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Boys Track & Field: Tigers triumph at Austin

A meet record in the 100-meter dash was just icing on the cake for Josh Jackson at Saturday afternoon's Austin Invitational.

Jackson took advantage of near-perfect weather conditions at Wescott Athletic Complex by bolting to a meet-best time of 11 seconds flat in the event, but also helped rack up the team points for Farmington by claiming the 200 in 23.01 and anchoring the 4x200 relay team that also included Adam Sturm, Josh Zitzmann and Tyler Grubb to a winning time of 1:32.21. His efforts, along with a pair of winning tosses by Logan Hussung in the shot put (51-2.25 feet) and discus (personal-record 143 feet) led the Tigers to a 151-128.5 victory over a host Austin team that beat them by over 50 points at last week's Faribault Invitational.

Along with the five first-place performances, coach Brian Helmstetter gave credit to the many athletes on his team who are turning in top-three and top-five finishes as they battle for varsity spots. The Tigers had 15 top-three finishes in 18 events.

"Our girls and boys were awesome today. We are still having guys compete for the top three positions in each event and the competition and our push for PRs continues to produce.... We only had five first-place finishes. That shows our depth again this year," he said. "They are working hard and the guys are excited about helping out the team."

Zitzmann followed his success in the 4x200 relay with second-place performances in both the 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles. Teammate Mike Amofah added third-place distances in the long jump (20-0.75) and triple jump (42-3.25). In the high jump, Jake Lippert finished second at 6-0 and Nick Haugen cleared the same height in placing fourth.

Sturm went on to join Shayne Benjamin, Tanner Fuchs and Tyrelle Jackson for a second-place time of 45.94 in the 4x100. He also earned third behind Josh Jackson in the 100 with a time of 11.52.

Middle-distance runners Isaiah Rockett and Levi Freetly were both part of placing efforts in the 4x800 and 4x400 relays. They joined David Zitzmann and Ryan Monroe for a third-place 8:17 clocking in the 4x800, which broke the previous meet record, and teamed up with Andrew Thomas and Tyler Grubb for a runner-up showing in the meet-ending 4x400.

Rockett added a third-place individual showing in the 400 (52.08) and Freetly was fifth in the 800 in 2:07.54. Monroe earned sixth against a competitive field in the 1,600 with a season-best time of 4:45.99.

The Tigers resume their schedule this week with the Wildcat Invite Tuesday at Eagan and the Eden Prairie Invite Saturday in Eden Prairie. Helmstetter expects his athletes to face stiff competition at both meets.

"The state's top teams will be at both of these meets," he said. "So we will be able to see where we are at."