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Boys track: Warroad's Heppner wins 800 and 1,600 at state

ST. PAUL - When Moses Heppner woke up on Saturday morning, a line frequently said by his coach popped in his head. "It's a perfect day to run," Heppner said. Despite the constant showers, sub-50 degree temperatures and 20-plus mph winds, Heppner ...

ST. PAUL - When Moses Heppner woke up on Saturday morning, a line frequently said by his coach popped in his head.

"It's a perfect day to run," Heppner said.

Despite the constant showers, sub-50 degree temperatures and 20-plus mph winds, Heppner cruised to his first two state track and field championships at the Minnesota state Class A meet at Hamline University.

The Warroad High School senior blew away the field in both the 800 and 1,600, leaving second-place Clayton Foster far behind in the two races.

Heppner won the 800 with a time of 1:55.77, which beat Foster's 1:58.93 by more than three seconds. In the 1,600, Heppner finished in 4:16.17, which was more than 10 seconds ahead of Foster's 4:26.57.

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"I was trying to get the record in the 1,600," Heppner said of the 4:15.20 mark that Winona Cotter's Donny Wasinger set last year. "I didn't get it, but I ran my best time of the year, so I was very happy to get that. I'm very happy to come here and get two championships."

Heppner won the Minnesota state Class A cross country championship this fall but had never won a track and field championship.

He admitted that the wind probably slowed times on Saturday, but he said it didn't bother him very much.

"I don't mind the rain," he said. "We're used to this type of stuff up in northern Minnesota. Our coach always says that it's a perfect day to run. And I always go into every day with that attitude. It doesn't matter what the weather is like. It can be snowing and I'll still say that it's a perfect day to run."

Heppner, the only area boys athlete to place at state, managed to beat his seeding time in both events. He ran a 2:00.54 in the 800 during Friday's preliminaries, coasting to the finish line. His seeding time in the 1,600 was 4:22.18.

Heppner, who is one of 17 children in the family, said there was some other motivation for getting the records.

"My youngest brother (who is in grade school), is going to be really good. I need to set the bar as high as possible and get the best times possible, so he can't break them," Heppner joked.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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