Park track & field: Alowonle, Farley sets new standards; Wolfpack girls break three recordsIn Blaine, Park seniors R.J. Alowonle and D’Monte Farley each set new state standards in individual events, while the Park girls broke three sophomore-and-under school records.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park boys and girls track teams competed in a pair of meets last week and continued to set new standards in a number of events.
Park first traveled to Blaine on Tuesday, May 1, for the Blaine Invite before heading to Rochester for the 39th Annual Mayo Invitational on Saturday, May 5.
In Blaine, Park seniors R.J. Alowonle and D’Monte Farley each set new state standards in individual events, while the Park girls broke three sophomore-and-under school records.
In what was perhaps the performance of the meet, Alowonle, a three-time state hurdle champion, won the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.13 seconds – the fastest recorded time in the state this season and a personal-best for Alowonle. The time was nearly a second ahead of the second-place finisher and was even better than Alowonle’s state championship finish from last year of 14.46. The time also nearly broke Park’s school record of 14.03, set by John Briese in 1985. Alowonle also set the state’s best mark this season in the triple jump with a leap of 46 feet, 0.50 inches. Not to be outdone, Farley raced to the state’s best recorded time this season in the 200-meter dash, winning the race in 22.10 seconds. Farley’s time was just back of last year’s state-best time of 21.72 by Edina’s Devin Crawford-Tufts and Park’s record of 21.6, set by Joe Hemberger in 1988.
Park’s girls team broke three sophomore-and-under records at Blaine – the 400-meter relay from 2006, the 800-meter relay from 1980 and the 1600-meter relay from 1996.
Park’s 400-meter and 800-meter relay team was sophomore Temi Ogunrinde, eighth grader Allison Gorres, sophomore Katelyn Floysand and freshman Ini Eyoh. Park finished in first place in the 400-meter relay with a time of 51.02 seconds and earned second place in the 800 relay with a time of 1:48.38. Park’s 1600-meter relay team of Ogunrinde, Gorres, Floysand and freshman Lindsay Kothe took second place with a time of 4:13.00.
“It was a great day at Blaine with some real quality performances all around,” Park head coach Matt Maher said. “The three school records for those young girls was the highlight, we knew they could do it, it was just a matter of putting the four together in a meet. All three relays were our best of the year so far and made the honor roll standard.”
Overall, in Blaine, the Park boys finished third out of six teams with 68 points, while the Wolfpack girls placed fifth out of five teams with 28.33 points. The Champlin Park boys won the meet with 81.50 points and the Blaine girls won their own meet with 120 points. In the nine-team Rochester Mayo Invite, the Park boys took fifth place with 497 points and the Park girls earned seventh place with 481.5 points. Andover won the Mayo boys meet with 801 points and Prior Lake won the girls meet with 851.5 points.
Additionally, in Blaine, Park’s 800-meter relay team of Alowonle, Farley and juniors Irving Gutierrez and Dylan Smallidge won the event in a time of 1:31.27. Park senior Louie Arrigoni won the pole vault by clearing 11 feet, 6 inches. Farley took second in the triple jump with a 44-07 leap. Park sophomore Mallorie Briggs earned fourth place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 2:37.06. Park junior Nick Hajovy edged Gutierrez for fifth in the 200-meter dash with matching times of 23.41. Park’s 1600-meter relay team of seniors Robert Briggs, Cole Rhein, Arrigoni and junior Nate Astin took second in a time of 3:35.35. Junior Nicole Laabs earned third place in the high jump by clearing 4 feet, 10 inches and Gabe Simoson was sixth in the boys high jump clearing 5-10.
In Rochester, Alowonle, Farley, Smallidge and Gutierrez won the 400-meter relay with a meet-record time of 43.15 seconds. Alowonle also won the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles with meet-records of 14.53 and 38.69, respectively, which were each previously set in 1982 and won the triple jump with a leap of 45-04.75. Farley won the 100-meter dash in 11.15, won the 200 with a time of 22.44 and took second place in the long jump with a leap of 21-01.5. Gorres won the 100 in a time of 13.07 Ogunrinde won the 200 in a time of 26.59, ahead of Gorres, who took third with a time of 27.29. Smallidge earned third place in the triple jump with a mark of 41-10. Gabby Fitzgerald took fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.50 and Megan Bresnahan earned fifth place in the triple jump with a leap of 30-09.50 and eighth in the long jump with a 14-05.5 mark.
The Park boys and girls headed to Tartan for a meet on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to press. Next, the teams compete in the Section True Team Meet on Thursday at Stillwater.
“We hope to have all of our top athletes available that day and then to hope they perform to the best of their abilities, and see how we fair,” Maher said. “We seem to be at that point of the year where there are so many things going on with school winding down and summer athletics gearing up, but we need to stay focused and realize the exciting part of the season is yet to come.”