The call came quick for Emmanuel Egbujor, much like it has in almost every track meet the Champlin Park senior has participated in this summer.
As usual, he answered.
Only this time, in the midst of a June 7 and 8 Class AA state track and field meet stocked full of elite sprinters, Egbujor answered a call none of his peers could.
Egbujor ran in the Class AA finals in the 100, 200 and 400-meter runs, finishing fifth in both the 100 and 200 and fourth in the 400.
He was the only competitor in the Class AA boys meet to qualify for the finals in all three sprint races, and there was good reason as to why.
“I’m so tired when its over,” said Egbujor. “When I ran the 200 (the third event in the triple) in the [June 7) preliminaries, I felt like I couldn’t pick up my legs. To be honest, I was surprised I qualified in all three.”
He almost had a partner in two of the events, as Joe Sando ran in the preliminaries in both the 100 and 200 but failed to qualify for the finals.
Egbujor said he felt bad for Sando, citing the push his fellow senior provides both in practice and meets.
Still, Egbujor performed well on his own Saturday.
He turned in a time of 11.24 seconds in the 100, then finished the 400 in 48.27 seconds before coming back to race the 200 in 22.35 seconds.
He also capped what was a memorable senior year in which he also helped the Champlin Park boys soccer team to a state tournament in the fall.
“I’ve been very blessed this year, no question,” said Egbujor.
Late comer ends up third
Jeremy Johnson didn’t even start high jumping until the middle of the track season.
Even then, he was only the third best jumper on his own team.
“That is what is crazy,” he said. “When I started, I was behind both (Taylor Abram and Michael Sales). Now, here I am.”
Johnson was a state tournament participating in the event after clearing 6-feet, 5-inches in what was an ultra-competitive Section 5AA meet May 31.
Saturday, he turned that pressure cooker into another solid showing, once again clearing 6-5 to place third in all of Class AA boys track and field.
“I had a goal to do pretty good in sections, but I never thought I’d make it to state,” Johnson said. “But everyone in that section really pushed each other, and I think that really helped me today.”
Champlin Park senior Joe Stephens also competed in the state meet, placing fourth in the shot put with a toss of 54 feet, 10.75 inches June 7 and then 11th in the discus June 8.
As a team, the Champlin Park boys placed in a tie with Eden Prairie for fourth place.
Stillwater was the boys team champion, Forest Lake was second and Wayzata third.
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]