Rosemount track and field coach Jay Hatleli watched the discus throw competition at the Class 3A track and field state meet Saturday, which senior Hayden Bills capped with a record performance and commented, "He's got a flair for the dramatic."
And how. Bills unleashed a final throw of 207 feet flat at St. Michael-Albertville High School, obliterating the record of 201-7 set in 2001 by Karl Erickson of Rochester Century.
"I knew I hit it when I was done celebrating and saw the discus was still going," Bills said. "It's the best way I could imagine going out. That's what I worked for my whole career, to do that right there."
Bills' throw helped Rosemount win the boys team championship with 69 points, and he was named Mr. Track and Field.
Earlier this spring, Bills posted a record shot put distance of 66 feet, 8.75 inches. His Rosemount teammate, Jordan Hecht, won the state girls shot put for the first time after winning discus throw titles in 2021 and 2022. Her mark of 45 feet, 4 ¼ inches capped a decorated career.
"It was great to be here and put a pin in it and finally do it," Hecht said.
Borsch wins trifecta
The fastest high school female isn't up for debate. It's Maple Grove senior Jordyn Borsch. She swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints, perhaps none more important than the 100, her first event of the afternoon. The pressure was palpable.
"It's the finals and I'm the defending state champion," said Borsch, who was declared Miss Track and Field. "I had a lot of pressure on me to defend my title."
She succeeded. Her time of 11.65 seconds edged out Anika Larson of Cambridge-Isanti by five hundredths of a second. Her nerves eased, Borsch ran her way into history.
Minnetonka's Tobias Williams won the 100 in 10.47 seconds, two hundredths of a second faster than Harlow Tong of St. Paul Central. Williams needed confirmation from the scoreboard, and when it came, he took off running toward the infield perhaps even faster than what he brought to the track.
"It was an amazing feeling," Williams said. "That 10.47 really popped out. I was not expecting to run that."
Tong said he wasn't expecting much from the 100. A competitive finish propelled him to the 400 title later in the meet.
"It was more of a confidence boost taking second," Tong said. "It wasn't a loss."
Minnetonka's Claire Kohler is called "Beast" by Skippers coach Jane Reimer-Morgan. Kohler's left hand provided proof. Her four events were written there, a flesh-and-blood day planner.
More than quantity, Kohler's events reflected her great abilities. She swept the 100 hurdles (13.80 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (43.03) and made the triple jump finals. She concluded her day by anchoring the Skippers' 4x400 relay. She played a big part in Minnetonka winning the girls team title with 101 points.
"It hard to manage, schedule-wise," she said. "But it's been fun. I'm honored to be able to do four events at state."
Last week at the section meet, Juriad Hughes Jr., a junior at Irondale, soared an unprecedented 24 feet, 11 inches in long jump. He bumped St. Paul Central legend Von Shepard from the record books. Shepard had held the state's longest untied record since 1982.
Coming into Saturday's long jump final, Hughes had even bigger goals in mind. He wanted to go 25 feet. He had to settle for a state championship leap of 24-10 ¾.
"I'm excited," Hughes said. "I'm appreciative of my coaches, family and teammates."