Boys track: Tigers dominate conference relaysLast Tuesday's Missota Conference Relays turned out to be the perfect platform for the Farmington boys track team to showcase its depth.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Last Tuesday's Missota Conference Relays turned out to be the perfect platform for the Farmington boys track team to showcase its depth.
With the top four times in each running event and the top three distances in each field event being combined to produce a cumulative team score, Tiger athletes joined forces to place in the top four in all all 18 events on the Shakopee track and achieve a winning team score of 192 points. The output was enough to outdistance runner-up New Prague, a team that beat Farmington at the Austin Invite April 19 and tied them at the Farmington Relays April 15 — by 17 points.
Teams from Shakopee (134), Prior Lake (125), Holy Angels (122), Hutchinson (102), Northfield (88) and Red Wing (86) also competed.
"It was another fun meet to be at for a Farmington fan, both boys and girls," Farmington boys coach Brian Helmstetter said. "The boys finished fourth or better in every event, which is the difference from last year and what bumped us up to first place. Taking first shows we have great depth in each event, besides the fact that we had another great performance by all of our athletes. What is fun to see is the guys and girls aren't satisfied and want to be better for their team."
The Tigers won four events — the 4x100, 4x200, short sprint medley relay and the shuttle hurdle relay. Josh Jackson and and Adam Sturm were part of all three sprint relay wins, joining Harrison Agbor-Eyong and Josh Zitzmann for a 1:32.7 in the 4x200, Brandon Todd and Derek Waldbillig for a winning 43.9 clocking in the 4x100 and Waldbillig and 400 runner Andrew Thomas for a sharp 1:37.8 in the short sprint medley.
Zitzmann started the shuttle hurdle with a 15.87 split, then Justin Florece, Jordan Keller and Wyatt combined to bring the relay home in 1:09.05. Zitzmann, Florece, Agbor-Eyong and Keller went on to place second in the 300 hurdles in a combined 2:54.7.
The team backed its four first-place performances with five runner-up showings in all — the 300 hurdle relay, the sprint medley, triple jump, 4x800 and distance medley.
In the triple jump, Waldbillig and Zitzmann combined with Mike Bendix to clear 119 feet, five inches of real estate. Bendix, Todd and Kevin Johnson went on to join Isaiah Rockett in the sprint medley relay where Rockett rolled to a 2:02 split in the 800-meter anchor leg.
Rockett, Nathan Wyatt and Sam Larkin also competed in the distance medley relay, where they set up teammate Ryan Monroe to lock down second place with a 4:59 mile split.
Four Tigers ran 2:11 or better in the second-place 4x800. Larkin, Monroe, Eskindir Gebremichal and Levi Freetly circled the track eight times in a combined 8:34.4.
"We saw some incredible races with our mid-distance and distance runners yesterday," Helmstetter said. "’Guts’ is the world that comes to mind as I watched some of our runners fight for the finish line."
Farmington also finished fourth in both throwing events as five out of six throwers achieved personal bests. Other personal records included Johnson's 51.9 split in the 400, Rockett's 2:02 800, Monroe's 2:04 800 and Wyatt's 4:45 split for the fourth-place mile relay.
The Tigers competed again Wednesday at the Section 3AAA True Team meet at Apple Valley High School. They run again next Thursday at the Northfield Invite.