Let’s swing the gate open on a big two-week stretch of state tournaments. From the Twin Cities to Mankato, from Becker to Jordan, from St. Cloud to Chaska, there will be plenty of action to follow this week and next as we wrap up the school year.
This week’s lineup includes boys tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, girls softball and boys and girls track and field. The boys and girls golf tournament will be held next week, along with quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the state baseball tournament. The year will come to a close in grand style at Target Field on June 21 when baseball champions will be crowned in three classes.
Here is a brief look at each of this week’s tournaments. This is by no means a complete list of what to watch for, but let’s highlight just a few of the storylines…
Team competition Tuesday and Wednesday; singles and doubles Thursday and Friday. Class 2A at U of M’s Baseline Tennis Center, Class 1A at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
--Defending team champs/ Blake (1A), Eden Prairie (2A)
--Defending singles/doubles champs
*John Hill, senior, St. Paul Academy (1A singles)
*Dusty Boyer, junior, Forest Lake (two-time defending 2A singles champion)
*Wyatt McCoy, senior, Mounds View (won 2A singles title in 2007).
*Ford Traff, junior, Blake, seeks his third doubles title. He will compete this year with a new partner, sophomore Kai Skallerud.
*Ryan Erickson, senior, Hopkins, won 2A doubles in 2010, now playing singles.
--Keep an eye on Rochester Mayo team member Ingrid Neel, a seventh-grader.
BOYS AND GIRLS LACROSSE
Tuesday through Friday at Chanhassen; Boys play Tuesday/Thursday, Girls Wednesday/Friday)
--Defending champ/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys, Blake girls
--Boys teams/ #1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (16-0), #4 Burnsville (11-6), #2 Eden Prairie (14-2), #3 White Bear Lake (12-4)
--Girls teams/ #1 seed Blake (14-0), #4 Bloomington Jefferson (14-2), #2 Eden Prairie (14-1), #3 Stillwater (14-2)
BOYS AND GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD
Friday and Saturday at Hamline University’s Klas Field
--Athletes/events to watch
*Boys 2A high jump/ Trevor Yedoni, senior, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, has cleared 7 feet and Franky Veldman, senior, Eastview, has cleared 6-11. State record of 7-1 could fall.
*Girls 2A discus/ Maggie Ewen, sophomore, St. Francis, set a state record this season.
*Boys 2A triple jump/ Michael Sandle, senior, Eden Prairie, also set a state record this spring.
*Girls 2A hurdles/ Jessica January, sophomore, Richfield, holds the state record in 100 hurdles, is defending champ in 100 and 300 hurdles.
*Girls 2A relays/ Hopkins has the best times in all four relays, eyes a sweep.
*Girls 1A star/ Analisa Huschle, senior, Bagley/Fosston, holds state record in long jump, tops 1A this year in long jump, triple jump, 100 and 200.
*Missing/ Devin Crawford-Tufts, senior, Edina, is the defending champ in 2A 100 and 200. Due to an injury, he did not qualify for state.
Thursday and Friday at Caswell Park in North Mankato
1A/ New Life Academy has won three titles in a row and is trying to become the first team to win four championships in a row. Senior captains Rebekah Schmidt and Katie Stodolka are making their sixth trip to state. Schmidt tied a record by pitching three shutouts in last year’s tournament.
2A/ Defending champion Park Center returns. The Pirates bring back plenty of experience, since there was only one senior on last year’s team.
3A/ Bloomington Jefferson qualified for its first state tournament in style, beating defending champion Burnsville in the Section 3 finals. Shakopee is at state for the first time since 1980. Keep an eye on Brainerd coach Mike Zauhar, who should be easy to spot since he will be wearing a plastic “boot.” Leaping in celebration of the Warriors’ section title, he suffered a torn muscle attached to his left Achilles tendon.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 691
*Miles John has driven: 10,381
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