Track boys place in five events at state

Carr, Tyson are three-time medalists

Junior Cody Walton competed in both hurdling events. He medaled in the 300-meter race for the second year in a row. (Photo by Rick Orndorf/Thisweek Newspapers)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

There were a few hiccups here and there, but the Ranger boys’ track and field team had plenty to smile about at the state meet last week. The squad medaled in five events to cap a very successful season.

A pair of fifth-place finishes highlighted the meet at Hamline University. The 4×200 relay team of seniors Tommy Tyson, Andrew Mansmith, Pat Moran and Rich Carr lowered their previous school record in the event with a time of 1:29.32 in Thursday’s preliminaries. They followed that up with a time of 1:29.63 in the finals.

“They really executed well,” said coach Paul Kendrick. “They were about where we thought they could be. They had a really nice race. The second day is tough with a lot of them coming back from races on the day before.”

North St. Paul won the event and set a new state record with a time of 1:27.23. Former Ranger Tra Griffin anchored the relay for the Polars.

Senior Tommy Tyson passes the baton to senior Pat Moran during the 4×100 relay. (Photo by Rick Orndorf/Thisweek Newspapers)

Individually, Cody Walton picked up a fifth-place medal in the 300-meter hurdles. The junior figured to be in the mix in the event after placing ninth in 2011, but he nearly missed the finals. Walton clipped the second to last hurdle in the preliminaries and wound up nabbing the final spot in the finals with a time of 39.56.

He executed a clean race in the finals and lowered his time to 39.11. That was especially impressive, Kendrick said, because the hurdling field may have been the deepest in state history. Park senior RJ Alowonle broke the state record in the finals with a time of 36.59.

Walton also took part in the 110 hurdles but was disqualified. He was running in the outside lane and an official ruled that Walton’s trail leg passed around the side of a hurdle. His time of 14.89 would have put him in the finals had it stood.

Carr picked up a medal in the 100-meter dash. He broke the 11-second mark for the first time in the preliminaries (10.94), then placed seventh with a finals time of 11.01.

Blaine senior Ayuk Tambe won the event with a time of 10.79. North St. Paul’s Griffin took second in 10.87.

Forest Lake’s 4×100 relay team reached the finals and placed eighth. Junior David Poyerd led off, with Tyson, Moran and Carr following. The group timed out in 42.79 in the preliminaries and placed eighth in 43.49 in the finals. The second running featured an unusual circumstance, as Tyson was finishing his long jump competition while the track was being readied for the 4×100 final. He had to jog to his position on the track just before the race began.

That jog was not for naught, however, as Tyson picked up his first long-jumping medal in three state appearances. He nearly landed at the top of the podium.

“He had a couple of bombs he just barely scratched on,” Kendrick said.

Tyson’s valid leap of 21-2 1/4 scored him eighth place.

Forest Lake’s three other entries finished outside of medal contention. The 4×400 relay team missed the cut for the finals by one position. Mansmith and fellow seniors Joe Jackson, Ben Long and Eric Herbert posted a preliminary time of 3:26.15.

Junior Jacob Jankowski sliced over six seconds off his previous best time in the 3200-meter run. His time of 9:41.62 was 12th in a field of 16.

Tyson also competed in the 200-meter dash. He stumbled slightly out of the blocks in his preliminary heat and finished in 22.59.

Wayzata won the team title by 17 points over Park.