St. Croix Central boys track team building championship traditionAfter going decades without winning a Dunn-St. Croix Conference title, the St. Croix Central boys track team is now creating a tradition of winning the D-SC championship.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
After going decades without winning a Dunn-St. Croix Conference title, the St. Croix Central boys track team is now creating a tradition of winning the D-SC championship.
The Panthers earned their second straight D-SC title at the 2012 conference meet in Boyceville last Tuesday. The Panthers piled up 206 points to easily outscore second place Elk Mound, which had 122.5 points.
The St. Croix Central girls took third place in their half of the meet, behind Elmwood-Plum City and Spring Valley.
The Panther boys put together a level of domination rarely seen in the D-SC through the years. Central scored in every event and they had multiple placewinners in nine of the 14 events. The Panthers won championships in nine of the 14 individual events plus winning the 1600 relay event.
To show the depth in the Panther lineup, they placed in the top three in 15 of the 17 events.
“In every event, our kids stepped up to the plate,” said Panther co-coach Amanda Webb.
Webb said the boys have grabbed onto the team concept. She said the boys weren’t focusing on their individual success, but understanding what they needed to accomplish for the team to reach its ultimate goal.
“The kids really support and help each other,” Webb said.
Three Panthers were double champions in individual events. Senior Lauden Wood took the top spots in both throwing events. He had season-best throws to win, going 47 feet, 6.25 inches in the shot put and 144 feet 5.5 inches in the discus throw. He was also a third place finisher in the 300 hurdles.
Steve Brunshidle and Carl Moll gave the Panthers ownership of the middle distances. Brunshidle was the champion in the 800 and 1600 and he placed second behind Moll in the 400 meters. Moll ran second to Brunshidle in the 800 and he was also part of the winning 1600 relay team.
Freshman Jason Matteson turned the jumps into a major strength for the team. He and Aaron Delander took the top two spots in the triple jump and Matteson earned a second title in the high jump.
D.J. Haas earned the pole vault championship and was part of the 1600 relay victory. Haas and Moll were joined in the winning relay by Delander and Cody Nyhagen. Haas took second place in the 300 hurdles and third place in the 110 high hurdles.
Korey Jacobson was the champion in the 100 meter dash and was edged out in the 200 meters by one-hundredth of a second by Glenwood City’s Isaac Tuttle.
Webb said the younger members of the team have worked hard all season and they were able to make a contribution in the conference meet. She pointed to fourth place finishes by Dekker Grass in the shot put and Dante Carlson in the 110 hurdles as examples of the younger team members who’ve stepped up their contributions.
Last year’s championship was the first by the Central boys team since 1989. Webb said the boys take great pride in having won two straight titles and they are looking forward to the chance to defend their title next year.
The Panther girls knew that getting above third place in the conference meet was going to be nearly impossible because of the strong teams at Elmwood-Plum City and Spring Valley. Though the Panthers weren’t able to crack the top two in the meet, they did put together some sweet performances.
Leading that list would be the 400 meter relay team of Jenna Buckel, Alyssa Melby, Jessi Johnson and Laura DeSmith, who won the conference title for the third straight year. This year their time of 52.32 seconds broke a conference record that stood since 1987. Johnson, Melby and Buckel have run in all three conference championship teams with DeSmith being part of the relay championship twice.
The other championship won by the Panthers came from sophomore Kayla Pabst in the discus throw. Pabst won the event with a throw of 119 feet, 11.25 inches and she took second place by launching the shot 33 feet, 2.25 inches.
Melby and Johnson supplied the other second place finishes for the Panthers. Johnson was able to take second place in the 100 meter dash. Melby took second place in the triple jump, part of the Panthers’ success in the jumping events. Melby, Jenna Ganther and DeSmith ranked second, third and fifth in the triple jump.
Another highlight in a jump event came from sophomore Diane Anderson in the high jump. Anderson had never cleared a height above 4-4 until Tuesday, when she cleared 4-6 and then 4-8 to take fifth place in the event.
The Panthers got another record-setting effort in the pole vault. Becca Isnardi broke her own record, becoming the first Panther to clear 8 feet, 3 inches, which earned her a fourth place finish.