Class AA State Boys Track & Field
Farmington's boys track team was represented in the finals of more events than any other team at Saturday's Class AA State Meet.
The Tigers qualified for seven of the 18 finals and scored 22 team points -- the program's best total ever -- in cold and rainy conditions at Hamline University in St. Paul. They doubled last year's state point total and broke a string of two straight 32nd-place showings with an 11th-place finish, also the best in the program's history. Buffalo won the team title with 60 points, followed by Wayzata with 52 and Rosemount with 49.
"Our goal was to be running and throwing on Saturday and we had seven of our eight events make finals. That is incredible and I couldn't be more proud," head coach Brian Helmstetter said. "They are going to leave disappointed because a number of their events were seventh, eighth or ninth, but they also realize how many athletes didn't make it to finals."
After a host of solid performances in Friday's prelims, six of the Tigers' finals-qualifying events ended up finishing between sixth and 11th. The lone exception came in the discus where junior Logan Hussung dwarfed his section meet toss with a third-place spin of 154 feet, two inches. He beat six throwers who had longer section tosses and was just two feet, eight inches short of second-place senior Jon Lehman of Coon Rapids.
Hussung's section rival, senior Casey Dehn of Owatonna, swept the throwing events with tosses of 165-4 in the discus and 61-5 in the shot put. Hussung qualified fourth in the shot, but slipped to seventh in the finals with a heave of 52-4.75.
Senior sprint standout Josh Jackson also qualified for a pair of individual finals in the final meet of his career. He improved one spot in the 100 from a year ago, moving from ninth to eighth in a time of 11.39 seconds on the wet track. He qualified for finals with a 10.94 on Friday that was one of the best times of his career.
In Saturday's 200 final, Jackson moved up two spots from a year ago with an eighth-place time of 22.88. His prelim time of 21.79 won his heat and broke his own school record.
Jackson was also part of a 4x200 relay that tied a school record Friday with a time of 1:29.59 that qualified it third for finals. However, the wet conditions and some sloppy handoffs led to the senior foursome of Jackson, Adam Sturm, Derek Waldbillig and Josh Zitzmann slipping to ninth in a time of 1:31.42.
Zitzmann's final career state appearance was highlighted by a sixth-place finish in the 110 high hurdle finals. He qualified seventh with a sharp 15.28 on Friday and moved up a spot to sixth Saturday in 15.52.
Zitzmann also qualified in the 300 hurdles for the second straight year and improved his time to 40.28 in moving up from 16th to 11th.
Another senior, Mike Amofah, earned eighth place in the long jump in his first career state appearance. Despite the slippery runway, Amofah managed to leap 21-00.75 and beat 10 of the 18 state qualifiers in Class AA.