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Farmington boys track and field: Tigers triumph in 1AA

Farmington’s Devon Webb wins his heat of the 800 prelims at the Section 1AA  Championships at Lakeville South. Webb finished fourth in the 800 finals and qualified for the Class 2A state meet as part of the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

A well-rounded attack lifted the Farmington boys to their first section title in five years.

The Tigers crowned a sprinter, a distance runner and a thrower as section champions and qualified all four of their relays for tomorrow’s Class 2A state meet while running away with the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at Lakeville South. They racked up 135 ½ points, 36 more than runner-up Hastings in the 15-team section.

“We knew we had a chance at having a number of events fight for the two positions to qualify for state, so if the boys took care of business a top-three placement was well within reach,” Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said. “Winning the section as a team was a nice finishing touch.”

Senior Tanner Grubb won a pair of individual section titles and will represent Farmington in three events at Hamline University. He claimed the 200 in 22.74 and came back to take the 400 with a school-record time of 49.47 seconds. Grubb also contributed a leg to the 4x200, where he joined Mason Auge, Jack Erickson and Ryan Parco for a winning time of 1:29.83.

Junior Justin Hyytinen will also return to Hamline University in three events. Like Grubb, he broke his own school record at the section meet when he outdueled Hastings’ Zack Benning in the 1,600, 4:13.83 to 4:13.86. Hyytinen finished second behind Benning in the 3,200 and closed out the meet by teaming up with Nehemiah Rockett, Parco and Devon Webb for a second-place run in the 4x400.

The versatile Webb also helped the Tigers qualify for state in the 4x800. He combined with Alex Hart, Sean Dougherty and Jared Wolt for a season-best time of 8:12.70 that was good enough for first place.

The Tiger 4x100 advanced to state with a second-place effort. Erickson, Auge, Caleb Bray and Sean McHenry put up a season-best time of 44.07 seconds. Auge and Erickson also placed 5-6 in the open 100.

“Our 4x100 and 4x800 were up in the air with how they would compete with the other teams,” Helmstetter said. “Those were huge positives for the day as both move on to the state meet.”

Another personal-best performance came in the discus, where CJ Wynings captured his first section title. The senior topped his previous best throw by eight feet to win the event with a toss of 158-2.

Three Farmington athletes just missed additional state qualifications with third-place finishes. Rockett was just a second off the pace of second place in the 300 hurdles, Mason Gaylord turned in a personal-best leap of 41-11 for third in the triple jump and Wyatt Ferm cleared 6-0 for third in the high jump.

Rockett added a sixth-place leap in the triple jump and a fifth-place run in the 100 hurdles to finish as a four-event scorer. Parco also earned the distinction thanks to a fourth-place run in the 400.

Webb finished fourth behind three sub-two minutes runners in the 800. McHenry used a personal-best jump to take fifth in the long jump, Bray ran a personal-best time to take sixth in the 200 and Hart clocked in at 4:38.37 to finish seventh in the 1,600.