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Boys track and field: Johnson, Blahnik advance to state

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sports Red Wing, 55066
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

Red Wing senior Luke Johnson advanced to state in the discus and classmate Bryant Blahnik will join him there after winning the mile Saturday at the Section 1AA championships.

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Johnson won the discus competition with a throw of 177 feet, 1/2 inch at Lakeville South High School. The second-place finisher's best throw measured 163-8.

"He kind of dominated the competition," Wingers coach Adam Nelson said.

Nelson added that Johnson would have broken the section record of 188-8 if not for stepping out on one of his throws.

Johnson had already advanced to state in the shot put. The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Blahnik posted a time of 4 minutes, 27.83 seconds in the 1,600-meter run. He ran the last 800 in about 2:04, according to Nelson

"It was just a really good and smart race," Nelson said. "His kick at the end just chewed up people. It was a very impressive mile run."

Blahnik was spent after the race, according to Nelson, and that led to his seventh-place finish in the 800 (2:01.35). Blahnik posted the best time in prelims.

The top two individuals in each event advanced to state along with the first-place relay.

Red Wing medaled (signifying a top-six finish) in both the 4x200 and the 4x100.

Junior Alex Harder, junior Ethan Draz, junior Tanner Kramp and sophomore Tawon Howard took fifth in the 4x200 (1:34.83) while Kramp, Draz, junior Alex Byrne and Harder came in sixth in the 4x100 (45.73).

"Just for us to place and medal is very good," Nelson said. "For us it says a lot about our handoffs."

It appeared Sam Whitebear also had delivered a noteworthy performance in the 110 hurdles when he crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 15.96. However, he was disqualified because of a trail leg violation. Officials deemed that his tow was swinging around the gates in Lane 1 instead of over the top of them, according to Nelson.

"I felt terrible for Sam," Nelson said. "He put his heart out on the line for that."

Red Wing finished sixth out of 15 schools with 42 points.

"Our boys can be pretty proud of how they finished not just this meet but how they finished out the season, Nelson said.

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