First mission accomplished.
The Bluejay boys track team shot out of the blocks in their initial real meet, rising to the top of last Thursday’s six-team Merrill Indoor Invite.
“Not a bad start,” new MHS head coach Kurt Vanden Heuvel said. “It was a good win to begin the season.
“I was impressed with how the kids came out and competed. Their hard work in practice really showed in the meet. We’re going to talk in practice about all the kids that PR’ed. Hopefully we can keep that going the rest of the season.”
The Bluejays scored 133 points to top Antigo by 16, while Mosinee was a distant third with 74.5.
Merrill put a hammerlock on the top spots in the sprint events, and blew away the competition in the shot put.
The Jays’ Sam Arneson broke the school indoor record with a final shot put of 54′ 0.0″, while Nick Leskey ranked second at 52′ 6.5″, a scant 1/4-inch short of the previous record. That distance of 52′ 6.75′ was set by Brian Krueger in 1994. Leskey tossed more than six feet longer than the third-place competitor.
Last year, Arneson came up just 3/4 inch short of the outdoor mark held by Jay Wolowicz (55′ 1″, 1982) in the WIAA State Meet.
“I was pretty impressed by Sam and Nick, with Sam breaking the school record and Nick not too far behind,” Vanden Heuvel said. “Those guys feed off of each other pretty good. Hopefully, Nick gets up there so they can battle for the record.
“We’re hoping to get both of them down to state. They’re sitting second and 10th in state (the all-division honor roll) right now.”
Merrill picked up mega-points in the short distance races.
They placed first and third in the 50M dash with newcomer Alec Oestreich (:06.13) and Lucas Olson (:06.23), and first by a huge 1.2 seconds in the 200M with Derek Woellner (:24.46) backed by Cody Dengel’s 5th-place :26.43.
The jays also went 1st and 5th in the 50M intermediate hurdles with Jamie Marrier (:07.33) and Ben Riehle (:08.89), and Marrier was the 50M highs runner-up in :07.69.
The 4-lap squad of Olson, Woellner, Austin Voigt and Oestreich took top honors in 1:24.65, the 6-lap group of Dengel, Kriss Philipp, Coty Rajek and Leo Olson was in front by nearly five seconds in 2:02.81, and the 10-lap group of Woellner, Bryce Litschauer, Riley Moscherosch and Lucas Olson prevailed by 8-1/2 seconds in 3:43.29.
“I was really impressed with the sprint guys,” VandenHeuvel said. “This is Alec Oestreich’s first year out for track as a junior and he basically won every event he was in except the long jump.
“We’re still working on the distance crew. They are working very hard to get better, and we’ve got high expectations for them. All our guys will need to step it up because it will be a lot harder when we’re going against the Valley.”
Placing third in distance events were Litschauer in the 400M (:57.98) and Lukas Gessler in the 3200M (12:13.72). Andrew Seaman finished fourth in the 1600M (5:26.97) and Trevor Myers scored 6th in the 800M (2:28.15).
The 20-lap team of Moscherosch, Gessler, Seaman and Myers placed third in 9:01.13.
Woellner ranked third in the triple jump at 36′ 4″, Lucas Olson rated 4th in the high jump at 5′ 4″, James Nohr was 5th in the pole vault at 9′ 6″, and Matt Haffemann finished fifth in the shot put at 40′ 6.5″.
Team standings-Merrill 133, Antigo 117, Mosinee 74.5, Witt.Birn. 69, Waupaca 64, Rhinelander 63.5.
First mission accomplished.