ST. MICHAEL, Minn. — Having a large contingent of teammates competing with him and cheering him on at Saturday’s Minnesota Class 2A state track and field championships created memories that will stick with senior distance runner Evan Myran.
The Spuds sent three relay teams and had individuals competing in eight solo events at the state meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School. All of those athletes made for quite a cheering section and made all the difference for the runner.
“With the amount of guys we managed to send to state, It was a lot more fun of a trip than it might be in some other years,” Myran said. “Just because of the support and the cheering. It feels more like a team event than if you’re just there by yourself.”
Myran’s weekend at the state tournament started on Thursday when he competed in the 3,200 and continued Saturday when he took the track for the 1,600. He finished fifth in the two-mile race in 9 minutes, 29.98 seconds. He came back Saturday and finished eighth in the mile in 4:24.10 — his personal best mark in the event.
“It’s kind of like that perfect story that everyone thinks about,” Myran said. “Especially with last year not being able to make it because of the pandemic. It’s the perfect way to go out, getting to race in two events and finishing well in both.”
Sophomore thrower Elinneus Davis has plenty of time to create more memories, and after his showing this year, he probably will be back. He placed seventh in the discus in his state meet debut, with a throw of 142 feet.
“I was obviously really nervous but my coach told me to relax,” Davis said. “It was a great feeling knowing that all of the best throwers in the state are here and feeling that competition. It felt really good. Especially since it was my first year. I was mainly just there for the experience. Getting on the podium was a bonus.”
The 142-foot toss came on his third attempt. Davis threw 134-04 on his first try, 138-02 on his second and 131-02 on his fourth.
“(The third throw) was a really good one,” Davis said. “If you asked my coach, she would probably say that I had a really good scream on that one. I’ve made louder noise, but that was a good one.”
Davis' personal record was 142-06 and he was happy to stay within that range at the state meet. Having a podium under his belt as a sophomore, he said, will motivate him to push harder for the next two years. He has his sights set on Moorhead’s school record and wants to make a run at a state title.
“The experience is obviously going to boost my confidence,” Davis said. “I’ve already been here and now I have a goal to try to take first place. It’s a big confidence booster knowing that I can compete with all of these great athletes.”
Moorhead senior George Nyanforh placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 8 inches. His longest jump came on his fourth and final attempt. His jump was the last one of the day for the event. He stepped up to the line with fourth place already secured and had one last shot to outjump Fridley’s Anthony Borom’s mark of 45-4 1/4.
Nyanforh didn’t quite make it there, but he did better than his previous long of 44-7 1/4.
Nyanforh was also on the Spuds 400 relay team with Jamal Dixon, Alonn Salman and Michael Haugo that finished sixth in 43.38 seconds.
The Moorhead 800 relay team of Abe Carlson, Dixon, Salman and Haugo finished sixth in 1:29.51.
Haugo, who competed in the maximum number of events (four), was also 12th in the long jump (20-6 1/4) and 14th in the 200 (22.64 seconds).
The Moorhead 1,600 relay team of Dixon, Salman, Trey Feeney and John Jenkins took sixth place with a time of 3:26.01. Farmington won the state title in 3:22.34
Jenkins placed 15th in the 300 hurdles in 42.28 seconds.
Moorhead senior Jack Cella was 14th in the pole vault at 12 feet.
“I think the key moments I’ll remember looking back will be weekends like this where it’s the end of the season and it’s time to go all out and get some PRs,” Myran said. “And you’ve got a team of guys around you supporting you whether it’s cross country or track. These are the moments I’ll probably keep for a very long time.”
The Moorhead girls also took the track Saturday, though an hour behind schedule due to an accident on I-94 making travel to the venue difficult.
The Spuds 400 relay team of Alexis Olderbak, Halle Gregoire, Willow Carrier, and Summer Lindquist finished in sixth place with a time of 49.38 seconds — a season-best.
The 800 team of Gregoire, Liana Ulness, Carrier, and Lindquist finished ninth in 1:45.20.
Carrier was 12th in the 200-meter dash in 26.19 seconds.