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Track team excels against elite opposition

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Senior+captain+Owen+Geier+contorts+his+body+to+clear+the+high+jump+at+the+meet+on+Tuesday%2C+April+18.+Geier+finished+first+in+high+jump+along+with+the+110+meter+hurdles.+St.+Louis+Park+came+in+third+place+in+the+meet+with+82+points.
Senior captain Owen Geier contorts his body to clear the high jump at the meet on Tuesday, April 18. Geier finished first in high jump along with the 110 meter hurdles. St. Louis Park came in third place in the meet with 82 points.

Senior captain Owen Geier contorts his body to clear the high jump at the meet on Tuesday, April 18. Geier finished first in high jump along with the 110 meter hurdles. St. Louis Park came in third place in the meet with 82 points.

JOSH HALPER

Senior captain Owen Geier contorts his body to clear the high jump at the meet on Tuesday, April 18. Geier finished first in high jump along with the 110 meter hurdles. St. Louis Park came in third place in the meet with 82 points.

Invitationals prepare athletes for championship meets

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After taking third place at a home invitational, head coach Richard Keith said the track team benefitted from a higher level of competition.

“By competing against teams such as Edina and Wayzata, the boys got a taste of what it will be like to run at Sections and State,” Richard Keith said.

Mr. Keith said Park placed third, behind Edina and Irondale, despite a multitude of ailments within the team.

“Some kids had small tweaks or injuries and it was kind of cold so I erred on the side of caution and had them sit out,” Richard Keith said. “There were two events in which we did not even have people in, so the fact that we finished third was good.”

According to senior captain Ryan Keith, competing against stronger opposition elevates the performance of the track team.

“It is definitely more intimidating going up against Edina than teams in our conference,” Ryan Keith said. “I think it is good though because it pushes us to do better, since they are so good.”

Richard Keith said invitationals like Tuesday’s competition help runners get used to the routine of participating in a large meet.

“(The officials) run these invitationals as professionally as they can, which mimic Section and State competition, so kids get a feel for what the end of the season meets will be like,” Richard Keith said. “Things like learning when to check in or when to start their warm up are important for kids to learn, so when they get to the most important meets they are familiar with the process.”

According to Ryan Keith, adverse weather conditions impacted the invitational.

“The weather was not the best, so that definitely played a factor,” Ryan Keith said. “On the straightaway there was a strong wind in our face, so that definitely slowed us down.”

Despite the weather, Richard Keith said the team performed well at the meet.

“This meet was a good indicator of where we are at as a team. I saw a few promising things with the sprints as well as distance, and there were some outstanding performances by throwers,” Richard Keith said. “Overall, it was a successful meet for us.”

The Orioles’ next meet is 3 p.m. April 25 at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

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Track team excels against elite opposition