Track: Elk boys nab two golds at NWSC, end five-year drought

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River boys track ended a five-year drought on gold medals at the conference meet Thursday, picking up two of them at Coon Rapids.

Late in the day, Logan Grace outkicked an Andover rival to win the 300 hurdles. An hour later, he teamed with Riley Filipovich, Cole Konczol, and Ryan Trapp to win the mile relay at Coon Rapids.

“This last hour has been nothing but excitement,” beamed coach Brian Gilbertson. “It’s been quite a while since we’ve won (an event).”

(In 2007, the Elks had four golds, two by Matt Clauer and one each by Andrew Held and Nate Solors.)

The Elks finished seventh in what turned out to be a three-day meet, Tuesday, Thursday and the final two events Friday due to rain Thursday.

Andover was the team champion.

Grace, a junior, had a personal-best 39.33 to edge DeShawn Crutch of Andover, who had  39.82. Grace also had a PB in the 110 highs to place fourth with 15.34.

Logan Graced placed fourth in the 110 highs (above), then won the gold in both 300 intermediates and 4-by-400 relay. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“I kept my steps down, and didn’t look at anyone else, just straight ahead,” said Grace, asked about what he did right. He added, “The Andover guy had a little faster time (coming in) but I had a better day today.”

After  getting to applaud one of his kids on the top of the podium for the first time since 2007 (and first time at all as a head coach), Gilbertson noted that Grace “has been training all winter for this time of year.” He added, “Logan is a classy kid, humble, and a real gamer. He loves a big race.”

The Elks used the same 4-by-400 team that qualified for the Hamline Elite Meet and placed fourth there with 3:27 on April 27. This time they hit the tape in 3:28.33 with Centennial a couple steps behind.

“We haven’t used them (together) in a while,” said the coach, “but we want to get them back for the big meets, and they were right around their PR, on a windy day.”

Ryan Trapp placed fourth in the 800 and fifth in the 1600 Thursday. Lucas Trap took fourth and Mitchell Weege seventh in the 3200.

After conference is completed Friday, the Elks next meet will be sectionals Wednesday and Saturday in Princeton.


Team standings

1. Andover 138.5

2. Champlin Park 110.0

3. Blaine 84.0

4. Centennial 77.0

5. Anoka 66.0

6. Maple Grove 59.5

7. Elk River 54

8. Coon Rapids 38.9

9. Armstrong 34.0

10. Park Center 25.0


Event leaders

110 hurdles — (1) Jay Alexander, Champlin Park, 14.73 … Elks: (4) Logan Grace 15.34

300 hurdles — (1) Grace 39.33


100 dash — (1) Joe Sando, Champlin Park, 10.89

200 dash — (1) Emanuel Egbujor, Champlin Park, 22.10

400 dash —  (1) Egbujor 49.03

800 run — (1) Steven Cotter, Andover, 1:59.80 … Elks: (4) Ryan Trapp 2:01.65

1600 run — (1) Dustin Johantgen, Maple Grove, 4:28.34 … Elks: (5) R. Trapp 4:31.67

3200 run — (1) Jonathan Keller, Centennial, 9:57.71 … Elks: (4) Lucas Trapp 10:03.31 (7) Mitchell Weege 10:10.53


4-by-100 relay — (1) Armstrong  43.46 …. Elks: (5) 44.87

4-by-200 relay — (1) Blaine 1:31.33 … Elks: (8) 1:34.70

4-by-400 relay — (1) Elks: Grace, Riley Filipovich, Cole Konczol, Ryan Trapp, 3:28.33

4-by-800 relay — (1) Andover  8:07.68 …. Elks: (4) 8:27.32


Long jump — (1) Michael Sales, Champlin Park, 21-5

Triple jump — (1) Moe Strong, Anoka, 43-5 … Elks: (6) Fanaka Ndege 41-3

High jump — (1) Tyler Abram, Champlin Park, 6-5


Triple jump — (1) Conner Cenaiko, Andover, 13-3


Shot put — (1) Tom Anderson, Andover, 55-5

Discus — (1) Tom Anderson, Andover, 179-5