Rangers reclaim SEC track title

Balanced attack leads to 20-point win

Forest Lake celebrates its third Suburban East Conference championship in four years. (Photo submitted)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

An across-the-board effort last week earned the Forest Lake boys’ track and field program its third Suburban East Conference championship in four years.

The Rangers’ balanced attack earned 174.5 points, 20.5 ahead of the runners-up from Roseville.

“We finally put together an outstanding meet and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of performances from top to bottom,” coach Paul Kendrick said.

Forest Lake dominated the throwing events, earning 53 of the possible 102 points between shot put and discus. Senior Bennen Bierman won the shot put with a personal best toss of 54-10 1/2. Junior Glen Miron took third at 47-11 1/4, junior Zach Reyes took fifth with 46-9 and sophomore Leighton Bierman took seventh with 46-4. Senior Andrew Pollard won the discus with a throw of 144-11, edging teammate Anthony Tyler, a junior, by seven inches. Leighton Bierman again placed seventh with a distance of 131-03.

The team’s other victory came in the 4×800 relay, where seniors Joe Jackson, Ben Long and Eric Herbert teamed with junior Jacob Jankowski. Their time of 8:00.70 was less than a second off the meet record.

The 4×100 relay of junior Matt Eiden, senior Tommy Tyson, senior Pat Moran and junior Rich Carr sped to a school record in 42.78 seconds. That time was just .04 off the prior meet record, but it earned only second place on the day as Park blazed to a time of 42.50.

Individually, Carr (11.06, third place), Tyson (11.15, fourth) and Moran (11.42, seventh) each set personal bests in the 100 dash. Tyson took third in the 200 (22.28) and Carr came in fifth (22.35).

Jackson, Herbert and Long combined to earn 20 points in the 800. Jackson took second in 1:57.07, Herbert took third in 1:58.07 and Long took eighth in 2:02.19.

Senior Andrew Mansmith ran to fourth place in the 400 with a time of 51.40. Junior Andrew Montean placed eighth in 53.15.

Jankowski cut nearly 20 seconds off his preliminary time en route to placing third in the 3200 in 9:43.52.

Tyson placed third in the long jump with a leap of 22-0 1/4. Junior David Poyard took sixth (20-7 1/4).

Pole-vaulter Paul Litecky, a sophomore, tied for ninth-place with a height of 11-6.

The Rangers were shut out in the hurdles and high jump, as junior Cody Walton sat out the finals for school disciplinary reasons.

The win comes a year after Forest Lake placed third behind Stillwater and Roseville.

“Part of it was our guys just really took on the challenge,” Kendrick said.

Next up, Forest Lake will try to regain the Section 7AA championship. The team won it five straight years before placing second to Andover in 2011. The Huskies figure to again present the stiffest competition. The meet begins Wednesday and finishes on Saturday in Princeton.

The state meet is set for next Friday and Saturday at Hamline University.