By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay varsity track had an invite this past Tuesday (April 27) at Medford. The Merrill runners continue to show improvement, with the boys placing second out of nine teams with a total of 153 points and the girls placing fourth out of eight teams with 70 points.
Medford dominated both events with the boys earning 222.5 points and the girls earning 187 points. Other teams at the invite included Antigo, Lakeland, Stratford, Gilman, Colby and Mercer. Medford JV track also participated in the boys events.
Top varsity boys at the invite for Merrill include Jr Todd Grund who placed first in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 18.09 seconds and first in the pole vault with a height of 12′, So Jared Ollhoff who placed first in the high jump with 5′ 10″ and first in the triple jump with 40′ 5.5″, Jr Mitchell Jaeger who placed first in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 45.94 seconds and placed third in the pole vault with 11′, So Adam Laehn who placed second in the long jump with 18′ 5.5″ and placed fourth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.06 seconds and placed fifth in the 200 meter dash a time of 24.72 seconds.
Many other Bluejay boys had a big impact at the invite. Jr Devon Annis placed third in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.98 seconds, Sr Austyn Kirby placed second in the high jump with 5′ 6″, Jr Robert Kracht placed fourth in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 48.59 seconds and placed fifth in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 19.69 seconds, Fr Dominic Lestikow placed fourth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.64 seconds and Sr Pete Seliger placed sixth in the same event with a time of 25.06 seconds, Jr Jonathon Gruetzmacher placed fourth in the discus throw with 115′ 9″ and Jr Austin Sommer placed sixth in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:13.49.
So Nevada Laabs, Annis, Lestikow and Laehn were part of the 4×100 meter relay team that placed first with a time of 46.06 seconds. Annis, Ollhoff, Seliger and Kirby were also part of the 4×200 meter relay, placing second with a time of 1:38.10.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the Bluejay girls also made a strong showing at the invite. So Ashley Berry placed second in the long jump with 12′ 7.5″, So Autumn Schenzel placed second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.49 seconds and Fr Dalie Thomas placed fourth in the same event with a time of 14.28 seconds, Jr Deanta Saunders placed second in the 3200 meter run with a time of 13:42.11, Fr Emma Jaeger placed third in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 20.19 seconds and Sr Morgan Pettit placed sixth in the shot put with 31′ 2″.
The girls 4×100 meter relay consisting of Thomas, Schenzel, Sr Kennedy Soderberg and So Morgan Wardall placed second with a time of 55.25 seconds. Berry, Soderberg, Schenzel and Thomas also placed second in the 4×400 relay with a time of 4:36.46.
“As we establish events for athletes we are starting to see progress,” comments head coach Kurt VandenHeuvel. “The guys and girls showed tremendous focus and competed well. The athletes are starting to take risks and seeing results. Each athlete is displaying relentless effort which helps us as a coaching staff see where we can fix the mechanics. We are moving up in places and in individual performances. We are excited about the process of competing and look forward to the big meets (WVC Relays and Otto Bacher) this week. We will take these places and a small success but know we still have growing to do.”
Girls varsity invite at SPASH
Girls varsity track also had an invite this past Thursday at SPASH. In addition to Point, Merrill faced off against Adams-Friendship, Appleton West, Columbus Catholic, DC Everest, Rosholt, Wausau East and Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln. Merrill placed 7th out of the nine teams with a team score of 217. Stevens Point lead the invite with 890 points.
Top performers include Sr Rylee Folz who placed second in the high jump with 4′ 10″, Schenzel who placed third in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.32 seconds and So Emily Sczygelski who placed into a 3-way tie for third in the pole vault with 8 feet.
Schenzel, Folz, Soderberg and Thomas were part of the 4×200 meter relay team that placed second with a time of 1:54.02 and Schenzel, Berry, Thomas and Soderberg were part of the 4×400 relay team that also placed second with a time of 4:24.07.
Bluejay varsity track has a busy week ahead of them. Both boys and girls varsity will travel to DC Everest where the boys will participate in relays and the girls will participate in the Valley Conference relays. On Friday there will be the 31st annual Otto Bacher track where the Bluejays will face off against 11 other teams “under the lights,” a long standing tradition in honor of Merrill’s first state track champion.