Compare the two sports headlines (in the printed edition) from Monday June 8, regarding the State track meet….the Rochester JM senior is rightfully deemed “very fast” and congratulations to him for a wonderful achievement. On the other hand, the Austin boys were handed a headline that was not quite as flattering, “Fast, not quite fast enough.” While I understand the premise behind the words, (it is correct that the Austin boys did not return with a 1st place finish) to pronounce the Austin boys insufficiently fast implies that they failed at the State meet. Nothing is further from the truth. These boys have been consistently improving their times, even setting new performance records at the State meet. Of the seven Packer boys that qualified for State this year, just one is a senior. Expect that those returning next year will be putting forth maximum effort. Perhaps next year they will earn a headline of “very fast” instead of “not fast enough.”
Incidently, the Austin Packer boys finished 18th of 65 teams at the State meet, JM finished 28th. The other Rochester schools (Century and Mayo) were not listed.
Here is the full story from the Austin Post Bulletin online, where the headline is really the “sub-headline “Packers 1600 meter relay finishes fourth”
ST. PAUL — The fastest time in the Class AA state track and field preliminaries didn’t stand up for Austin’s 1600 relay team in Saturday’s finals at Hamline University.
The Austin Packers had a chance to bring home a state title after the relay team of juniors Will Darling, Jacob Bentley, Tim Erickson and Henry Darling had the top time in Friday’s preliminaries. But the race in the finals was a different story and the team finished fourth with a time of 3:25.07.
“I think a lot of it was because some of the teams relaxed in the preliminaries to get better times (today),” Bentley said of the fourth-place finish in the relay. “We went out really hard in the semis. They just had more left.”
The Darling brothers also did well individually on the final day of the state meet. Henry got seventh in the 400 meter dash, coming in at 50.56 seconds.
Will Darling braved the slick track conditions in the 300 meter hurdles and had a strong race. He came in with a time of 40.47 seconds, and a fifth-place finish.
“Fifth is really good for me,” Will Darling said of his finish in the hurdles. “I was seeded eighth, and I’m just happy to be up at the podium at all.”
There was one more event for the Packers in the state finals.
The Austin 3200meter team of juniors Jacob Larson, Christian Folken, Tim Erickson, and senior Kyle Dammen finished in sixth-place on the day. The Packers 3,200 relay came in with a time of 8:02.61.