Mustangs win at Pony Relays

After the first two weeks of high school track and field practice back in March, Mounds View boys head coach Ross Fleming wasn’t exactly sure about his team. He knew which athletes were returning but with spring break falling right at that time, there were plenty of absences during those early workouts.

At the time, Fleming said he would know more following the Pony Relays, which were held April 15. Based on the results, he should be pleased.

Mounds View won the 48th annual meet with 225 points while Stillwater and Blaine tied for second with 179 points. The championship was the Mustangs third in a row and 11th overall. Only Stillwater, the meet host, has won more (14).

Of the 18 events, Mounds View won four, as did Stillwater and Blaine. The Mustangs led all teams with six runner-up finishes.

Beating Stillwater and Blaine was big considering Fleming named both as teams that could seriously contend for a state true-team championship.

Fleming is a huge proponent of the true-team concept for high school track and field. The format rewards depth by awarding points to every competitor who finishes an event, regardless of place. In Class AAA, each team is allowed three entrants in every non-relay event.

Mounds View finished fifth at true-team state last year and Fleming said the expectation this year is to again finish top five. His goal for the team is top three.

Other goals include advancing more than one entrant to the Minnesota State High School League meet. The Mustangs’ lone state entrant last year was their 4x800-meter relay team and four of the five runners who comprised that team at sections and state are back.

Hans Adamsson, Tim Pease and Grant Delaune were part of the 4x800 team that won the event at the Section 5AA meet and Pease, Delaune and Alex Plasencia ran it at state, where they finished fourth.

Adamsson, Delaune and Plasencia are all senior captains this season and Pease is a junior.

Also serving as captains are seniors Michael DeGroot and Nick Varichak, both of whom are sprinters.

Other seniors expected to contribute this spring include Jake Zastrow (jumps, sprints), Harrison Hirsch (distance), Josh Hintz (high jump, 400), Billy Howlett (triple jump, discus), Brandon Lee (jumps) and Mike Brown (400, 800).

Fleming likes his team’s depth in the distance races. Included is David Dahl, the top sophomore distance runner on the team, and junior Harry Lien.

Others to watch include juniors Jackson Denny, Ryan Murphy, Charlie Etuko, Jeremy Wiste and Charlie Haik and sophomores Noah Xiong, Michael Fahim, Calvin Cignanik, Joel Smith and Micah Smith.

Next up on the schedule for Mounds View are the Suburban East Conference relays on April 20 at White Bear Lake. 

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

Pony Relays, April 15, 2016
at Stillwater Area High School

 

1 — Mounds View 225

2 — Stillwater 179

2 — Blaine 179

4 — White Bear Lake 155

5 — Roseville 151

6 — Cambridge-Isanti 124

7 — Forest Lake 122

8 — Eastview 101

8 — Owatonna 101

10 — Andover 63

 

 

 

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