Somerset track teams do fine tuning in OsceolaWith some major meets looming on the horizon, the Somerset track teams used last Tuesday’s quad meet in Osceola to fine tune some of the aspects of their lineup.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
With some major meets looming on the horizon, the Somerset track teams used last Tuesday’s quad meet in Osceola to fine tune some of the aspects of their lineup.
The Spartans finished second in both halves of the meet, behind Osceola in each case.
For the Spartan boys, sharpening the team’s performances in the relay events was a main objective in this meet. Spartan coach Mike Holmquist said the team’s relay lineups are set. What legs the runners will get is still to be determined. At Osceola, the relays were looking to sharpen their handoffs to reduce their times. The 400 relay won on Tuesday, but they didn’t meet their goal of breaking the school record time.
With the concentration on the relays, the coaches didn’t load up the open events, but there were still definite highlights. Surprises in the field events came from Mitch McConaughey and Aaron Joppru. McConaughey jumped beyond 18 feet in the long jump and Joppru bounded beyond 37 feet in the triple jump. The Spartans were looking to improve their depth in these events and both these performances have done that.
Somerset senior Jake Wishard was part of one of the most entertaining races of the meet, the boys’ 1600. Wishard, St. Croix Central’s Steve Brunshidle and Ellsworth’s Matt Priest all have high hopes for the season and this was a chance to show what they could do against top competition. Wishard took second place, a half-second behind Brunshidle. Wishard’s 4:47 time was a 10-second improvement over his previous best time.
The sprints were the heart of the Spartans’ success at Osceola. They won the 400 and 800 relays and Robbie Lang added another win in the 200. The 110 hurdles continue to be highly productive, with Luke Praschak and Shane Miller producing another 1-2 finish.
Juniors Sarah Krig and Sarah Northey were the top producers for the Spartan girls in the meet. Krig finished first or second in four events. She swept the jumping events, taking first in the high jump, triple jump and pole vault. She finished in second place in the 100 hurdles. It was Northey who was the winner in the 100 hurdles, and she ranked second behind Krig in the triple jump.
A huge relief for the Spartans was the success of senior Sara Henry in the high jump. Henry’s a two-time state entrant in the event, but she had lost her form and had struggled badly over the first month of the season. At Osceola, her form returned. Henry was able to clear the 5-foot mark, her best jump this season.
“Sara looked to be back to her true form and was using her explosive plant more,” said Somerset girls coach Dave Praschak.
The Spartans are looking for younger athletes who can help them by the time the Middle Border Conference meet is held, which will be held on May 15. Praschak said Miranda O’Rourke showed signs she can do that in the long jump and triple jump. A runner who showed distinct promise in the meet was freshman Kendrah Wink. She trimmed nearly two seconds off her time in the 200 meters to finish in second place.
A relay team that made a big improvement was the 3200 relay team of Tia Belter, Grace Becher, Kaitlin Raber and Sarah Brown. They took second place, cutting 28 seconds off their seed time.
The girls were also winners in the 400 relay. Praschak teamed Henry, Lauren Rathai, Natalie Broom and Siera Myer together for the first time this season and they responded with an impressive win.
This Friday the Spartans will be running at their home away from home when they compete in the River Falls Invitational. It will be the fourth meet for the Spartans in River Falls this season. The Spartans will hold their first home meet of the season next Tuesday, when Barron, Grantsburg, St. Croix Falls and Spring Valley come to Somerset.