"You are about to witness something unique in track and field," declares the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association.
The True Team State Meet was developed in the 1980's to counter what the coaches saw as a troubling trend of state "team" championships being win by teams on the strength of only a small handful of star athletes. Instead, they created a scoring method that made such "championships" impossible - every single athlete competing in every singe event contributes at least one point towards the team's total. Of course, having star athletes are still a big help in amassing big points (the winner in each event tonight will score 36 points, while last place will score only one), but it was no longer possible for those athletes to solely carry the team. Depth, not star power, was now the primary driver of points.
Watch the True Team State Championships on May 18-19, only on MileSplit
Of course, this year, the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association decided to make the most significant change to the True Team format since condensing down from four classes to three over two decades ago. For the first time ever, True Team State will field 12 teams after having a field of 9 ever year since the first first meet in 1987. The eight True Team Section champions are being joined by four wild cards determined from a massive virtual meet using the section meet results from all the 2nd-5th place finishing teams at each section. Thus for the first time, there could potentially be three, four, or even five teams that all qualify for True Team State out of the same section.Tonight for the Class AAA Championships, both genders had a section that took advantage of the new rule. On the boys side, Section 5AAA will feature three of their squads, while Section 7AAA had four qualifiers for the girls. Both sides also feature teams that look strongly poised to repeat as champions (or, in the case of the Wayzata boys, repeat again for the sixth year in a row), and there are some great individual matchups that will be seen as well.