In 2006, Hamline University decided to put together a special event hosted at its new state-of-the-art, nine-lane, Mondo-surfaced track at Klas Field in St. Paul, MN, inviting all the top athletes so far that season to compete against each other.
The event was a success and helped convince the Minnesota State High School League in 2007 to move the state track and field championships from their then home at the Blaine National Sports Center to their current location at Hamline University.
Each year since, the tradition of collecting the state's top talent has continued, and today the meet is cemented into the culture of high school track and field as second to only the state championships' reputation.
The top athletes are separated not by class or qualifying standards or qualifying races but instead only by their skill.
The 2017 incarnation of the Hamline Elite Meet on Friday, April 28, hopes to be the grandest yet, although that will be quite a challenge considering what transpired in 2016. A year ago, 12 meet records were broken -- one-third of all events -- and some were by substantial amounts. Many of those athletes went on to break Minnesota's all-time records in their events.
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But this year could easily see that many fall again. Gone are Ruby Stauber, Meliah Biermaier, Jaret Carpenter, and Evan McClellon, but returning are Honour Finley, Anna Keefer, Genuine Matthews, and Seth Eliason.
There are many more whose names could make legendary statements or even add to an already-legendary resume. Will Minnesota see its first ever female 20-foot jumper? Could 52 seconds be even remotely possible in the girls 400? And just how fast can those 4x800 relays go?
We will eagerly await the answers to those questions and many more in the days ahead, but in the meantime, read on and see what you have to look forward to when the gun goes off at 5:30 this Friday night.