Superior High School senior Carter Anderson and junior Lauren Magnuson will be making a familiar journey together again this weekend.
The two Spartans will be making their third straight trip together to the WIAA State Track Meet at UW-La Crosse.
Magnuson advanced to state in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Anderson will be competing in the 300-meter hurdles.
As a freshman, Magnuson advanced to state in the 100 and as a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Last year she ran at state in the 200.
Anderson advanced to state in the 110 hurdles as a sophomore and 110 and 300 hurdles as a junior.
He just missed advancing in both events again this year, finishing second in the 300 hurdles but fourth in the 110 hurdles, just one-tenth of a second away from the final qualifying spot.
“I ran well (in the 110 hurdles), and set my own personal record with a 14.97, but there was some very good competition,” Anderson said.
The winning sectional time was 14.95 and the extra qualifying time was 14.96. His time would have finished in first or second at most of the other seven sections.
“I would have won a number of sectionals, but our section was loaded,” Anderson said. “There’s not much you can about that.”
Hurdle coach Sam Wilson thinks Anderson has a great chance to place in the top eight at state in the 300 hurdles.
“He’s been working really hard and now he has the opportunity to only having to concentrate on one race at state,” Wilson said. “His race in the 300 at sectionals was probably his worst of the season, but it was also the best time he’s ever run. So it’s kind of bitter sweet. We know that if runs the race the way he’s supposed to, he’s going to do real well.
“I have the feeling he’ll make the finals, for sure.”
Sprint coach Kris Leopold also thinks Magnuson has a shot of making the finals in both of her events.
“She’s got a legitimate chance to make the finals in both events,” Leopold said. “She has both school records and they’re fast enough now to let her know that she can finish in the top six or seven. She’s confident and she’s as fast as she’s ever been.”
Magnuson broke her own records in both the 100 and 200 at the regional meet in Rice Lake. She then went on to lower the mark again in the 100 at the sectional meet.
On the down side, if you can imagine there could be one, is that Magnuson missed out on winning the sectional title in the 100 by .001 of a second.
“I came out the blocks last so I’ve been trying to work on my starts for state,” Magnuson said.
Magnuson failed to make the finals in the 200 last year, but she thinks the experience should help her out this year.
“The experience will definitely help, I won’t get as nervous,” Magnuson said. “My goal is to make finals in the 100 and hopefully medal (place in the top eight). In the 200, I just hope to set another personal record. I’m not really expecting that much, the field is really strong this year.”
Magnuson is hitting her peak at the right time, especially after not getting off to the best start.
“For some reason I got off to a slow start and I was really disappointed in my times at the beginning of the year,” Magnuson said. “I didn’t think they would go down as far as they have, so I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”
Magnuson credits her fast recovery with her off-season activities.
“I really credit the work I’ve put in the off-season,” Magnuson said. “Did a lot of training and I swim in the fall and play soccer in the summer and winter.”
Anderson, who will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall, also thinks the experience of two previous state meets will help this weekend.
“Coming in as a sophomore, I didn’t expect a lot to come out of it, but this year I’m a lot more confident,” Anderson said. “I’m actually in the running for the finals and the podium, so it’s a lot different feeling coming with higher expectations.”
The hurdles preliminary race is today with the finals set for Saturday, with is also when Anderson is scheduled to graduate.
“If I make to finals, it’s likely I won’t be back for graduation,” Anderson said. “It’s been my goal to make the finals and get the podium, so I don’t think it will be that big of a deal.”
Especially if he returns to Superior with a medal.