Wensia Johnson wins 200-meter state title, Piepenburg second in 1,600
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria 8th grader Wensia Johnson just missed winning the 100-meter title this morning against Taylor Anderson of Hopkins.
Almost two hours after that race ended, the roles were reversed as Johnson won the first of what could be many state titles in her future. Johnson crossed the finish line in 24.26 seconds, narrowly edging Anderson who finished in 24.50.
"It means a lot," Johnson said. "I've wanted this the whole year."
It was a year that didn't even get started until Alexandria's home meet midway through the season. Johnson battled through a knee injury early on and didn't have a lot of training behind her coming into the state meet. With a full season of good health, who knows what her sprint times could be.
"I haven't reached (my ceiling)," Johnson said. "I can do better."
Piepenburg was hoping to add a couple more state titles to the three she had coming into the meet but had to settle for second in the 1,600 today after taking third in the 3,200 yesterday.
Piepenburg crossed the finish line in 4:56.52, just behind longtime rival Maria Hauger of Shakopee, who finished in 4:55.88.
"It's kind of disappointing that I didn't get them both," Piepenburg said. "That's been my goal for a while now...but it's been a fun career and this one meet doesn't define my whole career."
The Cardinals finished tied for second with Minnetonka in the team standings with 49 points. Lakeville South took first with 56.50 points. Alexandria's 4x100 relay team of Johnson, Gabrielle Koel, Briquelle Bowden and Madelyn Urman helped add to that point total with a third-place finish in a time of 48.62.