We had Marcus Cannon, MaKenzie Smith and Katie Holzheimer carrying that banner with pride in St. Paul. The state's best in track and field assembled for the climactic event on June 7-8. The venue was Hamline University.
First there was sections
The Tiger trio qualified for state with their sharp showing in sectionals at MSUM-Moorhead.
In sectionals, MaKenzie Smith with her distance running prowess was tops in both the 1600m and 3200m - quite a feat. She was clocked at 5:22.96 in the 1600 meters (also called "the mile") and 12:06.01 in the 3200. She has been a standout in cross country as well as track and field.
Katie Holzheimer, who I discovered recently is a whiz at the drum set in addition to athletics, was second in the 100m dash in sections. Her time: 13.17.
Marcus Cannon of the Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys got over the hurdles with precision and speed. He was second in section in both his hurdling events: the 110 meters (16.17) and 300 meters (42.09).
And then, the 2013 state meet!
The state-qualifying Tiger trio arrived at the pinnacle event focused and fired-up.
Senior Cannon put an exclamation point on his prep career, medaling in both his hurdling events. Marcus placed seventh in the 110m event (16.17) and eighth in the 300m hurdles (41.86). Note that his 110m time was identical to his sprint in sections.
A medal comes with placing in the top nine.
A medal comes with placing in the top nine.
Cannon ran pre-lim races on the Friday of state, getting clocked at 16.15 in the 110m hurdles (fourth in his heat), and posting a 41.18 time in the 300m (fourth in his heat).
The state champion in both the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles was Jon Tollefson of St. Croix Lutheran. Jon ran a time of 14.72 in the 110m distance, and came through at 39.90 in the 300m.
MaKenzie Smith turned left a lot, bearing down to try to achieve top-notch performances in the 1600 meters and 3200 meters. The distance whiz, known for her height as well as stamina, placed 12th in the 1600 meters with her time of 5:22.73.
Junior Clare Flanagan of Blake was a nemesis of Smith and all the other distance specialists. Flanagan set a new Minnesota Class 'A' record with her time of 4:48.41 in the 1600m. She broke the previous mark of 4:48.79 set in 1986. (I remember attending and covering state track meets in that era, an era in which Anna Carrington made her mark for the Tigers. She's Anna Vikander today and has a son playing for YME.)
Smith did better in the longer 3200m distance, the longest one offered. Smith ran to a No. 8 showing in the 3200m run, held on Friday. Thus she medaled. Her time: 11:33.13. Blake's Flanagan was tops in this distance too, blazing with a 10:27.85 time.
Katie Holzheimer had an anticlimactic state meet as she was just shy of qualifying for the state finals in the 100m dash. In her Friday pre-lims race, Katie was fifth in her heat with a 12.80 time, coming up shy of the 12.79 cut-off time. Holzheimer can reflect on lots of athletic (and music) heroics in her prep career.
The orange and black projected pride!
Prep track and field seems a little handicapped, in my view, getting optimal media attention.
The baseball and softball teams get what I would call "team-centered" coverage. If the Tigers win a game, there's an article with a headline highlighting the Tigers and with at least half the names being those of the Tigers. The article is all about our "team" winning. A casual reader can quickly and easily get familiar with the players. It's fun.
Track and field is, shall we say, more challenging. Typically there's a headline that refers to a meet, not to a team. A meet usually includes several teams and in some cases might include a great many teams.
Which is fine and dandy, of course, but for a casual follower, it's hard following the individuals. The names are often in small type and all blended together, organized by the many various events. A reader has to sift through a sea of data to ferret out the MACA individuals and appreciate what they've done.
I would have liked to do some MACA track/field posts through the spring. However, 1) it's laborious to try to separate out the Morris names, 2) it's a strain to read the small type, and most of all 3) I'm scared of missing someone.
The small type is also a problem for wrestling tournaments in the winter. These athletes should be able to get the same type of attention and acknowledgment as those in other sports.
Here's a suggestion from "your humble correspondent" (not that I want to talk like Bill O'Reilly): The coach could write a little summary after each meet - it's not such hard work - and submit it to Pheasant Country Sports who'd be glad to get it. Or simpler yet, launch a little website of your own. Hey, if I can do it. . .
I'd be happy to take some photos for you - really.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org