By Eric Erickson
Sports news and analysis
For the Bugle community, we offer a snapshotof the spring sports season and what eight programs generated at Como Park Senior High.
Track & Field
The Cougar boys team produced a solid third place finish in the St. Paul City Conference. Sophomore Charlie Power-Theisen emerged as a dominant force in distance events, becoming the city conference champion in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
Senior Shukur Bati took second place in the city for the 3,200 meters. Junior Rais Jaffer earned second place in the 300-meter hurdles and third place in the 110-meter hurdles. The relay team of Owen Finlay, Mohamed Aboushanab, Liam Schwie and Davy Nelson earned bronze medals for their third-place finish in the 4 x 800 meters.
The Cougar girls team maintained their consistent third-place standing in the city with contributions from senior leadership and talented newcomers. Freshman Ellery Tennison was the city champion in the triple jump while also taking third place in the 100-meter hurdles.
Senior Abang Cham excelled in field events finishing second place in the shot put and third place in the discus.
Como girls relay teams were reliable point producers, with three combinations collecting third-place bronze medals:
Addie Anderson-Loupe, Laila Diaz, Sophie Warner and Mia Trifilette-Simons in the 4 x 800 meters; Ruby Kosiak, Audrey Power-Theisen, Taylor Fairbanks and Amorie Northington in the 4 x 200 meters; Ronnie Porter, Alice Wagner-Hemstad, Greta Seppanen and Tennison in the 4 x 100 meters.
Kosiak, Power-Theisen, and Seppanen combined with Saylor Landrum for a second-place silver medal in the 4 x 400 meters. The season concluded in the heat at the Section 4AA Meet. Remarkably, the Cougars combined for 28 personal records and four relay-season records.
Head coach John Fischbach passed the 400-win career mark during the final season of his three decades leading the Cougars. The 2021 team was pleased to be the group helping Fischbach earn that milestone victory, a highlight moment during a season in which Como finished with an overall record of 9-8.
In the St. Paul City Conference, Como placed third with a 4-2 record. The team was led by seniors Morgan Nichols, Bella Proper and Emilie Hanson, along with junior Jada James, who served as the team’s everyday pitcher.
Although fewer students participated in badminton this season compared with prior ones partly due to pandemic concerns, Como put forth its usual effort and created new doubles combinations that improved as the season progressed. In team competition, Como had a 4-8 record in the city, 7-10 overall.
Como senior Nag Poe reached the state semifinals of the individual singles tournament, duplicating the path she took in 2019 as a sophomore. This time after losing in the semifinals, Nag Poe bounced back to win the third-place match in straight sets and bring home the bronze medal.
Como finished in fourth place out of the seven schools in the city conference. The girls enjoyed playing a full season outdoors in the spring sunshine (and a few cold, cloudy days).
Freshman Michelle Vang was the medalist (best score) in four dual meets and earned All-Conference honors, placing third overall in the St. Paul City Meet. Vang followed that up by advancing to the final round of the section tournament.
Como finished in fifth place during the regular season and improved its scores in the conference tournament to take the fourth place. Murray eighth grader Sonom Vang placed 10th in the conference tournament earning All-Conference honorable mention.
The Cougars were led by senior captain Aidan Reynolds who played No. 1 singles and posted victories against other talented players. Reynolds also served as a captain during his sophomore year. The pandemic’s onset in 2020 wiped out his junior season, but Reynolds closed out his career with another All-Conference performance.
Fellow senior Htoo Kyi Lay also earned All-Conference honors. Honorable mention awards went to juniors Quang Bui and Hsar Lay Moo. The team placed fifth in the conference.
Como finished 3-6 in the City Conference and 6-12 overall. Junior pitcher Damian Perryman was All-Conference with a .436 batting average. Senior Sully Lucy and junior Otto Ganser both hit above .400 and earned honorable mention.
The format was different this season with all meets being virtual. Teams went to local sites to bowl and then reported their results. A composite scoring average is calculated and adjusted for the state competition.
The end result was a positive experience with teammates, and exciting results for Como’s bowlers. Freshman Nekiaya Klajbor finished in third place for the girls tournament. Sophomore Connor Tester and senior LaDondre Dryer teamed up to take third place in the doubles competition.
Eric Erickson is a teacher at Como Park High School and a longtime coach of school and youth sports in St. Paul.