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Boys track: Peaking at the right time

Members of the Farmington 4x400-meter relay team stand on the top of the podium after a first-place finish in the event at last week's Missota Conference Championships in Prior Lake. The Tigers finished third as a team.

A look at some of the numbers says it all: a 59-foot shot put toss, a 50-second 400, a 1:59 800, a 4:43 1,600.

The Farmington boys track and field team is peaking at just the right time. Distances continued to climb and times continued to dwindle Thursday as the Tigers finished third with 146 1/2 team points at the highly-competitive Missota Conference Championships Thursday at Prior Lake.

Host Prior Lake outscored runner-up Shakopee 199 1/2-152 for the team title. The top three teams pulled away from the rest of the field as fourth-place Hutchinson rounded out the rest of the field with 101 1/2 points.

"Prior Lake had the numbers to take conference convincingly. We fought Shakopee for second as we needed everyone having big days, and the vast majority of us had outstanding days, but it wasn't enough to take over second place," Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said. "I am proud of the guys and they performed well at a tough conference meet."

The Tigers turned in the top performances in three of the meet's events -- the shot put, the 400 and the 4x400 relay.

Senior thrower Logan Hussung, a University of Minnesota recruit, continued his season-long domination of the shot put with a season-best toss of 59 feet, 9 1/4 inches. He was also second in the discus, where his spin of 171-3 1/2 was nearly nine feet behind Red Wing standout Luke Johnson's 180-3 1/4.

Senior Tyler Grubb was Farmington's only other individual champion. He won the 400 with a season-best time of 50.87 seconds, then came back to contribute a leg to the first-place 4x400, which also included Andrew Thomas, Matt Shutey and Levi Freetly. Grubb also turned in a personal-best time of 11.48 to place second in the 100.

Thomas tacked on third-place finishes in both the 200 and 400. Freetly broke the two-minute barrier for the first time to take third in the 800 in 1:59.51 and also placed fifth in the triple jump.

Elsewhere in the jumping events, Jordan Keller placed fourth in the long jump and Sam Hanson tied for fifth in the high jump. Keller also earned second in the 110 hurdles in a season-best 15.96, while Shutey was fifth in the 300 hurdles in a season-best 42.26.

Shutey was part of the 4x200, which placed fourth against a competitive field of teams. He combined with Freetly, Ryan Farley and Shayne Benjamin on a 1:34.05 clocking that was just four-tenths of a second out of second place.

The Tigers were also fourth in the 4x100. Benjamin, Farley, Brandon Todd and Charlie Wicks combined on a time of 45.11 in the event.

Farmington's distance runners continued to lower their season-best times, as well. Chad Retterath cut six seconds off his previous best to take fifth in the 1,600 in 4:43 and Nick Arenberg earned sixth in the 3,200 in 10:39.

The Tigers are in action tonight at the section meet at Lakeville South. Top finishers will advance to the Class 2A State Meet June 11-12 at Hamline University in St. Paul.

"Section has some great competition as Austin, Rosemount and both Lakevilles look to have some of the best runners in the state," Helmstetter said. "We will need to put together some great performances to send some guys to state, but these guys have worked hard and will put it all together on Thursday and Saturday."