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Boys track & field: FHS 4x400 relay just misses school record at state meet

The Farmington boys 4x400 relay team came up just short of its goal of breaking the school record, but it was still a successful showing at the Class AA State Meet, according to head coach Brian Helmstetter.

"They came in ranked 18th and finished 13th. I think that's an accomplishment," Helmstetter said. "I think if you said about five weeks ago that this group would be going for the school record, you wouldn't think it was possible."

The foursome of junior Tyler Lerbakken, senior Chad Retterath, sophomore Tanner Grubb and junior Tommy Weigel, all four making their state meet debuts, combined on a time of three minutes, 26.86 seconds on the Hamline University track. That was after qualifying with a 3:29.58 clocking despite a bad handoff at the Section 1AA Championships.

"They were up there with nothing to lose," Helmstetter said. "They wanted to prove they were a 3:26-3:27 team."

Lerbakken opened with a 52-second split and Retterath followed with a 53 before Grubb emerged to run a 49. Weigel anchored the relay with a 50-second split.

Grubb ran the season-best split after missing the early part of the season due to injury.

"It's fun to think about if he had a full season of training," Helmstetter said. "I think we could easily get him to state in the open 400. We're excited to have five or six guys who are around 53-54 for next year and these guys who had a great experience at state."