Edina Boys’ Track Is Off to the Races

Jack Marker, staff writer

The competitive track and field season is well underway and Edina’s team is off to the races. After taking sixth place in the overall sweepstakes at the Minnesota State High School League state tournament in boys’ track and field and 13th in the girls’ division last year, the team hopes 2018 will be a year to remember.

With competitors in 20 boys’ events and 22 girls’ events, Edina’s track and field team is one of the largest activities the high school offers. Notably, unlike many other sports, the track and field team doesn’t have tryouts. “It really makes us better. Younger kids are able to practice with top tier seniors and get a lot better. It’s a good thing that nobody’s kept out,” said senior long distance runner Ben Elliott.

Unfortunately, the season so far hasn’t been without hiccups. First, weeks of unseasonably bad weather made it difficult for the team to practice and race. “Everything we planned had to be delayed two weeks. Luckily, every other school had the same problem so nobody got an advantage,” Elliott said.

Next, some of the boys’ top performers suffered injuries. “Sam and I have had to be out because of injuries so that’s definitely made things difficult,” Elliott said, referencing his brother, team captain, Sam Elliott. Luckily, Ben noted, the girls’ program has largely been spared injuries.

After a series of invitationals in April and early May, the team will face its most significant hurdle yet: the True Team Section Meet. “That’s how you get to state. That’s the tournament you have to come through at,” said Elliott.

Qualification hasn’t always been easy for the program, and last year the team’s top performer, Patrick Roos (‘17), missed the mark. After winning the 2016 MSHSL cross country state championship, and finishing third in 3200 at track state the same year, Roos fell short of qualification for the 2018 state tournament by 0.3 seconds. Edina’s difficult section and the unorthodox way in which time was kept at the race were largely to blame.

However, if Edina sends a strong cohort to state they have the potential to make history. The last boys’ state championship was won by Edina West High School in 1975 and the girls’ team has yet to win a state title. As such, a state champion for either program would be a first for the modern Edina High School. With numerous senior commitments to top schools, a strong finish at state certainly isn’t out of the question.