Tigers win Missota Conference meet
A dropped baton in the 4x200-meter relay probably cost Farmington a dozen or more points at last Tuesday's Missota Conference Relay Meet in Shakopee.
However, dominating performances throughout the rest of the meet made that mistake irrelevant. The Tigers finished first in seven of 18 events and second in six others as they racked up 193 points and pulled away from the rest of the field, starting with runner-up New Prague, which scored 162 points.
It was just another in a string of solid performances for the Tigers, who finished first at the Austin Invitational two Saturdays ago and placed second behind defending true team champion Eden Prairie last weekend.
"The great competition of the past two meets, I believe, prepared us well for this meet and the true team meet on Tuesday," Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said. "The guys were proud to compete with each other and for each other."
The Tigers picked up six of their seven relay wins on the track, starting with the high hurdles relay. Josh Zitzmann, Jordan Keller, Zachary Wyatt and Tri Phu combined for a first-place time of 1 minute, 7.71 seconds. Zitzmann, Keller and Wyatt went on to join Matt Shutey for a second-place showing in the 300 hurdle relay.
The next two events -- the 4x1,600 and 4x100 -- also went the Tigers' way. Matt Thomas, Chad Retterath, David Zitzmann and Ryan Monroe combined on a time of 19:24 -- an average of 4:51 per 1,600 -- and sprinters Shayne Benjamin, Derek Waldbillig, Adam Sturm and Josh Jackson circled the track in 44.15 seconds to win the 4x100.
Monroe and David Zitzmann were part of another first-place performance in the distance medley relay. They teamed up with Levi Freetly and Isaiah Rockett for a time of 11:26.62 that topped runner-up Northfield by eight seconds.
Freetly and Rockett, who also ran legs of the second-place 4x800, closed out their day by helping the Tigers to a four-second win over New Prague in the 4x400. They joined Thomas and Tyler Grubb for a 3:31.34 clocking.
The Tiger throwers outclassed the competition with both their arms and legs. Led by Logan Hussung's two-foot personal record of over 56 feet in the shot put, the weight men won the event with a cumulative distance of 144 feet. Later on, Hussung, Tyler Barnes, Drew Schaeppi and Nick Haugen combined to win the throwers relay.
Schaeppi also contributed to a second-place finish in the pole vault, the Tigers' highest finish in the event in recent years.
Farmington athletes also claimed second in the other three jumping events -- the long jump, high jump and triple jump. Josh Zitzmann, Waldbillig and Mike Amofah turned in a total distance of 121-2 in the triple jump and Amofah, Waldbillig and Freetly landed at 56-2 in the long jump. Haugen, Jake Lippert and Hansen cleared a combined 17-2 in the high jump.
Another runner-up performance came in the sprint medley relay where Tanner Fuchs, Brandon Todd, Sturm and Jackson were three-hundredths of a second off the pace of New Prague with a time of 1:37.22.
The Tigers competed again Tuesday at the Section 3AAA True Team Meet at Apple Valley High School. Qualifiers will compete at next Friday's Class AAA True Team State Meet at Stillwater.