Kruse, Waddell win NWSC track and field titles for Irondale

By Matthew Davis
Contributing Writer


Michael Kruse and Lee Waddell of the Irondale High School boys track and field team claimed championships at home in the Northwest Suburban Conference meet, May 23 and 25 in New Brighton.


Senior John Romes of Irondale finished third in the 110-meter hurdles at the Northwest Suburban Conference meet May 23 and 25. (Photo by Rich Moll,

Kruse, a junior, took the 100-meter dash title at 11.194 seconds, in a tie with Mark Buley of Spring Lake Park-St. Anthony Village May 25. Kruse ran an 11.34 in the prelims May 23 for the third-best time behind Buley and Jesse Bentrup of Centennial. Buley had 11.23, and Bentrup had 11.31.

Waddell won the pole vault for the Knights at 13 feet, 6 inches. He beat second-place Bailey Kwong of Spring Lake Park-St. Anthony Village, who had 13-0.

Irondale also had a strong showing in the 4×200 relay with a 1:31.27 mark for second place. The Knights also made all-conference honorable mention with a sixth-place finish in the 4×800 at 8:27.64.

Knights junior John Romes took third in the 110 hurdles final at 15.10. He also took fifth in the 300 hurdles at 41.22.

Rodefeld McEwan, an Irondale senior took sixth in the 3200 at 9:55.17. He came shy of all-conference honorable mention by less than a second in the 1600 at ninth with 4:33.91. Vinayak Rajesh of Blaine posted 4:33.28 for eighth.

Irondale sophomore Mark Sipahimalani also made all-conference honorable in the 800. He took eighth at 2:02.68.

Overall, Irondale took eighth as a team with 44 points. Elk River won the meet with 100.5 points.

The Knights opened Class 2A Section 5 competition Tuesday at Hamline University in St. Paul for prelims. Finals will commence Friday at Hamline.
Dado takes top three for Eagles

Totino-Grace senior distance runner Kevin Dado made the top three in both the 1600 and 3200 at the NWSC meet.

Irondale’s Michael Kruse won the Northwest Suburban Conference title in the 100-meter dash May 25 with a time of 11.194 seconds. Kruse finished in a tie with Spring Lake Park-St. Anthony Village’s Mark Buley. (Photo by Rich Moll,

Dado took second in the 3200 at 9:36.99, a little over 22 seconds behind conference champion Alex Miley of Maple Grove. Miley clocked a new record time of 9:14.84. Andy Fenske of Park Center set the previous record at 9:24.98 in 2010.

Dado also came short of Miley in the 1600, finishing third at 4:21.57. Miley won with a meet record of 4:15.77, last set by Blaine Dulian at 4:16.12 in 2010. Corey Moody of Osseo took second at 4:17.11.

Totino-Grace made all-conference honorable mention in three events at the meet. The Eagles took fifth in the 4×100 relay at 44.17. Senior Nicholas Kuharski placed seventh in the 400 at 52.42. Fellow senior Jacob Beltman placed sixth in the 800 at 2:02.27.

Totino-Grace finished tied with Champlin Park for 12th in the overall team scores at 23 points.

The Eagles opened Class 2A Section 5 competition Tuesday at Hamline University in St. Paul for prelims. Finals will commence Friday at Hamline.

Hayes, VanLoon win titles for Knights

Irondale junior Julia Hayes won the girls 100 hurdles title at 15.01, eclipsing Michaela Baker of Robbinsdale Armstrong, who posted 15.19 for second at the NWSC meet.

“Her success in the 100 meter hurdles has a lot to do with her hard work ethic, form and natural talent,” Knights coach Tom Franta said of Hayes.

Hayes also took second in the 300 hurdles at 45.36 behind first-place Kalley Harris of Coon Rapids. Harris clocked 44.70.

“Kalley ran a real good race in the conference finals last week to defeat Julia, but I am confident Julia will have another week of conditioning and form-work under her belt and will set a new season personal best this week [at sections],” Franta said.

Julia Hayes, a senior, took the title in the girls 100-meter hurdles for Irondale in the Northwest Suburban Conference meet. (Photo by Rich Moll,

Irondale seventh-grader Elizabeth VanLoon won the 3200 at 11:41.25. She finished almost 20 seconds ahead of second-place Alli Becker of Anoka, who had 12:03.65.

Franta said VanLoon “has been continuously dropping her time in the 3200 and she is working close with her coach, Brent McGrew, to keep lowering her time.”

VanLoon didn’t fare as well in the 1600 where she took ninth at 5:34.06. She missed all-conference honorable mention by four hundredths of a second. Sarina Lindell of Champlin Park took eighth at 5:34.02.

Knights senior Michelle Meyer took third in the long jump for Irondale at 17-3 behind previous state competitors Allison Gerads of Champlin Park and Baker from Robbinsdale Armstrong.


Gerads won at 18-5 1/2, and Baker took second at 17-8 1/2.

Irondale also placed third in the 4×800 relay at 10:03.76, and the Knights 4×200 relay took sixth at 1:48.02.

Sophomore Kaley Waldemar had two sixth-place finishes in throwing events. She placed sixth in the shot put at 35-7 1/2 and sixth in the discus at 113-2.

Junior Hannah Wiste finished seventh in the pole vault at 8-7 in a four-way tie with Greta Schnur of Blaine and Madison Sieben and Mia Sabin of Anoka.

Overall, Irondale took ninth as a team at 49.8 points. Anoka won the meet with 84.5 points.

Zurbay, Baker make all-NWSC for Eagles
Totino-Grace’s girls team finished with few points but place a couple athletes in the top eight.

Senior Megan Zurbay placed fifth in the triple jump at 33-11, and sophomore Sophia Baker placed eighth in the discus at 109-0.

The Eagles finished last among the 14 teams with five points.