Track: Elk boys rise to strong 4th-place finish in NWSC

Logan Grace cleared a hurdle on the way to a repeat championship in the 300. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Logan Grace cleared a hurdle on the way to a repeat championship in the 300. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

With gold medalists Ryan Trapp and Logan Grace leading a good team effort, Elk River became a lot more relevant in the Northwest Suburban Conference track meet this year.

The Elks finished a strong fourth among 11 teams, a nice jump from seventh the last two years, at Coon Rapids on Tuesday and Thursday.

“We have made great strides,” said coach Brian Gilbertson. “We had 54 points and took seventh last year and had 87 points this year. We were a little short in true team section, and this meet we got a little closer, so now I’m hoping for section next week, maybe we can hit the home run there.”

Ryan Trapp led all the way, with Andover's Chris Meados and Ryan's brother Lucas trailing closely, in the 1600. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Ryan Trapp led all the way, with Andover’s Chris Meados and Ryan’s brother Lucas trailing closely, in the 1600. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Blaine edged Champlin Park 102.5 to 101.5 for the title with Andover (97) and the Elks (87.5) close behind.

Trapp, a senior, supplied the highlight Thursday, winning the 1600 in a PR of 4:26.57, with Andover standout Chris Meados (the conference cross country champ) second and Ryan’s freshman prodigy brother Lucas third. Neither Trapp brother had beaten Meados in any race before.

“I talked to Chris, and we decided we were both going to try to go as hard as we could,” said Trapp. “He must have been cut off at the beginning because he wasn’t as close to me as I expected. He still ran a good race.”

Trapp collapsed on his back for a couple minutes after spending everything he had in the race.

Morris Dennis (right) of the Elks had a fierce 400 duel with Champlin Park's outstanding Emmanuel Egbujor. Both broke 50 with Egbujor winning. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Morris Dennis (right) of the Elks had a fierce 400 duel with Champlin Park’s outstanding Emmanuel Egbujor. Both broke 50 with Egbujor winning. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“I have waited two years to run this pace,” he said. “I was trying for 4:20 to break the school record.”

Trapp still had the 800 (he got fifth) and 4×400 (they got second) to go.

“In the 800, I was tired, I felt it a lot,” said Trapp. “The first 100, I was way in the back, and that’s not how I race.”

Grace, a senior, repeated as 300 hurdles champion, placed third in the 100H. He was trailing until the leader stutter-stepped the fifth hurdle, at which point Grace blew past him. Grace was also third in the 110 highs.

Elk junior Morris Dennis was leading Champlin Park’s Emmanuel Egbujor (ranked second in the state) late in the 400 before finishing second in 49.40, the first Elk in years to dip under 50. Egjujor was named male athlete of the meet after winning all three sprints.

Lucas Trapp was 3200 runner-up behind Meados on Tuesday.

The 4×200 team of Dennis, Denis Bardashevskiy, Isaac Schwab and Trent Pink broke 1992 team record with 1:31.53 and placed third. The 4×400 team of Grace, Riley Filipovich, Fanaka Ndege and Trapp was second.

Odrey Bechtel was fourth in pole vault, Bardashevskiy was fifth in the 200, Ndege sixth  in triple jump and Mitch Peterzen sixth in high hurdles.

Next is Section 7AA next Wednesday and Saturday at UM-Duluth.

Team scoring

1. Blaine 102.5
2. Champlin Park 101.5
3. Andover 97
4. Elk River 86.5
5. Coon Rapids 60
6. Maple Grove 53
7. Park Center 49
8. Anoka 48.5
9. Armstrong 47
10. Osseo 38
11. Centennial 19

Champions, and Elk placers

110 high hurdles — Dajuan Copeland, Blaine, 14.97 … Elks: (3) Logan Grace 15.86 (6) Mitch Peterzen 17.08
300 intermediate hurdles — Grace 39.76
100 dash — Emmanuel Egbujor, Champlin Park, 11.16
200 dash — Ogbujor 22.94 … Elks: (5) Denis Bardashevskiy 23.33
400 dash — Ogbujor 49.10 … Elks: (2) Morris Dennis 49.40
800 run — Steven Cotter, Andover, 1:57.10 … Elks: (5) Ryan Trapp 2:05.55
1600 run — R. Trapp 4:26.57 … Other Elks: (3) Lucas Trapp 4:30.92
3200 run — Chris Meados, Andover, 9:43.51 … Elks: (2) L. Trapp 9:44.66
4×100 relay — Armstrong 43.26
4×200 relay — Osseo 1:29.85 … Elks: (3) Dennis, Bardashevskiy, Isaac Schwab, Trent Pink 1:31.53
4×400 relay — Osseo 3:26.53 … Elks: (2) Grace, Riley Filipovich, Fanaka Ndege, R.Trapp 3:27.96
4×800 relay — Champlin Park 8:16.59 … Elks: (3) Ndege, Nate Webster, Mitchell Weege, Jeremy Hansen 8:26.40
Long jump — Moe Strong, Anoka, 21-8 3/4
Triple jump — Treyton Daniels, Park Center, 46-2 1/2 … Elks: (6) Fanake Ndege 42-5 1/2
High jump —  Jeremy Johnson, Champlin Park, 6-4
Pole vault — Kyle Synowczyski, Andover, 11-11 … Elks: (4) Odrey Bechtel 11-5 (8) Cameron Barringer 10-11
Shot put — Joe Stephens, Champlin Park, 54-10
Discus — Jesse Kunsisto, Armstrong, 161-6

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