Not Rangers’ day at Pony Classic

4×800 relay shines with easy win

Injuries and disqualifications derailed Forest Lake’s hopes of making an impact at the Pony Classic in Stillwater on Saturday.

Preston Huddleston soars during the long jump. (Photo by Stuart Groskreutz/Stillwater Gazette)

The Rangers saw two relays DQ’d and multi-event standout Cody Walton was limited with a hip flexor. In all, coach Paul Kendrick figures the team could have scored about 60 more points which would have put it around second place rather than eighth at the 12-team event. Section rival Andover won comfortably and Blaine took second.

“We had a lot of personal bests, so guys are really improving, but we just have the kind of team where we can’t afford to show up with any injuries and be competitive at this point,” Kendrick said.

The lone event win came from the 4×800 relay team of Joe Jackson, Collin McGrath, Ben Long and Eric Herbert. They finished in 8:13, nine seconds ahead of the pack. The 4×100 relay of Tommy Tyson, Josh Rosenberger, Matt Eiden and Rich Carr raced to a time of 44.2 and second place. Both relays may qualify for the Hamline Elite Meet set for Saturday.

The 4×200 relay team of Walton, Tyson, Carr and Andrew Mansmith took third in 1:32.8.

As part of the shot put relay which placed fourth, Bennen Bierman established a new personal best distance of 52-2.

Matt Eiden leads off a relay during the Pony Classic on Saturday. (Photo submitted)

Kendrick was disappointed that the 8×200 relay was disqualified, for two reasons. First, the disqualification was the result of an official lining the team up in the wrong spot. Second, the relay’s time of 8:11 may have been a school record. Members included Eiden, Pat Moran, Preston Huddleston, David Poyerd, Andrew Montean, Patrick Murphy, Jake LaNasa and Aaron Egelkraut.

The 4×1600 team was disqualified as officials determined a member took too many steps on the line.

Forest Lake was set to learn by Wednesday who qualified for Saturday’s meet at Hamline University. The rest of the squad will compete in a True Team-style event at Park.