Como Park spring sports summary

By Eric Erickson

Sports analysis

For the Bugle community, we offer a snapshot of the spring sports season at Como Park Senior High School:

Track and field – Seven student athletes qualified for the state meet by placing in the top two of their events at the Section 4AA Meet. Each Cougar state qualifier also set a personal record in the process.
       Senior Garrett Seppanen was the section champion in both the 3,200 and 1,600 meters. Senior Mason Aarness was second in the 3,200 and 1,600 meters behind Seppanen.

       Remarkably, sophomore Hazel Small was third in the 3,200 meters resulting in Como sweeping the podium positions for high school track and field’s longest race.
      Freshman Charlie Loth qualified for state as the section champion in the 800 meters. The 4 x 800 meter relay team of Loth, fellow freshman Arthur Anderson, Small, and Murray eighth  grader Jamal Monibah were the section champions and advanced to state.
       On the girls’ side, junior Margaret Spray placed second in the 3,200 meters and qualified for state. Senior Ellery Tennison won St. Paul City Conference championships in three events: the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump. Senior Say Say Hinton repeated as city champ in the high jump.
       For the fourth consecutive year, both the boys and girls teams finished third in the St. Paul City Conference. The boys also finished third in Section 4AA out of 13 schools.

Softball – Senior Maddie Noll volunteered to try pitching this year and came through to help guide a young team to a 6-10 record. Noll was selected the team’s MVP and all-conference. Freshman Lily Coyle was chosen best defensive player and all-conference. Murray seventh grader Malaya James hit seven home runs and was the team’s best offensive player and all-conference.
       Junior Giselle Sanchez-Esparza was all-conference honorable mention. Junior Brigid Corniea was voted rookie of the year for the Cougars.

Badminton – Strong senior leadership helped guide young players to improved levels of play and paved the way for the varsity finishing third in the St. Paul City Conference with an 8-4 record. Overall, the team was 13-5 and reached the state quarterfinals.   
      Senior Xee Lee was selected all-conference. Senior Ta’Liyah McNeal and sophomore Niko Solheid earned all-conference honorable mention.

Girls golf – Sophomore Hattie Hemthong qualified for the state tournament by finishing third in the Section 4AAA Meet at Goodrich Golf Course where she shot rounds of 79 and 83 in the two-day competition.
       Sophomore Robin Engman-Phiri made the cut for the second day at sections and earned St. Paul City all-conference along with Hemthong. The team took second place in the St. Paul City with a record of 4-1.

Boys tennis – As previously reported in the Bugle, the Cougars produced a special season. Senior Daniel Klett was all-conference and the team’s player of the year. Juniors Nolan Rognerud and Vincent Anderson also earned all-conference.
       Receiving honorable mention were senior Anthony Landaverde Guillen, freshman Micah Treiber and freshman Zaid Saha, who immigrated from Afghanistan in February and played organized tennis for the first time.

Baseball – Senior captains Matthew Corniea and Marcus Heath and junior captain Royal Urman led the team to a 5-5 record in the city and a tie for third place in the standings. More importantly, they helped shape a positive culture based on growth as student athletes and representing Como in the community.
       Team members will be participating as coaches and umpires in the Como Ball Youth Baseball and Softball Association this summer, while also playing in the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program.

Boys’ volleyball – With a 12-2 regular season record in the Minnesota’s club volleyball association, the Cougars qualified for their third consecutive state tournament.
       Senior captain Baw Reh was all-conference for a third consecutive year. An excellent server and finisher at the net, he leads through actions but also took on a more vocal role this season.
       Senior Phray Ray emerged as a defensive specialist for the Cougars this season and became an all-conference player. Senior Kwai Lay Lo was also all-conference and junior Soe Reh earned honorable mention.

       Eric Erickson, a regular Bugle freelance writer, is a teacher at Como Park High School and a longtime coach of school and youth sports in St. Paul.

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