Unless Rilwan Alowonle trips and falls he’s probably going to win the 110-meter hurdles championship in the Class 2A state meet Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.
But Brainerd’s Jackson Walters is in the hunt for a podium finish.
While Alowonle, of Park, ran a Minnesota state meet-record time of 13.88 in Friday’s prelims, Walters clocked the second-fastest time of 14.64. They will face off in the finals at 10:03 a.m. Saturday at Hamline.
“Basically, about 2/10ths of a second separate second through eighth place,” Warrior boys head coach Rod Reuer said. “It will be a very tight race (Saturday).
“Jackson ran well. He was off his school-record time by about a 10th. He cleaned up his race fairly well. He did hit the No. 7 hurdle pretty hard, but he’s in the mix.
“Realistically, the Park kid is out front. We know if he runs a clean race he will be tough to beat. But state runner-up would be a nice place to be and I think Jackson has the potential to be right there. It’s set up for a great race (Saturday). It will be fun to watch. Jackson’s in the hunt with everyone else.”
In the pole vault finals Friday, Brainerd’s Josh Murrey missed the podium, and all-state honors, by one place as he finished 10th at 13-6.
“He cleared his first two attempts, but missed one at 13-6, then missed his next three attempts at 14, which was a couple inches off his personal best,” Reuer said. “He was hoping to get 14. It came down to a matter of misses. He just didn’t have enough drive in his last three attempts to get over the 14-foot mark.”
Murrey, who set the Warriors’ school record this year at 13-8, bettered his 2011 state finish by two places.
“He beat the kid who won our section,” Reuer said. “He’s disappointed in the fact he didn’t get 14 feet, which would have placed him, but it was a good showing. He cleared three heights. He finished off a nice track career and represented himself pretty well at state.”
In the shot put finals Friday, Brainerd’s Jake Kassulker finished 16th with a toss of 44-10.5.
“He qualified with a second-place effort at the section meet,” Reuer said. “Friday was just one of those things. Some kids perform well at state, some don’t perform the greatest. He had a down day, but he capped off a good, solid career. He qualified for state his senior year. I’m sure that was a goal of his.
“It’s just unfortunate he didn’t throw better here, but he got here and he was deserving.”
Brainerd’s 4x200 relay of Grant Reuer, Logan Davis, Nick Oldham and Walters placed 14th in the prelims. Only the top nine advance to Saturday’s finals.
“They ran a couple 10ths slower than they came in at,” Rod Reuer said. “We just weren’t fast enough. I thought they ran well, I thought their exchanges were clean. It boiled down to the fact the other teams had four faster guys than we did.
“We finished where we were seeded and we beat a couple teams. We just didn’t have the sprinters that other schools have that allowed them to get into the 1:28.
“We hoped to make Day Two. The kids ran hard. That’s all we ever ask of our kids is to give their best performance. A couple sophomores (Grant Reuer and Davis) got state meet experience. Hopefully, we can use them to build on the next couple years and continue to bring relay teams down here each year.”
In the girls 800 run prelims, Brainerd’s Allison Kosobud ran in the second heat and finished 14th overall at 2:19.23.
“She was third in her heat, and in the third heat the slowest girl was 2:19,” Warrior girls head coach Dan Clabo said. “Unfortunately, she got in a slow heat. It was a little bit unusual. You’re vying for second but you’re vying for other places as well.
“I know she’s disappointed. She felt she could have run faster. She just wasn’t sure what to do under those circumstances.”
For Little Falls, Preston Zimny finished 11th in the boys 3200 run and Luke Pennington was 18th in the 300 hurdles and 24th in the 110 hurdles.
Boys Class 2A
3200 run: 1-Joshua Thorson (Wayzata) 9:06.07, 11-Preston Zimny (LF) 9:36.27
Shot put: 1-Thomas Anderson (Andover) 65-4.25, 16-Jake Kassulker (Brd) 44-10.5
Pole vault: 1-Lee Bares (Lakeville South) 15-6, 10-Josh Murrey (Brd) 13-6
110 hurdles: 1-Rilwan Alowonle (Park) 13.88 (Minnesota state meet record), 2-Jackson Walters (Brd) 14.64, 24-Luke Pennington (LF) 15.86
300 hurdles: 1-Rilwan Alowonle (Park) 36.92, 18-Pennington 41.47
4x200 relay: 1-Anoka 1:29.46, 14-Brainerd (Grant Reuer, Logan Davis, Nick Oldham, Jackson Walters) 1:31.47
Girls Class 2A
800 run: 1-Stephanie Knight (Orono) 2:14.35, 14-Allison Kosobud (Brd) 2:19.23
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.