ST. PAUL – This was not what the Century foursome of Isaiah Huber, Steven Nah, Colin Smith and Sam Amusan had in mind.
The Panthers knew that the window was wide open for them after what happened to Hopkins on Friday, the state’s top-seeded 4x100 relay team dropping the baton in preliminaries and being disqualified.
That made Century the definitive favorite to win the glamorous sprinting event. Their seeding coming into the meet said so, as did their prelims time Friday. It was 41.79. Alexandria was second at 42.19.
But stuff happens. Just ask Hopkins.
Saturday, stuff happened to Century. The Panther muffed not one, but two baton exchanges. The stick never hit the ground either time, but it ruined Century’s strides and rhythm in an event where — other than raw speed — stride and rhythm mean more than anything because of the compactness of the race.
“This just shows you that anything can happen in this event,” said Nah, who like Smith is a senior. “It all comes down to your exchanges. You’re not going to get the time you want if you don’t have good ones.”
Century’s time indeed bore that out. The Panthers were clocked in 42.46. That was runner-up to Alexandria, which finished in 41.92.
It left the Panthers’ foursome, who spent huge chunks of the winter working out together and then turned things up another notch this spring getting ready for this meet, hanging their heads in disappointment. At least for the moment.
“If you make a little mistake (in the 4x100) it is so hard to come back from it,” Smith said. “It is really disappointing to have this happen after all we did to get ready for this. It (hurts).”
Then Smith couldn’t help but reconsider.
This foursome’s togetherness, it overrode everything. They’d been through too much together to let a disappointing ending define them.
“It’s all been worth it,” Smith said. “Me and these other three guys, we’ve got a brotherhood.”
AMUSAN 2ND IN 200
Century’s Amusan finished second not once, but twice. The second runner-up placing was not the least bit disappointing.
Nothing wrong with landing runner-up to Hopkins superstar Joe Fahnbulleh. Amusan did that with a solid time of 22.10 in Saturday’s 200 finals. Fahnbulleh, one of the top high school sprinters in the country, crossed the finish line in 21.21.
“I’m excited about my second-place finish,” said Amusan, a junior. “I would have liked to have finished first, but you’re not likely to do that against the great Joe Fahnbulleh. He’s just a great athlete, and he’s always amped up (to run.)”
Amusan made huge strides from his sophomore year to his junior season. After not making it to state in any individual events last year, he now finds himself one of the top sprinters in the state.
He was also in on the Century 4x400 team which landed fifth overall. That foursome of Huber, Kyle Philpott, Amusan and Nah finished in 3:23.37.
It was an emotional ending for Philpott, a senior, and the rest of this relay crew.
“Our goals was to go out and win it (the 4x400),” Philpott said. “But we went out there and gave it our all. As a senior, and this being my last race, I wanted to make sure that I did that. It was so fun to be a part of this sprint team.”
ANDERSON 6TH, WERVEN 9TH
Austin junior Oliver Andersen came up with a 151-feet-11 throw in the discus to leave him sixth overall. The winning throw was a massive 191-4 by Rosemount’s Max Otterdahl.
John Marshall senior Simon Werven, one of the top track and field athletes in Rochester the past three years, finished his career with a ninth-place finish in the high jump. He went 6-2. Winning height was 6-8, by Chaska’s Noah Cvetnic.
(Top 10, Rochester, Austin)
1. Hopkins 78, 2. Rosemount 76, 3. Wayzata 68, 4. Mounds View 59, 5. Roseville 30, 6. Alexandria 29, 7. Cambridge Isanti 27, 8. Prior Lake 26, 9. Century 25, 10. Eden Prairie 24, 48. Austin, 58. John Marshall 1,
(First place, Rochester, Austin, Red Wing finishers)
(#Denotes meet record)
100 – 1. Drew Olson (Alexandria) 10.71. 200 – 1. Joe Fahnbulleh (Hopkins) 21.21; 2. Sam Amusan (Century) 22.10. 400 – 1. Julian Wright (DeLaSalle) 48.39. 800 – 1. AJ Green (Eastview) 1:49.93. 1,600 – 1. Eli Hoeft (Hopkins) 4:12.67. 3,200 – 1. Josh Sampson (Mounds View) 38.11. 110 hurdles – 1. Josh Sampson (Mounds View) 14.23.
4x100 – 1. Alexandria Kristen Hoskins, Cody Branson, Nolan Morical, Drew Olson 41.92; 2. Century (Isaiah Huber, Steven Nah, Colin Smith, Sam Amusan) 42.46. 4x200 – #1. Hopkins (Jaylen Champion, Wyatt Lubarski, Sam Leervig, Joe Fahnbulleh) 1:52.58. 4x400 – 1. Hopkins (Sam Leervig, Jaylen Champion, Wyat Lubarski, Ben O’Black) 3:19.37; 5. Century (Isaiah Huber, Kyle Philpott, Sam Amusan, Steven Nah) 3:32.37. 4x800 – 1. Wayzata (Andrew Brandt, Zach Miller, Cameron Arkesteyn, Pat Leonard) 7:50.59.
Discus – 1. Max Otterdhal (Rosemount) 191-4; 6. Oliver Andersen (Austin) 151-11. High jump – 1. Noah Cvetnic (Chaska) 6-8; 9. Simon Werven (John Marshall) 6-2. Long jump – 1. Dante White (Wayzata) 22-5; 16. Dongrin Deng (Austin) 16-7.