By Matthew Daivs
Irondale junior Julie Hayes had her sights set big for hurdles after third-place finishes in the 2016 state meet and the graduation of the top-two place winners in both event.
Then the injury bug bit the Knights girls track and field star this spring, but she still found her way to the podium in at least one hurdling event at the June 10 Class 2A state meet. Hayes ran a 14.39-second time in 100-meter the finals to secure second place behind Rosemount junior Shae Buchman’s 14.08. Hayes edged third-place East Ridge senior Ansley Schug, who had 14.50.
“I’ve gone through quite a few injuries this season, so I was actually really surprised with how much my times dropped down,” Hayes said.
Hurdles didn’t start as well for Hayes in the prelims June 9 where she went 15.29 for third in the first heat, well behind Buchman’s 14.81 in the second heat.
Hayes also finished ninth in the 300 hurdles at 47.56 June 10 after clocking 45.36 in the prelims June 9 at Hamline University in St. Paul. She took third in the first heat of prelims with that time as the Knights took ninth in the first head with a time of 4:07.37, well below their seeding time of 4:03.45.
“Her injuries have prevent her from establishing better times,” Knights coach Tom Franta said. “She basically has sat out 4-5 weeks of the … season.”
She had a quad injury when the season began followed by a stress-reaction in her shins. She also discovered tendentious in her left foot the same day as the Section 5 final June 2.
Hayes still won big in early June and May though with Section 5 and Northwest Suburban Conference titles in the 100 hurdles. She took second in the 300 hurdles at sections and conference.
“She rises to the competition,” Franta said.
Besides hurdles, Hayes also competed in the 4×400 relay team, which won the state title last year. With top sprinter, Emily Brandt, graduated, the Knights couldn’t get past the prelims this year a ninth place in the opening heat June 9.
The Knights clocked 4:07.37, below their seeding time of 4:03.45. Michelle Meyer, Elizabeth Axberg and Megan Ellingson ran the relay with Hayes.
Seventh grader Elizabeth VanLoon also represented the Knights at state. She took 15th in the 3200 at 11:40.84.
Waddell grabs third in boys pole vault
Irondale senior Lee Waddell finished strong a third-place in the Class 2A boys pole vault at 14 feet. Waddell hit 14-0, 14-03, 14-06, 13-09, 13-06, 12-06 and 12-0 in his previous vaults.
State champion Noah Shafer of Lakeville South secured the title with a 15-0 on his final vault. Calvin Ciganik of Mounds View edged Waddell for second place with vaults of 12-0, 12-6, 13-0, 13-9, 13-9, 14-0, 14-03 and 14-06.
Irondale also had junior Michael Kruse placing seventh in the opening heat of the 100 at 12.07. Junior John Romes place seventh in the 110 hurdles at 15.68 in the third preliminary heat.
Both Kruse and Miller takes fourth in prelims
Totino-Grace’s lone state track entrant, Ryan Miller, finished his senior season in fourth place for the second heat of the 100 in prelims June 9. Miller clocked at 11.170 and fell short of making the final.
Fridley’s Lewis places sixth for prelims
Fridley sophomore Cece Lewis finished sixth in the girls 100 prelims for the second heat June 9. She ran a 12.763 and missed qualifying for finals.