Maggie Ewen of St. Francis broke the Class 2A and all-time state record in shot put with a throw of 54 feet, 8 1/2 inches at the 2013 State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul June 8, 2013. (Courtney Perry/Special to the Star Tribune)
The past three years saw St. Francis senior Maggie Ewen set then reset her own all-time state record in the discus throw three times before arriving at an extraordinary mark.
Needing just three attempts in her other event, shot put, to do the same, Ewen electrified the considerable shot put audience Saturday at the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University.
She capped her day with a mark of 54 feet, 8½ inches, one of seven meet records set. Ewen shattered the 10-year-old all-time Minnesota standard of 52-4¾ set in 2003 by Lakeville’s Liz Podominick on her first preliminary round attempt (53-4¾). From there, Ewen relaxed and let fly.
Her first finals attempt of 54-0¼ was followed by the 54-8½ throw.
Spectators began clapping in unison before the last of Ewen’s six attempts, making her giggle while trying to hide her face behind the shot. She scratched but exited the high school ranks as a seven-time state champion (four in discus throw, three in shot put). Her all-time discus throw record stands at 175-9.
“It put an exclamation point on her legacy,” St. Francis coach Andy Forbort said of Saturday’s performance.
The record shot put result, Ewen said, started with her mark of 54-1 at the New Balance Indoor Nationals meet in March.
“I never thought I’d be able to throw 54-1 in high school; I thought maybe someday in college,” said Ewen, who committed to Arizona State. “So that put my confidence through the roof.”
When an after school driver’s education course began cutting into track practice, Hopkins junior Shaheed Hickman became a morning person.
Two weeks of 6 a.m. sprint workouts helped make Hickman a Class 2A state champion in the 100-meter dash (10.90 seconds).
“Morning workouts seemed better for me because I had more energy,” said Hickman, who trained alone with coach Nick Lovas before convincing some teammates that, “it’s better for us” to sweat as the sun rose.
Rosemount sophomore Rachel Schow swept the 100 and 300 hurdle events, completing a successful if bittersweet transition from a sprinter.
“Last May, my hurdles coach said, ‘No offense but you’re not going to be a great sprinter. But I can make you a great hurdler,’ ” Schow said. “I didn’t believe him but now I guess he was right.”
Schow won the 100 in a time of 14.60 seconds and set a personal best in the 300 (43.89).
East Ridge senior Nathan Roese knew his state title in the 400 last sprint ruined then-senior Austin Salargo’s hopes of a repeat. He worried about suffering a similar fate Saturday.
“It definitely crossed my mind,” Roese said.
Running scared worked for Roese, who dashed to a time of 47.56 and broke a 20-year old Class 2A state meet record.
“Last year I had a person to catch and this year I was that person,” Roese said. “It changed things a lot. But I ran my race and got the result I wanted.”
Minnetonka girls win
Minnetonka scored 94.5 points to win its first Class 2A state title since 1992, getting winning performances from the 4x400 relay, Mia Barron (long jump) and Piper Jensen (triple jump). The 4x800 relay defended its title despite the absence of Maggie Carruth, who moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., before the school year. She won the 800 in the Wyoming state meet in May and came back to cheer on former Skippers’ teammates Saturday.
Going the distance
Stillwater’s second Class 2A boys’ state title in three years owed it to their distance runners. Athletes competing in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 individual events and 4x800 relay combined to score 49 of the Ponies’ 65 points. Freshman Eli Krahn won the 1,600 on Saturday after taking second in the 3,200 on Friday. The talented field in both events, Krahn said, pushed each runner.
“We all knew we had to be on top of our games to win,” Krahn said. “We knew one slip-up meant three of four guys were going by you.”