Chip Scoggins
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A 280-pound nose tackle in football played every second of a four-overtime lacrosse section championship game for Eagan on Thursday night.

Twelve hours later, a girl runner from Hutchinson pulled off a unique track and field double: She won the state title in the longest distance event and then qualified for the finals in a sprinting event — two hours apart — and it was impossible to know which of her performances was more impressive.

High school state tournaments are taking place throughout Minnesota in various sports right now. Teenagers are living out dreams with childhood friends. Medals and plaques are being won. The competition is wildly intense.

Pick a sport, pick a venue, and you are guaranteed to be treated to a wonderful display of physical talent and athletic camaraderie, the best this state has to offer with enough cool stories to fill Lake Superior.

Here are two that I witnessed on back-to-back days: Keenan Wilson of Eagan and Izzy Schmitz of Hutchinson.

Wilson was named first-team All-Metro in football as a senior defensive tackle. He's 6-2 and 280 pounds. He will continue his football career at North Dakota State next season.

He also has played lacrosse since third grade — and he's quite skilled at it. And fast. Not fast for 280 pounds but just fast, period.

"It gets my feet moving," he said.

Defensive linemen are not usually required to do a lot of running. Lacrosse requires a lot of running. Wilson fits right in.

He was one of Eagan's top scorers this season after moving from defense to attacker. He scored a goal in a 9-8 loss to Cretin-Derham Hall in the section final, which went to four overtimes.

Wilson played the entire game — 61 minutes, 30 seconds. He made several long runs to create a shot for himself or a pass to a teammate. He described his style as "bully ball."

"Contact sport," he said, "so I like that."

He found that lacrosse helped his football career in different ways. Conditioning. Quickness. Footwork. Hand-eye coordination.

He reports to NDSU for summer football workouts on Sunday, which meant he would have delayed his arrival had Eagan advanced to the state tournament. Dropping lacrosse this season to focus solely on football never entered his mind.

"This is my family," he said, emotion in his voice after losing a heartbreaker. "A lot of these guys I've known since second grade. We're tight."

Hutchinson's Schmitz competed solely in individual events at the Class 2A track and field state meet, but her schedule presented a contrast in style.

Technically, she's a distance runner, but she set a goal of qualifying for state in three events and since runners are limited to two distance events, she added the 400, which some consider the hardest event in track.

Hutchinson co-head coach Gina Plotz called the 3,200/400 combination "pretty rare." Rarer even for someone to be state meet-caliber as a distance runner and a sprinter.

Schmitz made it look easy.

On Friday, she opened by winning the 3,200 — her first track state title — in 10 minutes, 43.68 seconds, by a margin of 15 seconds.

Schmitz had two hours to recover before her 400 prelims. She hydrated, found shade under a tent and spent time in the cooling mister.

She regularly competes in the 4x400 relay during the season, which gives her less recovery time. Occasionally, at smaller meets, boys and girls run the 3,200 together. That gives her about seven minutes to recover.

"Those races," she said, "it's all guts."

The mile and 2-mile are her main events. The 400 is a bonus. Her goal was simply to make the final. She accomplished that by running a personal-best time (58.72) in the prelims.

"I'm pumped," she said afterward.

Her schedule was even more compacted on Saturday. Schmitz led the 1,600 until the final 200 meters and finished second, less than 3 seconds behind Jordan's Kendra Krueger, who set a Class 2A state meet record at 4:53.90.

Schmitz had roughly 25 minutes before she was back on the track for the 400, a ridiculously short recovery time after her mile race. She placed ninth in the 400.

"I was tired right out of the blocks," she said. "I was just trying to hang on with everything I had to get to the finish line."

The fierce competitor inside her refused to concede. She dug deep and found strength to keep pushing herself to the finish.