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Minnetonka senior goes for broke on triple jump

06/05/2014, 10:04pm CDT
By David La Vaque, Star Tribune

Minnetonka’s Mia Barron already holds the record in some books, but she’s shooting for a higher mark.

Minnetonka senior Mia Barron said sharing one of her state track and field meet goals causes confusion.

“I tell my friends I’m going for the all-time record in the triple jump,” Barron said “And they’ll say, ‘I thought you already had it.’ ”

She does. Depending on who you ask.

Tracking state records is complicated, even for the initiated. The Minnesota State High School League lists “all-time” bests on its website. But those marks must be set during the season. Last call is Friday and Saturday at the state meet held at Hamline University.

Other “all-time” bests are maintained by cross-country coaches Bill Miles of Wayzata and Kevin Moorhead of Champlin Park. Highly regarded in track circles, their lists include records set at competitions outside Minnesota or during the summer months beyond an athlete’s graduation.

Barron’s triple jump of 39 feet, 11¼ inches, set earlier this spring, is considered the state’s all-time best by the high school league. She is shooting for a different standard, however. Wayzata’s Jordan Helgren went 41-1¾ at the 2008 USA Junior Outdoor Championships weeks after graduation.

“As long as it’s done by a Minnesota kid at a sanctioned meet, I think it’s the state meet record,” said Miles, who modeled his philosophy after Track & Field News Magazine, which calls itself “The Bible Of The Sport Since 1948.” Better competition, Miles said, pushes athletes to better performances.

Barron’s other record, a long jump of 19-10 earlier this season, received all parties’ blessings. So did the 5-11 high jump by Kasson-Mantorville junior Taylor Wiebke. In the 100-meter hurdles, Blaine junior Alexandra Williams set a new record by goin 14.22 seconds.

Moorhead called their efforts the latest “in a wave of tremendous performances.” Of the 36 combined events in Minnesota boys’ and girls’ high school track and field, 14 records have been set since 2010 on the lists kept by Miles and Moorhead.

When Barron competed at the Class 2A, Section 6 championships on May 27, she noticed a gathering crowd at the far end of the runaway as she readied for her last long jump. Feeling “amped up,” she launched herself into history, confident her body would travel far enough. The previous record of 19-5¾ was set last spring by Alexandria’s Wensia Johnson. They will square off Friday at the state meet.

Wiebke’s team was late to the Class 2A, Section 1 True Team meet on May 6. She took just one run-through on high jump and didn’t feel quite prepared. No matter. She cleared 5-9, raised the bar to 5-11 and cleared it again. She broke the 2006 mark of 5-10¾ set by Waseca’s Tressa Beckel.

The oldest record, dating to 1973, belongs to high-jumper Rod Raver of Rochester John Marshall. His leap of 7-1 stood alone until Jon Markuson of Chaska cleared the same height in 1993.

For girls, this spring marks 30 years since the record 800 run (2 minutes, 8.24 seconds) by Blooming Prairie’s Jeanne Kruckeberg. She posted her time as a sophomore competing at a meet in Los Angeles. Kruckeberg, who trained on a cinder track, is surprised the mark still stands despite superior training for athletes.

Her sister, Lori, “calls every year after the state meet to say, ‘Well, you’re record still holds,’ ” said Kruckeberg, whose married name is Ide. “She’s the one that cracks the champagne for me — figuratively. But I look at it as, I broke somebody’s record so somebody is going to break mine.”

Barron and Wiebke share an appreciation of such time-honored marks. “It’s amazing,” Wiebke said. “I hope I can hold my record that long.”

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