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Class 2A Track and Field: State experience will be beneficial for Warriors

Class 2A state meet What: Class 2A state track and field meet Who: Brainerd Warriors, Little Falls Flyers When: June 5-6 Where: Hamline University, St. Paul Sophie Balster and David Supinski have been here before. That could make a big difference...

Brainerd’s Luke West (left), David Supinski, Cole Spieker, Steven Severson and Sophie Balster are heading to the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
Brainerd’s Luke West (left), David Supinski, Cole Spieker, Steven Severson and Sophie Balster are heading to the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

Class 2A state meet

What: Class 2A state track and field meet

Who: Brainerd Warriors, Little Falls Flyers

When: June 5-6

Where: Hamline University, St. Paul

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Sophie Balster and David Supinski have been here before.

That could make a big difference for all five Brainerd Warriors when the Class 2A state track and field meet begins Friday at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Balster returns to state in discus where last year as a sophomore she struggled to a 100-foot-6 effort. Her first state experience also included two fouls as she couldn't match her section toss of 122-4.

This year, however, Balster is in better form and knows what to expect.

"She's going to be familiar with the venue," said Warrior girls head coach Dan Clabo. "She has a tendency to get a little nervous, which is expected. It will be helpful having been there before. That will be an asset."

Along with knowledge of the venue, Balster is throwing her best at the right time. She posted career bests in discus and shot put at the Section 8-2A meet to advance in both this year. Balster enters the discus event seeded sixth with a toss of 129-2.

"She is definitely in the hunt to medal," Clabo said. "That's what I'm hoping. You never know what will happen when you get down there. A couple of the top throwers may drop down and not make the finals. She's right in there. She has been consistently at that 125-129-foot range. I expect her to finish where she is at. A couple of more days of practice to work on cleaning up some things may get us a bit more distance."

Balster is seeded 13th in the shot put with her 39-7.5. Rochester John Marshall had the top section throw of 45-9. Clabo said aside from the top few only inches separate the middle of the pack and he believes Balster could make the jump into the finals.

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Supinski was part of Brainerd's 4x400 relay that just missed making the state finals last season. The senior is the only returner, however, on a team that now features seniors Steven Severson, Cole Spieker and junior Luke West.

The foursome is seeded 14th with its section time of 3:28.74. Eden Prairie has the top seed with 3:21.00

"This will be the first time in about three weeks that we are going to be running together and healthy," Warrior boys head coach Rod Reuer said. "The last time we did run together was at the Wayzata Relays and we showed very well there. After that, Spieker got hurt.

"We obviously need to make a big time drop. We need to get down in that 3:24 range to move on. We're probably not going to have as busy of a day as we did in sections. Our guys won't be doing three other events. This will be the only event for two of them and Supinski can handle, whatever. Luke West can handle it. He'll have one less 800 to run before the 4x4.

"We have to compete, though. That's been a goal of this team. They had a good showing at the Hamline Elite meet and they know we're in the mix. Hopefully we'll see some time drops across the board from all four guys. We don't need a lot, but we do need some."

Supinski will need to drop some time in the 400-meter dash as well. The senior is seeded 11th with his 50.48. Eastview's Leron Norton posted a 48.45 for the top seed.

Yet, Reuer believes seedings and section times won't mean much once Supinski gets into the heat of the race.

"Most of the year he's never really had a lot of competition," Reuer said. "He did at the Hamline meet and at the section True Team meet, but he's always been the front-runner. He runs very well from the front, but he likes to be in the battle. He will be in a battle at state.

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"He just has not had the best of conditions either. He's run in a lot of wind on meet days and that has affected his time. He has another gear we saw last week in the 200 dash. Most kids don't have that."

Supinski is seeded seventh in the 200 dash with a 22.48. The top time is owned by Evan McClellon of Armstrong at 21.25.

West, in his first year out for track, will be running in the 800. He has the 16th seed, but Reuer is pleased with West's quick acclimation to racing.

"Every week he has gotten better and better," Reuer said. "He's a good athlete and smart. He's gotten better with his race strategy. Before the section meet he made the comment that he can't outsprint the Bemidji guy and needed to get ahead of him quickly, which is what he did, and made the Bemidji guy come and get him.

"He's learning how to run the 800. For him a lot of it has to do with being more aggressive early in the race. It's legitimate to say he can shave off another couple of seconds just because everyone else running it will take it out fast."

Little Falls' Tyler Moore will be busy at the state meet as he qualified for the 1600 and 3200. The sophomore is seeded 17th in the 1600, but 10th in the 3200 with a time of 9:46.34. The top time is from Jaret Carpenter of Wayzata at 9:06.57.

The Flyers' Kyle Kabanuk is seeded 19th in the long jump with a 21-2. Minnetonka's Matthew Dille is the top seed at 22-9.

Class 2A boys seedings

200 dash: 1-Evan McClellon (Armstrong) 21.25, 7-David Supinski (Brainerd) 22.48

400 dash: 1-Leron Norton (Eastview) 48.45, 11-Supinski (Brainerd) 50.48

800 run: 1-Christopher Trotter (St. Louis Park) 1:53.04, 16-Luke West (Brainerd) 2:00.75

1600 run: 1-Joe Klecker (Hopkins) 4:09.81, 17-Tyler Moore (Little Falls) 4:38.55

3200 run: 1-Jaret Carpenter (Wayzata) 9:06.57, 10-Moore (LF) 9:46.34

4x400 relay: 1-Eden Prairie 3:21.00, 14-Brainerd (Steven Severson, Cole Spieker, West, Supinski) 3:28.74

Long jump: 1-Matthew Dille (Minnetonka) 22-9, 19-Kyle Kabanuk (Little Falls) 21-2

Class 2A girls seedings

Shot put: 1-Nicole Fautsch (Rochester John Marshall) 45-9, 13-Sophie Balster (Brainerd) 39-7.5

Discus: 1-Veronica Rasmussen (Mounds View) 143-1, 6-Balster (Brd) 129-2

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Brainerd’s David Supinski (left), Steven Severson, Sophie Balster, Cole Spieker and Luke West are heading to the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
Brainerd’s David Supinski (left), Steven Severson, Sophie Balster, Cole Spieker and Luke West are heading to the Class 2A state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

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