Class AA State Track

Rochester Mayo senior Annie Wendt attempts the long jump during the Class AA state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul on Friday. Wendt won the state championship in the event with an 18-feet-8 1/2 distance. Wendt’s jump was nine inches longer than the next closest competitor.

ST. PAUL – Skating, lifting weights, gaining more speed. All of that track and field off-season work paid off in a huge way for Mayo senior Annie Wendt.

No better proof came than Friday morning at Hamline University. That’s when Wendt sailed 18-feet-8 ½ inches in the Class AA state track and field meet, her best long jump distance ever.

That was well more than good enough to land Wendt her first state championship. Second place went to Edina’s Mia Sennes, at 17-11 ½. Wendt was sixth last year in the long jump with a 17-10 distance.

“This is surreal,” Wendt said of bringing home the gold. “But I am also relieved. It is such a roller coaster of emotions, competing in the long jump.”

Things didn’t look golden for Wendt to begin the competition. She scratched on her first of three attempts. Finally, on the final jump of the first round, she hit a 17-4 . That would have left her eighth overall had she not found herself in the second and final round.

Wendt went into it with confidence, though. That’s because one of her first-round scratches was on the spectacular side. Had she not grazed the starting line, she would have had a distance in the 19-feet range.

Wendt carried the memory of that massive leap with her. After going 17-11 on her initial of three jumps in the final round, Wendt then hit the big one. No scratch this time, just the announcement that she’d cleared 18-8 ½, one-quarter inch better than she’d ever done before.

And far better than anyone else she was competing against Friday.

Wendt had gotten it done thanks to massive amounts of work in the off-season. That included doing lots of her other favorite sport, figure skating, as well as weight lifting and other workouts. What she said all of that did more than anything was make her faster. And being faster was all the difference.

“I think it was the speed that did it for me in the long jump,” Wendt said. “In our section meet, I went faster (down the runway) and it worked so well.”

Friday it worked even better. It helped earn her a state championship.

Saturday, she’ll try to earn another one. Wendt is one of the favorites in her other best event, the triple jump.

  • There was only one running event that was a final Friday, the 3,200. Red Wing’s Grace Johnson made the medal stand in it, with a fourth-place finish. She was timed in 10:59.52. Winning time was 10:38.03.
  • No Rochester, Austin or Red Wing athletes competed in any of the boys finals Friday.

GIRLS

First place; Rochester, Austin, Red Wing results

(#denotes state record)

Running event

3,200 – 1. Lauren Peterson (Rosemount) 10:38.03; 4. Grace Johnson (Red Wing) 10:59.52;

Field events

Long jump – 1. Annie Wendt (Mayo) 18-8 ½. Discus – 1. Michaela Hawkins (Roseville) 156-00. High jump – #1. Madison Schmidt (Blaine) 5-10;

BOYS

First place; Rochester, Austin, Red Wing results

(#Denotes state record)

Running event

3,200 – 1. Isaac Basten (Buffalo) 9:09.96. 200 wheelchair – #1. Blake Eaton (Duluth Denfeld) 37-0.

Field events

Triple jump – 1. Ian Fosdick (Mahtomedi) 48-1. Shot put – 1. Max Otterdahl (Rosemount) 64-4. Shot put wheelchair – 1. Ben Mathiowetz (New Ulm) 14-8 ¾. Pole vault – Alec Wittman (East Ridge) 15-0.

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Sports Reporter

Pat covers tennis, girls basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and baseball. He also writes about Gophers football and basketball, and the Timberwolves. He’s been reporting for the Post Bulletin since 1994.