Friday’s Class A State Track and Field Meet in St. Michael wound up giving the Mt. Lake Area-Comfrey team the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
First came the low, which was on the heels of what should have been a monumental achievement.
In the first event of Friday’s finals, the Wolverine boys 4×800-meter relay team of Carter Olson, Ethan Schroeder, Zach Klassen and Kody Wassman appeared to win the state championship, breaking the Class A state meet record in the process with a time of 7:56.05.
But the celebration was cut short. Coach Gary Hildebrandt was summoned to the officials’ tent, where it was announced the Wolverines’ state title was being taken away and the team was disqualified.
MLAC would have to wait for potential redemption until the final race of the day, when the 4×400-meter relay team of Jordan Linscheid, Olson, Wassman and Klassen took the lead late in the final lap and hung on, winning the state championship with a time of 3:24.22 — .03 seconds ahead of runner-up St. Cloud Cathedral, the defending state champion.
Two of the Wolverines’ three individual qualifiers were able to come home with medals.
The highlight from that came in the 1,600 finals Friday, when Klassen was among race leaders throughout, finishing in fifth place with a time of 4:23.00.
Klassen’s time broke a school record that had stood nearly 30 years, previously held by Josh Metcalf.
In Thursday’s preliminary heats of the 800-meter run, Wassman recorded the second-fastest time in his heat — a career-best 1:57.56 — to automatically qualify for Friday’s final.
Schroeder, however, was not quite as fortunate. Despite taking fifth in his heat with a career-best time of 1:59.40, Schroeder missed Friday’s finals by one spot, finishing 10th overall.
Wassman’s first time on the track after the 4×800 ruling came in the 800-meter final, where he wound up in eighth place, finishing with a time of 2:00.42.