By Nick Beversdorf
The Bluejay varsity boys track team had their first home invite on Tuesday, which proved to be full of strong competition with Merrill tying for second place against Edgar with a combined team score of 92. Waupaca led the invite with a combined team score of 127, while Adams/Friendship and Wittenberg-Birnamwood had a team score of 23 and 12, respectively.
Many Merrill athletes scored at the top of their respective events, with both Jared Ollhoff and Austyn Kirby scoring at the top of the high jump with 6 feet (8 pt) and 5 feet 6 in. (6 pt), respectively. Other top scorers include Mitchell Jaeger with 11 feet in the pole vault, Jared Ollhoff in the triple jump with 40 feet 1 in. and Nathan Koch in the 3200 meter run with a finishing time of 11:59:16. Each first place was good for eight points.
Other athletes scored considerably well during the invite. Adam Laehn scored a total of 8 points by placing 4th (6.41 sec) in the 50 meter dash, 5th (28.24 sec) in the 200 meter dash, and 2nd (17 ft. 10 in.) in the long jump. James Pawlicki scored 6 points by placing 2nd (1:01:32 sec) and was part of the 4×400 relay team that scored 8 points in total. Josiah Nohr and Eljah Emmer both tied for 4th place in the shot put, earning them both 1.5 points each.
It was not all sunshine and roses, however, as the Bluejays fell short in a few key events, specifically the relays, that prevented them from taking first place at the meet.
“The boys went and competed hard,” comments head coach Kurt VandenHeuvel. “After the meet the athletes were excited to get back and fix the mistakes that were made and are eager to continue to grow as a team. I also want to thank all the workers who helped run a smooth successful meet along with the parents and those who came to support the track and field team.”
Kurt also wanted to thank the community for buying cookie dough, which helps fund the track program.
Merrill varsity boys track will have their next meet this Saturday, April 2nd at 10:00 am in Madison @ U.W. Shell. The bluejays will be facing off against Madison West, Onalaska and Lodi.