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Track & field: Raptors, Royals stars shine bright

Woodbury's John Osifuye placed second in the triple jump at the Suburban East Conference Championships.1 / 4
Woodbury eighth grader Lauren Smith earned fifth place in the 3200-meter run for the Royals at the conference meet.2 / 4
Nicole Ethier finished second in the 800-meter run at the SEC Championships, breaking the school record.3 / 4
The East Ridge 800-meter relay team took second place at the SEC Championships.4 / 4

The East Ridge and Woodbury track and field teams faced off with fellow intra-district rival Park and seven other conference squads at last week's Suburban East Conference Championship meet, held at East Ridge.

In all, the Woodbury boys team took fifth place in the 10-team meet with a total of 110 points and East Ridge was eighth place with 63 points. The Forest Lake boys won the SEC Championship with 174.50 points. In the girls meet, East Ridge finished in fourth place with 110 points, while Woodbury was seventh with 84 points. The Stillwater girls won the meet with 177 points.

For East Ridge, Raptors junior Nate Roese topped Woodbury's Matt Watterhouse to win the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.81. Roese's time was the fifth best recorded in the state thus far. Watterhouse had a 50.05 finish to earn second. Roese also took fourth in the 200 with a time of 22.34 and helped the Raptors 800-meter relay team - along with freshman Emilio Huerta, senior Val Huerta and senior Dayo Ogundepo - finish second in the race with a time of 1:30.56 (behind White Bear Lake's 1:29.69). It was the fourth-best recorded finish in the state this year. In addition, for East Ridge, junior Allen Swenson earned second place in the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches, senior Jayden Cline took fourth place in the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 2 inches, Ogundepo took fifth place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.39, East Ridge senior Jarred Morris took seventh place in the 200 with a time of 23.70, junior Will Neuenfeldt placed ninth in the shot put with a heave of 45 feet, 8 inches and was ninth in the discus toss with a throw of 127 feet, 2 inches.

For Woodbury, the Royals jumpers stood out among the conference elite. In the triple jump, junior jumpers John Osifuye, Abiola Abodunde and Ethan Turner finished in second, third and ninth places respectively and sophomore Ladi Lawal took sixth place. Osifuye leapt 46 feet, 11 inches, Abodunde was at 46 feet, 4 inches, Lawal had a mark of 44 feet, 9.50 inches and Turner had a leap of 43 feet, 1.50 inches. Osifuye and Abodunde's marks were the second and third best recorded in the state this year - just back of Alowonle, whose 47 foot jump won the SEC title. Also, Osifuye placed in the long jump with a mark of 21-10.25 for fourth and Turner had the Royals' best high jump, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches for 12th place.

Also in the field, Royals junior throwers Kyle Schmidt and Josh McClain finished in fifth place and sixth place, respectively, in the discus throw with marks of 137 feet, 11 inches and 132-04. McClain also earned fourth place in the shot put with a heave of 47 feet, 1.25 inches.

In relays, Woodbury's 1600-meter team of Waterhouse, Abodunde, Davis Johnson and Kyle Haugen stood at the top of the podium, taking first place in the event with a time of 3:21.63. Johnson also looked good in the hurdles, taking second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.43 - only second to Park's R.J. Alowonle, who set a new state record (36.38) in the event - and took fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.52. Johnson's finish in the 300 hurdles was the fourth-best recorded in the state thus far.

In the girls meet, for East Ridge, the Raptors broke nine school records at the SEC Championships. East Ridge senior Nicole Ethier led the way, taking second place in the 800-meter run with a new East Ridge record time of 2:17.88 - just back of Mounds View senior Laurisa Titterud (2:17.80) and the meet record (2:17.05). East Ridge freshman Brenley Goertzen was just behind Ethier in the race with a time of 2:17.99. Ethier and Goertzen also helped the Raptors 1600-meter relay team take second place with a time of 3:59.30, along with Megan Amend and Kiera Joiner.

Also, in the 100 meter dash, freshman Yarhi Shavers set a new school record and placed fourth overall with a time of 12.95, while junior Jamila Joiner also placed ninth in the event with a time of 13.36.

In addition, Alicia Ickstadt placed fifth in the long jump with a new school record of 16 feet, 10 inches. In the 1600-meter run, sophomore Bailey Ness broke her own school record running 5:21.95 placing sixth, followed by her teammate senior Anna Moynihan in seventh place at 5:22.58. In the 3200, freshman Emily Betz placed fourth overall and also broke the school record running 11:22.67. In the 100-meter hurdles, eighth grader Karina Joiner placed fourth with a new school record of 15.98. In the 300-meter hurdles, sophomore Sandra Gramer took ninth overall also setting a new school record during the prelims at a time of 48.71. In the 200-meter dash, freshman Raven Tittle took sixth place with a tie of 26.56, while Jamila Joiner again placed ninth in this event with a time of 27.15. In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Kiera Joiner placed fourth with a time of 1:00.36 and freshman Katy Marcus placed seventh with a time of 1:01.30.

In addition to the 1600-meter relay, in the relay events, East Ridge girls took fourth in the 400-meter relay with the team of Jamila Joiner, Savers, Ickstadt and freshman Reme Abulu running a time of 51.04 for a new school record and the 800-meter relay team of Tittle, Amend, Ickstadt and Ethier taking second place.

For the Woodbury girls, Junior Lisa Huska placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.24 and took sixth place in the 100-mter dash with a time of 13.07. Also, Huska and fellow juniors Wakpor Igavojah, Maddy Haut and Faith Adeola took third place in the 400-meter relay with a time of 50.88.

In addition, freshman Christina Doherty took third place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.57, Igavojah earned fifth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16 seconds, eighth grader Lauren Smith grabbed fifth place in the 3200-meter run with a time of 5:21.64, senior Emily Twohig took eighth place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:22.23 and sophomore Allyson Rock earned fifth place in the discus toss with a heave of 112 feet, 2 inches. In other relays, the Woodbury 1600-meter relay team of Smith, Doherty, senior Karina Winkelman and junior Devan Roman took third place with a time of 4:06.02 and the 3200-meter relay team of Smith, Doherty, Twohig and freshman Divya Melachuri took fourth place with a time of 9:45.21. Also, in the jumps, Haut also took second place in the triple jump with a mark of 35 feet, 4.50 inches and Winkelman placed ninth in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 5.50 inches.

Next, East Ridge and Woodbury are at the Section 4AA Championship meet at Stillwater High School on Tuesday and Thursday, where they will vie for state tournament berths.

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