Track: Elk boys 3rd in section, gain state in 4 events, led by Dennis

Morris Dennis hands off to Trent Pink in the 4x200 relay. The Elks placed second to advance to state. Dennis also had first-places in the open 400 and the 4x400. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Morris Dennis hands off to Trent Pink in the 4×200 relay. The Elks placed second to advance to state. Dennis also had first-places in the open 400 and the 4×400. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River’s best boys track season in the 10 years since the district was split will conclude with a¬† good representation at the state meet next week.

Led by junior sprinter Morris Dennis, the Elks placed third in Section 7AA at UM-Duluth on Wednesday and Saturday. They won two relays and qualified for state in three, while Dennis took the 400 dash title, so the Elks will have four events at state.

“Morris Dennis had a monster meet,” said coach Brian Gilberton. “He was in three events, with all three advancing to state.”

Elk senior Ryan Trapp led a North Branch runner on the way to helping win the 4x800 on wet, chilly day at UM-Duluth. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Elk senior Ryan Trapp led a North Branch runner on the way to helping win the 4×800 on wet, chilly day at UM-Duluth. They were sprinting past Elk teammates Taylor Odegard, Gabrielle Jung and Kennedy Warner. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

 

The Elks also had some “heartbreaking” third-place finishes, said the coach, including a photo finish involving star hurdler Logan Grace. The top two advance.

Forest Lake won with 134 points, followed by Andover 128.5 and the Elks 96 as those three were far in front of the 16-school field. Weather conditions were much better Wednesday than Saturday when it was cold, wet and windy so times were not as good Saturday.

Riley Filipovich runs a leg in the first-place 4x400. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Riley Filipovich runs a leg in the first-place 4×400. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

 

“All in all: a great meet,” assessed Gilbertson, adding that weather was rough with mixes of rain and off-and-one gusty winds.

Dennis, a lanky junior, emerged as 400-meter champion with 49.96, a stride ahead of Hibbing’s Deion Harris. It was nice redemption for Dennis, who had a great prelim at last year’s section but faded in the finals. Morris also advances in the 4×400 and 4×200.

Denis Bardashevskiy brought home a second-place finish behind Andover in the 4x200. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Elk River junior Denis Bardashevskiy brought home a second-place finish behind Andover in the 4×200. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

 

Grace, a state qualifier last year in the 300H, just missed in both hurdle races, placing third in the 300 with 40.27 (after a 39.81 prelim) and third in the 110 highs with a personal best 15.24 where the photo finish was needed. He did make state in a relay.

Grace led off the 4×400 team that won in a section record 3:23.86 with Riley Filipovich, Morris and Ryan Trapp. Andover was next in 3:25.38.

Lucas Trapp, Elk freshman, led a xxx runner on the way to first place in the 4x800. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Lucas Trapp, Elk freshman, led a Big Lake runner on the way to first place in the 4×800. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

The Elks also won the 4×800 with Nathan Webster, Lucas Trapp, Mitchell Weege and Ryan Trapp finishing in 8:07.90, two seconds ahead of Cloquet and No. 2 all-time in Elk history.

The Elk 4×200 took second with Isaac Schwab, Morris, Trent Pink and Denis Bardashevskiy lowering their own school record to 1:30.28, trailing only Andover.

The other Elk relay also did well as the 4×100 team of Devin Donelson, Schwab, Zach Ernst and Bardashevskiy was third (43.57) which broke the school record. Previous record was 43.65 in 2010.

Two Elk juniors scored in the 200 as Bardashevskiy was fourth (23.13) and Schwab eighth (23.51).

Fanaka Ndege took fourth place in long jump with 19-4, after placing a close third in the triple on Wednesday (43-1 1/2). Jacob Buhl was seventh with 19-1/4.

Logan Grace just missed state in both hurdle races but led off a first-place mile relay. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Logan Grace just missed state in both hurdle races but led off a first-place mile relay. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Ryan Trapp was fourth in the 800 (2:00.10). William Hoff tied for sixth in high jump (5-6). Mitch Peterzen was eight in the 300H (43.86).

Forest Lake’s champs were led by Cody Wright, who won high hurdles and high jump and took second in the 300H, and Jacob Jankowski, who doubled with 1600 and 3200 golds. The Rangers were also 1-2 in the 100 with Richard Carr and Andrew Wrigh and Anthony Tyler won discus.

Mitchell Weege churns around the track in the 4x800 win. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

Mitchell Weege churns around the track in the 4×800 win. (Photo by Michelle Haugen)

State Class AA competition will be held Friday and Saturday at Hamline starting 9 a.m. each day.

 

 

 

Team scoring

1. Forest Lake 134

2. Andover 128.5

3. Elk River 96

4. Duluth Denfeld 57

5. Grand Rapids 45

6. St. Francis 44.5

7. Cloquet 40

8. Cambrdge-Isanti 37

9. North Branch 25

10. Hibbing 19

Chisago Lakes 19

12. Hermantown 18

13. Duluth East 15

14. Big Lake 9

15. Zimmerman 8

16. Princeton 7

 

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