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Boys track & field: Grubb leads Tigers at River Falls

After competing with incomplete lineups at the first two indoor meets of the season, the Farmington boys track team amped it up for Saturday’s All-American Invitational in River Falls, Wis.

The Tigers took to the Knowles Fieldhouse track with most of their top athletes in the lineup and scored 70 points to come away with first place. Many of the meet’s 17 teams were missing athletes due to spring break, but coach Brian Helmstetter was still pleased with the results and effort put forth by his squad.

“It was fun for the boys to perform well and have it rewarded with the trophy,” Helmstetter said. “Even with the other competitors not at full strength, our performances showed our individuals competition and they got after it.”

One runner who, in particular, got after it was senior Tanner Grubb. He won the open 400 in a school indoor record 50.97 seconds and anchored both the 4x200 and 4x400 to victory. Grubb combined with Ryan Parco, Jack Erickson and Justin Hyytinen in the meet-clinching 4x400 and Erickson, Mason Auge and Mason Gaylord in the 4x200.

Also placing first for the Tigers was Wyatt Ferm, who cleared 6-4 to easily win the high jump.

Hyytinen shattered his own school indoor record in the 1,600 by 18 seconds and came within a second of the overall school record with a second-place time of 4:18.96. He ended up in second place, just off the pace of Hastings standout Zach Benning.

Roger Thelen holds the Farmington 1,600 record with a time of 4:18.4 and is a volunteer coach for the team this year.

“He is nervous but excited to see Justin compete this year,” Helmstetter said.

The Tigers also placed second in the 4x800 where Devon Webb, Alex Hart, Luis Rodriguez and Jared Wolt combined on a time of 8:39.23. In the open 800, Webb was fifth in 2:07.37 and Wolt came in seventh in 2:10.53.

Also supplying points to the team victory were Nehemiah Rockett in the 55 hurdles (fifth), Gaylord in the triple jump (sixth) and Parco in the 400 (eighth).

“River Falls was a nice finish to the indoor season. The meet was a carrot for the boys during the St. Thomas and St. Olaf meets to earn their way to this meet,” Helmstetter said. “We were excited to be close enough in the end to compete for the championship, but the boys know this is only a step towards May and June and we will have a lot of work ahead of us for the rest of the season.”

The Tigers were scheduled to open their season Tuesday with a home meet against Shakopee and Lakeville North, but that was postponed due to snow on and around the track. The next meet on the schedule is next Friday at Shakopee.