Park track & field: Wolfpack puts on show at sections, send five to stateLike last year, Park’s R.J. Alowonle and D’Monte Farley each qualified for the Class AA state track and field meet in the maximum four events. Park juniors Irving Gutierrez and Dylan Smallidge and sophomore Temi Ogunrinde will join them at state.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
It wasn’t too surprising, but it was none-the-less spectacular.
Like last year, Park’s R.J. Alowonle and D’Monte Farley each qualified for the Class AA state track and field meet in the maximum four events — something that no other male athlete has done in school history.
Alowonle, the defending state champion in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, won both events at the Section 3AA Championships on Thursday at the University of St. Thomas, along with taking first place in the triple jump and helping the Wolfpack boys 400-meter relay team win its race to reach state. Farley ran the anchor leg of the state-qualifying 400-meter relay, took second place in the 100-meter dash and won the 200-meter dash and the long jump at the section meet.
Alowonle, a senior and University of North Carolina recruit, won the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 13.95 seconds, which is the best time in the state this year (just .10 seconds from a 31-year-old state record) was a Section 3AA record and broke the Park High School record time of 14.03 in the event, previously held by John Briese from 1985. Alowonle now owns a remarkable five Park High School records – the 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, the 400-meter dash, the triple jump and the 400-meter relay. Last week he set the Minnesota all-time state record in the 300 hurdles, breaking Minneapolis North’s Dan Bannister’s state record time from 1987 in the event.
Not to be outdone, Farley – a fellow senior and University of North Dakota recruit – ran a season-best time in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.88, but finished in second place in a race where five runners reached the state meet by beating the 11.13 state-qualifying time. Eastview senior Leandre Kennedy won the race in 10.81 – the best time recorded in the state this year. Farley’s time is the second-best in the state this spring. Farley rebounded, however, by popping off a meet-winning long jump of 22 feet, 6 inches – just an inch off his school record and the third-best mark in the state this year, then beat Kennedy in the 200-meter run with a meet-winning time of 22.16 seconds and ran the final leg in the Wolfpack’s meet-winning 400-meter relay – along with Alowonle and juniors Irving Gutierrez and Dylan Smallidge – with a time of 42.20, edging Apple Valley’s 42.59 time.
In addition to Alowonle, Farley, Gutierrez and Smallidge qualifying for state, Park’s Temi Ogunrinde earned her first trip to the state track and field meet. The sophomore won the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.32.
The 2012 State Track and Field Meet will be held Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9 at Hamline University in St. Paul. Class AA prelims and triple jump prelims and finals will begin at 9 a.m. Friday. Event finals begin Saturday at 9 a.m.
See the full story and additional photos in the June 6 issue of the Bulletin