Somerset track teams record sweep at Colfax InvitationalIf the Colfax Invitational is any indication, the Somerset track teams were due for an outstanding day at this Tuesday’s Middle Border Conference track meet.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
If the Colfax Invitational is any indication, the Somerset track teams were due for an outstanding day at this Tuesday’s Middle Border Conference track meet. Both Spartan teams put together outstanding performances in winning their halves of last Tuesday’s meet in Colfax.
Somerset got good competition from Menomonie in both halves of the meet. The Spartan girls scored 113 points, three more than the Mustangs. The Spartan boys piled up 152 points, with Menomonie second at 139. Fourteen teams competed in the meet.
With a week before the conference meet, the Spartan coaches gave their athletes a full workload and crossed their fingers that no injuries would occur. The coaches got everything they wanted. The team came through the meet with no health issues and the Spartans performed at peak levels.
“I don’t think the meet could have gone any better,” said Somerset boys coach Mike Holmquist. “If we show up and everything happens the way it should, we’re a pretty tough team to beat.”
Even this late in the season, there are surprises. Junior Shane Miller hadn’t been tried in the 1600 meter relay this season. He ran a 53-second split, the second best time on the team.
“That makes our four-by-four relevant in a hurry,” Holmquist said.
Junior Tyler Ledbeter delivered two nice surprises in the field events. He cleared 5 feet, 8 inches for the first time in the high jump. Minutes later, he set a mark of 42 feet, 3 inches in the triple jump, increasing his career best by more than a foot.
Another sign of progress in the field events was junior Alex Piletich, who threw a season-best 121 feet in the discus.
The depth on the boys team made the relays look good at Colfax. The coaches pulled top sprinters Robbie Lang and Robbie Flom out of the relays, but the relay teams were still able to finish first in the 800 and second in the 400 relay. Holmquist said the return from injury by senior Alex Baillargeon is a big lift to the sprint relays, especially with the recent injury to Luke Peters.
The boys had a number of wins on the track. Luke Praschak and Miller ran 1-2 in both hurdle races. Lang was the champion in the 200, with Flom in second. Tyler Kampsula was the winner in the 400 meters.
The meet was equally productive for the girls. Girls coach Dave Praschak said this was a good chance for his most experienced athletes to work on their consistency. He said that was accomplished by Natalie Broome, Sarah Northey, Sarah Krig, Sara Henry and Lizzy Vanasse. Broome was the champion in the 100 and 200 meters, while Henry was the top finisher in the 400. Northey was the champion in the 100 hurdles and Krig took first place in the pole vault and second in the triple jump.
Praschak said this was also a chance for some of the younger team members to make one final strong impression before the lineups for the conference meet were set.
“Everyone has been considered for every opportunity and we feel we have placed our best among the conference’s best,” Praschak said.
The Colfax meet also helped the coaches decide what lineup they’ll be using for the WIAA tournament series. That begins next Monday, when the Spartans take part in the WIAA Division 2 regional meet at St. Croix Central.