Point Invite give Bluejay track boys an early barometer
The Merrill boys took an early look at themselves and loads of competition when they attended Saturday’s 24-team invite at UW-Stevens Point.
“After attending Saturday’s meet, I think the guys are still green and working towards transition from the offseason and winter sports,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said.
“Track is a different bird. There are numerous hours that go into each event and we just have not had the time as of yet. I feel the guys are doing very well with the transition so far, and are adjusting to the demands that track and field has on their bodies.
“Jake Anderson, Lucas Lee and Jake Nohr did well continuing from where they left off last year. Jake (Anderson) was inches away from claiming the school record (in the triple jump) while Jake (Nohr) and Lucas ran well in the relays.
“It takes four guys to run well in order to be competitive in relays and we are still building those guys to replace the ones we lost last year (Nick Peterson, Brandon Bartz, Tyler Butler [ACL injury], Ethan Schneider).”
The Jays’ best event had to be the triple jump where senior Jake Anderson reached the finals and extended his third-place lead with a leap of 42’ 7”. Freshman Jared Ollhoff (14th, 38’ 3”) and sophomore Ben Shuman (16th, 38’ 0”) also placed well.
Sophomore Todd Grund tied for sixth with a pole vault of 11’ 0”, and the 800M team of seniors Lee, Anderson and Nohr and junior Pete Seliger ranked ninth (1:39.92). The 1600M group of Lee, Anderson, sophomore Caleb Gebert and senior Thomas Grund finished 14th (3:50.12).
Lee (15th, :06.96) and Nohr (21st, :07.01) competed well in the 55M dash.
Senior Brett Swan ranked 19th in the 1600M run (5:09.99).
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the meet for the Jays beyond some test times for their coach is the exposure to a huge fieldhouse full of talented competition.
“After all was said and done, we did take some young guys down and they did fairly well, but were wide-eyed on the amount of athletes that surrounded them,” VandenHeuvel said. “I just hope they are determined to now reach their potential as we carry on with the season.”
Appleton North pushed past D.C. Everest 71-59.4 for the win. SPASH (5th, 48), Marathon (9th, 26), Lakeland (10th, 21.2), Merrill (18th, 7.2) and Marshfield (22nd, 3) represented the area.