Friday, the weather was gorgeous at the Class AA Track and Field State
Meet, held at Hamline University, and the Magic had a good day.
Sam Johnson, the only Magic athlete competing in the preliminary
rounds, qualified for finals in two of his three events, as expected.
Saturday, the weather took a turn for the worse. Temperatures topped
out in the 50s during the morning competition and the precipitation
alternated between a drizzle and a solid rain for nearly the entire
Yet, the Magic had an even better day.
Johnson finished third in the 400-meter finals and sixth in the
200-meter finals, pulling in two All-State honors.
Jake Olson moved up a few places from his seed to finish in fourth
place in the discus throw.
And while Lowell Laudert, the only Magic competitor who wasn’t a
senior, came up short of his personal record goal, he turned in at
least one high jump that wowed his coach.
“We had a very good weekend,” summarized coach Dave Wik.
Laudert just misses on high jump
With the bar starting high at the state meet high jump event (held
indoors, due to the weather), Laudert had to be ready to jump high
early. He was, clearing the 5’10” bar to get things going.
The next height, 6’0”, was where the junior ran into trouble. Laudert
wasn’t able to clear it on three attempts, despite what Wik called one
of his most impressive jumps of the year.
“He had two really good attempts at six feet,” said Wik. “The last one
was probably the highest I’ve seen him jump.”
Laudert just came out of his pike position a little early, according
to Wik, catching the bar on his way by.
Clearing the bar at 5’10” on an early jump earned Laudert a 12th place
finish at state, with 15 kids competing in the high jump.
Olson gets the one he needs
In the discus event, you get three throws. If one of your first three is good enough, you get three more, for a total of six.
Five of them don’t really matter – one just needs to be great.
Olson was proof of that Saturday morning at the state meet.
On his second throw of the meet, Olson popped off a distance of 152 feet, 10 inches. While the throw was seven feet behind his seed distance coming in, it was a truly great throw with the conditions taken into account. That throw was also plenty to get him to finals, where he got three more throws. None of those made it past 150 feet, but none of them needed to. With slippery conditions affecting footing
and the athletes’ ability to grip the discus, no one passed Olson in the final round. He entered as the fourth seed and he stayed there, easily earning All-State honors with his impressive throw.
“I was expecting to throw farther [coming in],” said Olson. “But with how the weather was, I was really happy with how I threw.”
Olson said the ring, where they throw from, was really wet – something that affected all throwers. He adjusted by slowing down his motion a little bit and staying on his toes.
He was rewarded with the big early throw and a fourth place finish.
“I don’t know how to explain [the feeling],” said Olson. “It was amazing. Something I’ve never experienced before.”
Johnson leaves it all out there
Friday, with the sun shining during the preliminary rounds, Johnson turned in two personal record times. He qualified for the 400-meter final with a time of 48.41 (a whopping half second below his previous personal, and school, record) and earned a spot in the 200-meter final with a time of 22.12 seconds (also setting a school record).
Saturday, with the less than ideal conditions, time became irrelevant.
Racing, and placing, was all that mattered.
Johnson did both to the best of his abilities, finishing third in the 400-meter dash (48.75 seconds) and sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.34).
That left the senior pretty content.
“I’m extremely happy,” said Johnson, who picked up his third and fourth career All-State honors. “I was just happy to be there. I’m really pleased with how I did.”
Johnson continued to employ the same strategy he always has, going out of the gates blazing and making people chase him.
“You use it or you lose it,” said Johnson, about his strategy, adding that he doesn’t want to finish a race with anything left in the tank.
“I wanted to go out as hard as I could and see what happened.”
Johnson almost made some real magic happen during the 400. He held the
lead during the first half of the lap around the track, before the two
favorites closed with strong kicks to pass Johnson up.
Michael Smith, a senior from Wayzata, won the race with a time of 47.99 seconds.
Team finishes high
The points that Olson and Johnson racked up, 18 total, helped Monti
finish in a tie for 15th at the meet. Wik said that was the highest
finish by the team in recent history.
“That’s a nice little perk,” he said.
Less of a perk is that Wik has to say goodbye to Johnson and Olson,
two guys that have meant a lot to the track and field program at
Wik said that beyond their accomplishments, it is their work ethic and
leadership, especially by example, that has stuck out to him over the
“They have good genetics,” said Wik. “But they didn’t rely on those to
make them successful. They spent a lot of time working behind the
If their high school careers had to end, they ended pretty well, to
say the least.
“It was awesome,” said Johnson, of finishing at the state meet.
“Everyone wants to end on a high note.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com