Windy and chilly conditions met Minnesota's top talents Friday night at the Hamline Elite Meet. With the extended winter, the fields were largely composed of runners using marks and times from the 2017 season, and perhaps limited the opportunity for those who improved drastically over the winter to qualify as fast/good marks have been hard to come by this season. Nevertheless, records were broken, claims were staked, and the picture of how all of the top athletes stack up became a little clearer! This week I'll analyze some (but not all!) of the results, and give some of my personal insights on what to expect as the season goes on!
Keylan Jackson of Saint Paul Johnson took the 100 meter title after finishing second a year ago. Hopkins junior, Joe Fahnbulleh set an incredible new PR of 21.68 to take the win in the 200 meters by almost a second. On the boys side, one of the most notable performances of the night came from Hopkins junior, Joe Fahnbulleh. Fahnbulleh not only set a PR of 21.68 to win the open 200, but he also aided the Hopkins sprint team in setting a new meet record of 1:27.19 in the 4x200. After narrowly missing out to East Ridge for the State title last year, Hopkins appears to be the team to beat in the relay after this outstanding performance.
In his first Hamline appearance, sophomore Jonathan Mann of Rosemount ran an impressive PR of 14.77 to take the 110 meter hurdles victory. His early season form implies that he is ready to improve upon his ninth place finish at State last year, and he could likely be the greatest hurdler from Minnesota since RJ Alowonle and the great Jon Tollefson.
Another notable performance was Cal Wright of Mora, with his win in the 400 meter dash. I have a soft spot for single-A athletes, and Wright was on fire, running nearly a 2-second PR to beat out a strong field including 100-meter champion, Keylan Jackson of Saint Paul Johnson who looked very strong as well! What is even more remarkable is that this is only Wright's second year competing in track!