April 2019 Athletes of the Month


MENDOTA HEIGHTS – With the championship season of high school track & field in Minnesota quickly approaching, high school athletes are rounding into form and putting down some really amazing performances. In the month of April, the Hopkins High School Boys 4x100 meter relay team set a new all-time Minnesota state record, and Robbie Grace of The Blake School became the 2nd best female long jumper in Minnesota high school track & field history.
At this year’s Hamline Elite Meet on April 26th, the most prestigious high school track & field meet in Minnesota aside from the Minnesota State High School League Track & Field Championships, the Hopkins High School boys 4x100 meter relay team put on a show. With a team consisting of junior Ty Bennett, junior Jaylen Champion, sophomore George Jackson and senior Joe Fahnbulleh, Hopkins finished 1st with a time of 41.35, breaking the previous all-time Minnesota state record of 41.52 held by Eagan High School from the 2015 MSHSL Track & Field Championships and earning them the title of USATF Minnesota’s Male Athletes of the Month for April. Led by University of Florida commit Joe Fahnbulleh, the Hopkins team has big things in store for the upcoming Championship season, entering the state meet as the favorites in both the 4x100m and 4x200m relay.
Robbie Grace, current Blake School Bear, also had herself an impressive month of April. First, she became the 2nd best long jumper in state history with her monster jump of 20-01 at the IMAC Indoor Meet on April 6th to become only the 2nd high school girl to jump farther than 20 feet in Minnesota history and come within .25 inches of the all-time state record. For context, that jump of 20-01 would have placed Grace 17th overall at last year’s NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships. Then, later in April at the Hamline Elite Meet, Grace won the long jump in a meet and facility record jump of 19-10.25. These two fantastic performances have earned her the honor of USATF Minnesota’s Female Athlete of the Month for April. Heading to Wake Forest University next year, Grace is also in an exciting position heading into the MSHSL Track & Field Championships next month.
Honorable Mention Performances – April 2019
  • Heather Kampf, originally from Rosemount, MN and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, placed 2nd at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines, Iowa, in 4:32 on April 23rd, then followed that up with a 3rd place finish in the Women’s Invite 1500m at the Drake Relays on April 27th. Kampf currently trains with and competes for Team USA Minnesota.
  • Joe Coffey, a former St. Olaf College Ole currently competing for Collegeville Track Club, finished 8th at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in 4:06 in Des Moines, IA, then finished 7th at the Drake Relays Invite Men’s Mile with a time of 4:08.62.
  • Katy Jermann, also a current Team USA Minnesota athlete, finished 12th at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington D.C. in a time of 54:03 on April 7th. Jermann also won the USATF Minnesota 10k Road Championship at the Get in Gear 10k in a time of 32:43 on April 27th.
  • Danny Docherty, a native of St. Paul, MN and graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School currently training with Team USA Minnesota, finished 19th at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in a time of 48:25, then won the USATF Minnesota 10k Road Championship in a time of 30:18 later in April.
  • Erika Townley of White Bear Lake High School finished 1st at the Hamline Elite Meet on April 26th in both the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles with times of 14.78 and 44.31, respectively.
  • Lauren Ping completed the distance-double at the Hamline Elite Meet, winning the 1600m and 3200m runs with times of 4:50.64 and 10:40.62, respectively, while competing for Cotter High School out of Winona, MN.
  • Maxwell Otterdahl, current Rosemount High School athlete, won both the shot put and discus events at the Hamline Elite Meet, setting meet records in both events in the process with throws of 61-04.75 in the shot put and 181-02 in the discus.
We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for USATF Minnesota’s Athlete of the Month award, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to maxwellkuzara@gmail.com with the subject line “Athlete of the Month Nomination”.

Fans can follow along with USATF Minnesota on FacebookTwitter, and online at www.minnesota.usatf.org.
Maxwell Kuzara
Athlete of the Month Committee Chair
USA Track & Field Minnesota