Track and field record-breakers

Posted: May 30, 2024

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Athletes smash school records!

(This story has been updated to include end-of-season records.)

It’s been yet another record-breaking season for the Minnehaha track and field team. The school has three athletes so far this season who have not only broken Minnehaha school records — they’ve broken their own records. One record-setter is Grazina Troup, a junior. Troup broke her record in the triple jump, reaching 36’ 9”.

“I’m starting better off from where I left off last year.” Troup is improving every meet and intends to keep achieving personal-best performances. Troup is part of a club track team in Minnesota and worked two hours a day, seven days a week to prepare her for this season. Her work has shown off.

Another triple-jump record-breaker is first-year Natavon Nix.

“Natavon jumps 44 feet something, and he is only a freshman, so he has so many more years to improve,” said Elise Chao, Minnehaha’s jumps coach.

On the girl’s side, hurdler Leah DiNardo is a two-time school record-breaker. “I broke the 300 H record this year, and last year I broke the 4×400 record,” said DiNardo. She is working hard this year to improve her form as well as her endurance.

“I’ve been training with the sprinters and distance,” she said. DiNardo is not only a star at Track but also during the offseason is running cross-country and does gymnastics — and has gone to state for both.

“She provides great leadership and will do about anything for the team and is fearless while doing it,” said Paul Blomgren who coaches sprints. “What is most impressive with Leah is how she has continually developed not only physically but typically as well.” DiNardo keeps improving more and more every year with sprints, distance, and hurdles.

In the end, the team set a remarkable eight school records:


  • Natavon Nix (first-year), boys triple jump: 44’11.75″  on May 23.
  • Grazina Troup (junior), girls triple jump: 38’5.25″  on June 8.
  • Leah DiNardo (junior), girls 100 hurdles: 15.45  on June 7.
  • Leah DiNardo (junior), girls 100 hurdles: 44.15  on May 18.
  • Gabrielle Wamre (senior), girls 1600: 5:04.60 on June 8.
  • Gabrielle Wamre (senior), girls 3200: 11:05.33 on May 29.
  • Girls 4 x 200 relay (S. Takata, L. Timm, C. Walker, I. Jones): 1:46.85 on May 23.
  • Girls 4 x 400 relay (T. Shultz, A. Gulyard, I. Jones, L. DiNardo) 4:03.56 on June 7.
At the state meet, Grazina Troup not only set the school record but also broke the Class AA record and won the state championship.

Senior captains have shown younger athletes the importance of dedication and hard work. Zarion Irby put in off-season work, whose main event is 300 hurdles, put his main focus this season on technique and has enjoyed his best performances.

“I’m most focused currently on my technique because it’s the thing holding me back the most,” he said.

Irby’s off-season training was focused.

“I lifted two to three times a week, especially two leg days and running on the treadmill,” he said.

Another senior captain is looking at his last season of track and field and wants to make the best of it.

“This last season I’m coming back from an injury and plan on doing everything I can to make a positive impact on my team one last time,” said Trent Page, who throws shot put and discus.

After Page graduates, he will be heading off to Yale to play Division 1 football. Although Page has thrown in the 50s, which is close to the Yale average of 55 feet, he has decided to pursue football instead of track and field.

“I could play multiple sports in the Ivy League, but unfortunately I don’t have time for track,” he said. Page has many plans for his future, such as joining or starting a club for Black advocacy. “Watch me as I continue to excel as this season goes on,” he predicted.

Page has been a huge player on Minnehaha’s team winning almost every meet for throws. Also, his teammates say he’s always being kind to everyone. They said they were impressed with how hard he has worked for everything he’s gotten and said he will leave a huge impact when he moves on.

Not only have the individual athletes shown up but the team has as well by qualifying a Minnehaha record of seven athletes for the all-state Hamline meet.

“The wind and rain definitely impacted performances,” said head coach Kris Sauer. “Nonetheless, we have multiple bright sports in spite of the gray weather,”

Sauer said great performances have come from many athletes besides the record-breakers.

“Both Makai Bates and Ezra May recorded lifetime bests in the 800m and 110H, respectively,” he added.

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