With subsection and conference meets behind us, the picture of how the final two meets (sections and state) will go has become a little bit clearer! Athletes have shaken off the early-season rust, and times are beginning to drop each week. As we head into section week, we decided to see highlight some of the top class A performers thus far! Of course, we cannot write about everybody, so this is a highly condensed synopsis of who to keep an eye on at sections!
Nic Johnson - Cromwell/Wright
Johnson has been the top 100 meter runner in class A by a large margin this season. His PR of 10.88, set at the Polar League Conference meet has set him up for a smooth ride through section 7A. Johnson is undefeated in all eight 100 meter races he has competed in this year in our database, and will look to carry that trend on through State. He is also an important part of a strong Cromwell sprint relay crew which has a good shot at qualifying, and could make it in the long jump as well!
Matt Steiger - La Crescent
The 2017 class A cross-country champion has been quietly going about his business down south, and boasts incredible solo efforts of 4:18 and 9:30 in the 1600 and 3200 meters this year (and also running 1:57 in the 800). Both marks came in races where Steiger won by 30+ seconds, and it is expected that he will breeze through his section races, setting up an exciting couple of races at the class A State meet.
TJ Jok - Annandale
Jok currently holds the top Class A mark of 6'8'', and the Annandale junior took the victory in the Subsection 20A Championship last week. He will look to continue his strong form, and earn his first birth at the State Meet in the high jump. Jok is also a very strong triple jumper, and hurdler. He has the second best triple jump mark, and is ranked fifth in the 110 meter hurdles. Jok will be a busy man at the Section 5A Championships at St. John's University this week, but his versatility and wide range of talents will be enticing to watch!
Cal Wright - Mora
The surprise winner of the Hamline Elite Meet 400 meters, Wright (another single A guy!) seems to be in a class of his own amongst class A runners. His blistering 48.95 at the Hamline Elite meet indicates that things are beginning to click for the Mora senior, and a section and state championship may very well lie in his future.
Keiser Freetly - Lac qui Parle Valley
Freetly is the 800 meter runner to beat this year. His time of 1:57.07 makes him a likely section and a potential state champion in the event should he choose to focus on it rather than the 1600. Freetly had a strong cross-country season, finishing fifth at the State meet, and will look to claim the section 3A victory this coming week, likely in the 800.