Gemechu Meskele, left, Ben Grosse, far right, and others celebrated Wayzata's True Team state title. (Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune)
The midfield dance party after the True Team track and field state meet rivaled the athletic feats shown in competition.
Flips and other acrobatics drew cheers, but the Wayzata boys’ and Minnetonka girls’ teams flashed the skills that led to ultimate meet glory. Superior showings in the field events gave Wayzata its fifth consecutive Class 3A True Team state title and Minnetonka its first since 1992.
First-time qualifiers, the Edina boys and Wayzata girls, were the runners-up in the 31st annual True Team state meet held Friday evening at Stillwater High School.
“It’s amazing,” said Wayzata senior Ben Grosse, who supplied a speaker to get the post-meet dance party jumping. He also scored points in the three jump events and 300 hurdles.
“It’s bigger than any individual accomplishment,” Grosse said. “It speaks to the depth of the team and the depth of the character of everyone on the team as well.”
Senior Lewis Gibson personified the Trojans’ resilience. He ran out of his lane to disqualify Wayzata in the 4x200-meter relay early Friday. He rebounded to win the 400 as the juggernaut Trojans went deeper for more points in several events. They outscored Edina by 20 points or more in the 800, high jump, long jump and discus.
Wayzata won with 863.5 points, well ahead of Edina’s 794.5.
On the girls’ side, Minnetonka edged Wayzata 821.5 to 799 thanks to a 32-point advantage in the 300 hurdles and a 33-point advantage in the long jump. Both programs were outstanding in the distance events, piling up huge points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races.
“I wasn’t sure we could do it but everyone had a good day today,” said Skippers’ junior Olivia O’Brien, who contributed big points by winning both the long jump and triple jump. “It’s nice to be back.”
The True Team section and state meets, sponsored by the Minnesota Track and Field Coaches Association, reward programs for their depth because every athlete competing earns points toward his or her team’s total.
By contrast, one or two ultra-talented athletes can — and have — won a “team” title for their school at the Minnesota State High School League-sponsored state meet in June.