Track: Elk boys 3rd in section as Grace, 4-by-800 team advance to state

Logan Grace (right), trailing eventual winner DeShawn Crutch of Andover here, placed third in the high hurdles, and later took second in 300 intermediate hurdles for a state berth. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River boys track opened the day with an exciting relay in which they placed second, and wound up with two state berths and a third-place team finish at Section 7AA on Saturday in Princeton.

The Elk 4-by-800 team of  Cole Konczal, Fanaka Ndege, Ryan Trapp, and Lucas Trapp was just .03 behind Andover as both teams beat section the meet record. The Elks lowered the school record to 7:59.60. Andover junior ‘Steven Cotter, also the open 800 champ, ran a furious anchor leg to overtake eighth-grader Lucas Trapp at the wire.

“We did pretty good in getting one relay to state, and Logan in the 300 hurdles,” said coach Brian Gilbertson. “We hoped to get the 4-by-400 in, too, but we just didn’t run fast enough.”

Elk soph Denis Bardashevskiy took off with the anchor leg after getting the baton from freshman Zach Ernst in the 4-by-100 relay. They placed third. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk junior Logan Grace was runner-up in the 300 intermediate hurdles to earn a state trip. He was also third in the 110 highs and led off a third-place 4-by-400 team.

Grace’s 39.74 in the 300 (his PR is 39.3) was second to Forest Lake’s Cody Wilson by .7 of a second.

“It felt really fast, all the way. I got a little tired at the end,” said Grace.

His hurdles coach, Brenda Holmgren, said Grace’s best quality is how smoothly he scales the hurdles, seldom making contact.

“I only hit one hurdle today, in the 300,” said Grace. “To be in contention here you have to be clean. In the finals, it’s usually whoever is the cleanest.”

He was happy with his 110 highs as well.

“It would have been stretch to get in (to state) in the 110 but I was right there, I got third. I don’t think I could have run it any faster.”

Elk River's Riley Filipovich had the lead in the second leg of the 4-by-400 relay. The Elks would finish third. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


The Elks got third-place points from Ndege in triple jump (Wednesday) and the 4-by-100. Four young sprinters scored points: sophomores Isaac Schwab, Denis  Bardashevskiy and Morris Dennis, and freshman Zach Ernst.

“We don’t lose a lot. Next year is kind of our year,” said Gilbertson.

One highlight Wednesday was senior Kevin Weeks pole-vaulting 11-6 for eighth place, a personal best by 15 inches in his final meet.

Both Elk 4-by-800 teams advanced to state as runners-up and set school records. From left to right they are Anna Haugen, Cole Konczal, Abby McDonald, Fanaka Ndege, Samantha Hendrickson, Ryan Trapp, Rachel Ness, and Lucas Trapp. (Photo by Michelle Haugen).


Andover and Forest Lake were far in front of the  pack with the Huskies winning. Gilbertson said he figured the Elks would be “third to fifth” – and they wound up third.

Grace and the relay team will compete at state next Friday and Saturday.

Team scoring

1. Andover 152.5
2. Forest Lake 124
3. Elk River 64
4. Big Lake 54
5.  Chisago Lakes 53
6. Cambridge-Isanti 43
Duluth Denfeld 43
8. Duluth East 41
9. Hermantown 30
10. Grand Rapids 28
11. St. Francis 24
12. Zimmerman 20
13. Hibbing 10
14. North Branch 6.6
15. Cloquet 6
16. Princeton 3

Event leaders

110 hurdles — (1) DeShawn Crutch, Andover, 15.09 … Elks: (3) Logan Grace 15.79
300 hurdles — (1) Cody Wilson, Forest Lake, 39.03 … Elks: (2) Grace 39.74

100 dash — (1) Quinton Coleman, Duluth East, 11.04 … Elks: (8) Morris Dennis 12.09
200 dash — (1) Coleman 22.33 … Elks: (4) Denis Bardashevskiy 23.1 (5) Isaac Schwab 23.30
400 dash — (1) Steven Dietz, Big Lake, 50.39 … Elks: (8) Dennis 52.59
800 run — (1) Steve Cotter, Andover, 1:58.90 … Elks: (6) Lucas Trapp 2:01.82
1600 run — (1) Christopher Meados, Andover, 4:26.77
3200 run — (1) Kurt Hellmann, Andover, 9:47.70 … Elks: (8) Mitchell Weege 10:05.38

4-by-100 — (1) Forest Lake 42.80 … Elks: (3) Schwab, Dylan Sullivan, Ernst, Bardashevskiy, 44.42
4-by-200 — (1) Forest Lake 1:29.35 … Elks: (6) Kaleb Orrock, Riley Filopovich, Schwab, Bardashevskiy, 1:32.61
4-by-400 — (1) Forest Lake 3:27.04 … Elks: (3) Grace, Filipovich, Cole Konczal, R. Trapp, 3:27.80
4-by-800 — (1) Andover 7:59.56 … Elks: (2) Konczal, Ndege, R. Trapp, L. Trapp, 7:59.60

High jump — (1) Forrest Kalk, Cambridge-Isanti, 6-5
Long jump — (1) Thomas Tyson, Forest Lake, 22-0
Triple jump — (1) Zach Roy, Andover, 43-7 1/2 … Elks: (3) Ndege 42-9 1/2 (5) Orrock 41-7
Pole vault — (1) Brent Seaton, Chisago Lakes, 13-6 … Elks: (8) Kevin Weeks 11-6

Discus — (1) Thomas Anderson, Andover, 177-10
Shot put — (1) Anderson 64-1/2