By Matthew Davis
Irondale picked up multiple strong finishes at its Knights Under the Lights home track and field meet April 7.
Knights senior girls hurdler Julia Hayes had big performance with convincing wins in the 100-meter hurdles at 15.33 seconds and 46.73 in the 300. Hayes is coming off a 2016 season where she took third at state in both events.
The school’s record holder in the long jump, Hayes competed in one jumping event at the April 7 home meet. She placed tenth in the high jump at four feet, six inches.
Overall, the Knights took fifth out of 14 teams and placed 13 finishers in the top eight for events.
“We have a number of returning letter winners and all-conference individuals,” Knights coach Tom Franta said. “We have strong senior leadership.”
Among those seniors, NCAA Division I Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit Michelle Meyer had a strong April 7 meet with a second-place finish in the 400 at 1:01.33 and third-place spot in the long jump at 14-11.75, an event she reached state in a year ago.
“She is an incredible athlete, and led off the 4×400 meter relay team that won the state championship last season,” Franta said.
Seniors Maria Doku and Liz Axberg also return, both strong relay runners along with Meyer. They set the school record in the 4×800 relay but finished fourth in their section.
Doku placed seventh in the 800 individually at the April 7 meet at 2:35.33. Axberg took seventh in the 1600 at 5:45.92 in the meet.
Seventh-grader Elizabeth VanLoon had a strong meet with a second-place time in the 3200 at 12:05.5. VanLoon comes into track after strong cross country and Nordic skiing seasons for the Knights.
On the boys side, the Knights took second as a team at the April 7 meet with 112.5 points. Centennial won the meet with 120 points.
Michael Kruse won the 200 at a 23.53 and took second in the 100 at 11.35. Adam Kelner took third, the Knights 4×400 relay team placed third and Branden Boleman finished third in the 400.
Irondale’s 4×200 relay team won in 1:31.95. McEwan Rodefeld took second in the 1600 at 4:42.79, Tyheem Cobb placed second in the discus at 124-02 and John Romes finished second in the 300 hurdles at 43.71.
Fridley gets strong finishes at Knights meet
Neither Tigers team placed high at Irondale’s meet, but several Fridley athletes finished strong individually.
Malik Armstrong had the best finish of the day for Fridley in the boys high jump in second place. Armstrong posted a jump of 6-2. He also took third in the long jump at 19-2.5.
Daunte Williams came in fourth for the boys pole vault. De’Ovion O’Neal took fourth in the girls 400 for the Tigers, and Marlen Santanero Salazar finished fourth in the girls 100 hurdles.
Columbia Heights’ Lewis has big expectations
Columbia Heights didn’t compete at the nearby meet April 7 but will have some success on the track with junior Keon Lewis.
The Hylanders distance runner had a best time of 2:06 in the 800 last year.
Hylanders distance coach Zach Johnson said “we hope that he’ll qualify for state this year.”
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