The Magic boys track and field team just keeps winning.
On a rainy, cold Tuesday afternoon last week, Monti hosted its annual track and field invite. As has become tradition, both at the event and at every in-state event this season, Monti won.
The Magic totaled 147 points at the six-team invite, finishing 14.5 points ahead of Alexandria and 20 points ahead of Osseo. Coach Dave Wik estimates it is the sixth or seventh time in the last eight years that Monti has prevailed at its home invite.
“You want to keep that streak going as long as you can,” said Wik. “I think the guys were pretty proud of it.”
Monti continued to dominate sprint events at the meet, while holding its own across the rest of the board to cruise to the first place finish. It was Monti’s fifth win in as many in-state meets.
The relay teams, a good microcosm of Monti’s depth, were a strong point once again. Monti finished first in both the 4×100 and 4×200 and added third place finishes in the 4×400 and 4×800.
In the 4×200, Monti’s group of Jack Hoaby, Ryder Beckman, Charlie Voller and Nate Hoglund turned in a blazing time of 1:31.17, putting them just two seconds behind their prelim time from the state meet last season. Most encouraging for the Magic was that it was far from a perfect race. Monti had one shaky hand-off according to Wik, and Hoglund, Monti’s star sprinter, pulled up lame as he got to the finish line with a hamstring injury. The injury is believed to be a strain, and Monti is hoping to have Hoglund back in the mix soon, possibly as early as this weekend.
“I think that relay is ahead of where they were last year,” said Wik. “To run that time with those two things happening, the guys were pretty encouraged.”
Running later in the meet, without Hoglund, the 4×100 was impressive as well. The team of Kalvin Beal, Tyler Jassman, Beckman and Hoaby finished with a time of 44.24 seconds, winning the event by more than a second.
Monti added two more sprint wins in the individual events, as Hoglund finished first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.28 seconds. That was .17 seconds better than Beal, who came in second to complete an impressive 1-2 punch for Monti. And Voller continued to dominate the 400-meter dash, earning top honors with a time of 51.28 seconds. The senior added a second-place finish in the 200-meter dash as well, crossing the line with a time of 23.29 seconds.
Matt Baloun continued to impress as Monti’s top middle-distance runner at the home invite. The senior finished fourth in the open 800 with a time of 2:08.72, and ran on both the 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams.
Along the lines of continuing to impress – Mikhale Maier added two more top-two finishes to his season resume for the Magic at the meet. The sophomore finished first in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.16 seconds and came in second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.34, just .18 seconds behind the champion from Osseo.
“Mikhale is having an outstanding season,” said Wik. “His confidence level is very good, you can see that in his races. He’s just getting after it.”
Wik said that Maier and Robbie Watson (fifth in the 300 hurdles Tuesday) have really pushed each other this season.
“Those two work really well together,” he said.
On the throwing side, it was Levi Zalomsky and Kyle Downs carrying the weight for Monti on Tuesday. Zalomsky finished fourth in the discus with a toss of 116-03, while Downs, a newcomer this year, was fifth in the shotput with a 42-02.50 throw.
The Magic had a balanced performance in jumps Tuesday, finishing three in the top six of high jump and long jump and two in the top four of triple jump. Joe Schultz (5-06, fourth) was the lead high jumper, Tyler Jassman (19-02.5, fourth place) the top long jumper and Beal (40-04, second) the top triple jumper.
Friday night, Monti headed to the Hamline Elite Meet where they went up against the state’s best teams in the 4×100 and 4×200-meter events.
Running without Hoglund, Monti placed fourth in the 4×200 and eighth in the 4×100.
The 4×200 unit, which entered the meet as the defending champions, went with the group of Hoaby, Beckman, Voller and Jassman. The foursome turned in a time of 1:30.4, the best of the season, under good running conditions at Hamline University. Monti missed third place by just .07 seconds.
“Still in the top half of the field, minus Nate, I thought was a really good run,” said Wik. “It should be a confidence builder.”
Beal, Jassman, Beckman and Ray Fasen teamed up for the 4×100, finishing eighth with a time of 44.30. Monti trotted out three juniors for that race to line up alongside Beckman.
“Our sprint depth is outstanding,” said Wik, adding that even after they say goodbye to this extraordinary senior class they’ll still have a strong group of kids coming back next year.
Going forward, Monti has the Mega Meet in Sauk Rapids up next. That’s scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Following that, Monti will head to Brainerd next Tuesday, May 9 for the True Team Sections meet at 3 p.m.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]