) and Aiden Winn in the 800 (2:03.13). Red Wing seventh Jasmyn Armstrong was 14th in the 3200 with a time of 11:01.95.

• Austin senior Andrew Baker ran a personal best in the 800 (1:57.08) but didn't qualify. Carolyn Hackel, Austin junior, jumped 15-9 in the long jump and didn't make it past the first round. She also jumped 14-9 1/4 and 15-6 1/2. Her best this year was a 17-4 3/4.

• Mayo sophomore Lindsey Greenlund ran a 2:22.29 in the 800 but didn't qualify for today's finals.

• JM sophomore Nicole Fautsch fouled twice in the discus. Her only throw that counted was 102-4, which didn't make it past the first round. She will also compete today in the shot put.

JM Emma Christensen Red Wing Armstrong 1 3200.jpg
JM sophomore Emma Christensen, JM, finished ninth in the 3200 on Friday. At left is Red Wing seventh grader Jasmyn Armstrong, who finished 14th. Christensen was timed in 10:48.84.

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