John's Journal
Here’s A Spring State Tournament Primer...6/6/2011
Let’s swing the gate open on a big two-week stretch of state tournaments. From the Twin Cities to Mankato, from Becker to Jordan, from St. Cloud to Chaska, there will be plenty of action to follow this week and next as we wrap up the school year.

This week’s lineup includes boys tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, girls softball and boys and girls track and field. The boys and girls golf tournament will be held next week, along with quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the state baseball tournament. The year will come to a close in grand style at Target Field on June 21 when baseball champions will be crowned in three classes.

Here is a brief look at each of this week’s tournaments. This is by no means a complete list of what to watch for, but let’s highlight just a few of the storylines…

BOYS TENNIS
Team competition Tuesday and Wednesday; singles and doubles Thursday and Friday. Class 2A at U of M’s Baseline Tennis Center, Class 1A at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
--Defending team champs/ Blake (1A), Eden Prairie (2A)
--Defending singles/doubles champs
*John Hill, senior, St. Paul Academy (1A singles)
*Dusty Boyer, junior, Forest Lake (two-time defending 2A singles champion)
*Wyatt McCoy, senior, Mounds View (won 2A singles title in 2007).
*Ford Traff, junior, Blake, seeks his third doubles title. He will compete this year with a new partner, sophomore Kai Skallerud.
*Ryan Erickson, senior, Hopkins, won 2A doubles in 2010, now playing singles.
--Keep an eye on Rochester Mayo team member Ingrid Neel, a seventh-grader.


BOYS AND GIRLS LACROSSE
Tuesday through Friday at Chanhassen; Boys play Tuesday/Thursday, Girls Wednesday/Friday)
--Defending champ/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys, Blake girls
--Boys teams/ #1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (16-0), #4 Burnsville (11-6), #2 Eden Prairie (14-2), #3 White Bear Lake (12-4)
--Girls teams/ #1 seed Blake (14-0), #4 Bloomington Jefferson (14-2), #2 Eden Prairie (14-1), #3 Stillwater (14-2)


BOYS AND GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD
Friday and Saturday at Hamline University’s Klas Field
--Athletes/events to watch
*Boys 2A high jump/ Trevor Yedoni, senior, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, has cleared 7 feet and Franky Veldman, senior, Eastview, has cleared 6-11. State record of 7-1 could fall.
*Girls 2A discus/ Maggie Ewen, sophomore, St. Francis, set a state record this season.
*Boys 2A triple jump/ Michael Sandle, senior, Eden Prairie, also set a state record this spring.
*Girls 2A hurdles/ Jessica January, sophomore, Richfield, holds the state record in 100 hurdles, is defending champ in 100 and 300 hurdles.
*Girls 2A relays/ Hopkins has the best times in all four relays, eyes a sweep.
*Girls 1A star/ Analisa Huschle, senior, Bagley/Fosston, holds state record in long jump, tops 1A this year in long jump, triple jump, 100 and 200.
*Missing/ Devin Crawford-Tufts, senior, Edina, is the defending champ in 2A 100 and 200. Due to an injury, he did not qualify for state.

SOFTBALL
Thursday and Friday at Caswell Park in North Mankato
1A/ New Life Academy has won three titles in a row and is trying to become the first team to win four championships in a row. Senior captains Rebekah Schmidt and Katie Stodolka are making their sixth trip to state. Schmidt tied a record by pitching three shutouts in last year’s tournament.
2A/ Defending champion Park Center returns. The Pirates bring back plenty of experience, since there was only one senior on last year’s team.
3A/ Bloomington Jefferson qualified for its first state tournament in style, beating defending champion Burnsville in the Section 3 finals. Shakopee is at state for the first time since 1980. Keep an eye on Brainerd coach Mike Zauhar, who should be easy to spot since he will be wearing a plastic “boot.” Leaping in celebration of the Warriors’ section title, he suffered a torn muscle attached to his left Achilles tendon.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 691
*Miles John has driven: 10,381

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn
Preparing For The Busiest Week Of The Year6/3/2011
The weekend has arrived but that doesn’t mean anyone is slowing down. Across the state, teams and individual competitors are preparing for the busiest week of the high school year in Minnesota. Beginning Monday and running through Saturday night, the schedule is loaded.

The fun began Friday and Saturday with the state adapted softball tournament at Coon Rapids High School. To see video and a photo gallery from the tourney, go to the MSHSL Facebook page. (At right is Mark Braun of Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville.)

We will have some off-the-field action when the MSHSL Board of Directors meets on Monday morning at MSHSL World Headquarters in Brooklyn Center. The agenda is not as packed as is sometimes the case, but there are always items of interest to come from board meetings.

Spring state tournaments begin Tuesday, the first day of action for boys tennis as well as lacrosse for boys and girls. Both tournaments will extend through Friday. The state softball tournament will be held at Caswell Park in North Mankato on Thursday and Friday and the state track meet will take over Hamline University’s Klas Field on Friday and Saturday.

With four state tournaments being held in the same week, this five-day stretch is unmatched for the amount of action taking place.

I’ll be posting updates from the board meeting on Monday and from the tournaments the rest of the week, with full coverage of all the action being splashed across Twitter and Facebook, too.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 683
*Miles John has driven: 10,327

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn
The Waiting Ends ... And A New State Record Is Set6/1/2011
Michael Sandle was growing weary of hearing the question, over and over and over. After every track meet for the last month, the Eden Prairie senior has been peppered with the same query: How close did you come to the state record?

The cross-examinations came to an end during Wednesday’s Class 2A Section 6 meet at Hopkins. Sandle broke the all-time state record in the boys triple jump, going 50 feet, 4 1/2 inches on his first attempt in the preliminaries. The previous record was 50-4, set by Blaine’s Reondo Davis in 1999.

Sandle has made a steady advance toward history. As a sophomore his best mark was 45-3 ½, and as a junior he won the state championship with a season-best leap of 49-5 ½. The questions about the state record began popping up after he jumped 50-3 ¼ at the Hamline Elite Meet on April 29. That was the second-best triple jump in Minnesota high school history, and since then Sandle has been thinking about the record.

“Every day,” he said. “Three quarters of an inch. It was like less than a fingernail, and it kept biting at me. That’s all everybody said: ‘How close were you? How close were you?’ ”

Sandle’s record jump was initially measured at 50-8, but when meet official Steve Gerber methodically re-checked the distance – ensuring the tape was not twisted – the official distance was announced as 50-4 ½. That was more than good enough for the record, and for Sandle.

“They pulled it back a little,” he said. “I’m just grateful that it was enough.”

He also was grateful that a new takeoff board had been painted at Hopkins earlier in the day. Knowing Sandle’s abilities and wanting to ensure the landing pit was long enough to contain him, Hopkins officials got out some white paint and put down a new broad stripe.

“They painted him a new board, and he was happy about that,” said Eden Prairie jump coach Bill Terriquez, a former longtime coach and administrator at Carleton College. “That was helpful. Prior to that he was hitting the long jump board and he actually had a little bruise on his foot from it.”

Sandle had leaped over 50 feet at Hopkins a couple weeks ago at the Lake Conference meet, and he woke up Wednesday expecting good things … once he realized that it wasn’t raining.

“I woke up this morning and I could have sworn it was raining. I was like, aaaahhh. But then when I took out the trash it was beautiful. For the last three years every section meet was a P.R. day and an amazing day. So I knew I was going to do something amazing today.”

He jumped twice in the prelims, going 50-2 on his second attempt. He passed on his first two jumps in the finals, concentrating on the 200-meter prelims (in which he had the fastest time in the prelims). On his only jump in the finals he went 48-10 ¼. He said he had figured he would go 49 feet on his first try and break the record on a subsequent jump.

“I said I was going to get a 49 and then I was going to break it. But I broke it on the first one; I had a little more than I thought I did.”

After the section meet, the only remaining opportunity to break the state record would have come at next week’s state meet at Hamline.

“I was counting down,” Sandle said. “But I knew that at either this meet or the next one, I was going to break it.”

And he’s not done yet, saying he thinks he can jump 52 feet at the state meet.

“I think I have a 52 in me, so I’ll definitely do that at Hamline,” he said. “When you work so hard, you know what your limits are and what your abilities are. When you get a 49, a 50, you know the big one’s coming pretty soon. I have no doubt in my mind that’s coming.”

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE
--A new 2011 statewide season best was set in the girls high jump at the Section 6 meet Wednesday. Minneapolis Southwest junior Tatyana Pashibin (right) won the event with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches. Prior to Wednesday, Pashibin in 2A and Caledonia/Spring Grove sophomore Emma Lange in 1A had both cleared 5-7 this season. The state record is 5-10 ¾.

--Edina senior Devin Crawford-Tufts, a Gophers football signee who won the Class 2A 100 and 200 at last year’s state meet, reinjured his left hamstring in the prelims of the 100 Wednesday. He finished the race behind several other runners and did not qualify for the finals. He later scratched in the 200 prelims.

--To see video and photos from Sandle’s record triple jump, as well as video of Crawford-Tufts running the 100 and photos of Pashibin and others, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 675
*Miles John has driven: 10,273

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn
Owatonna Wrestling Coach Scot Davis Announces Retirement5/28/2011
Scot Davis, who has compiled an outstanding record of success during a 40-year career as a wrestling coach, has announced that he is retiring from teaching and coaching at Owatonna High School.

Davis compiled 984 wins on the high school level, which leads the nation. He was at Owatonna for 25 years after previously coaching at Belcourt, N.D., Bird Island-Lake Lillian and Hutchinson. His Owatonna teams won state championships in 1998 and 2005.

"I am extremely proud of the great people that have helped build our wrestling program here at Owatonna." he said. "Several being nationally recognized demonstrates their great value to not only our program but wrestling in general. I have been truly blessed to be associated with these great people.”
It's A Special Day For The MSHSL On Facebook5/27/2011
If you are a follower of the MSHSL on Facebook, you may already know what has taken place on the aforementioned social media site.

The magic number of 3,000 Friends has been reached. This is an outstanding accomplishment, a testament to people of all ages all over Minnesota and beyond who have a passion for high school activities in our state.

One year ago, when the MSHSL Facebook page was in its infancy, we had 250 Friends. To reach 3,000 so quickly is simply amazing and we can't say Thank You enough to all our Facebook Friends.

Many high school governing bodies around the country have Facebook pages, and our MSHSL numbers rank right up near the top.

Thanks to one and all!