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New Richmond boys track team missed MBC title by 1.5 points

New Richmond junior Dylan Wachter withstood challenges to win two individual titles in last Tuesday’s MBC track meet. 1 / 3
New Richmond senior Sam Altena is shown competing in the long jump at the Middle Border Conference meet.2 / 3
New Richmond senior Amber Ziegler was a top girls pole vaulter in the conference for several seasons.3 / 3

The final margin was 1.5 points.

That’s how close the New Richmond boys track team came to winning the 2017 Middle Border Conference championship last Tuesday.

For the second straight year, Osceola narrowly defeated New Richmond in the race for the MBC boys track team title. This year Osceola defeated the Tigers by 1.5 points. In 2016, the winning margin was five points. Osceola scored 159 points to win this year’s meet, compared to 157.5 for the Tigers.

In the girls meet, the Tigers placed third with 102 points. St. Croix Central won the title with 147 points.

The outcome of the boys title wasn’t decided until the very last event. When Osceola won the 1,600 meter relay, it nudged the Chieftains ahead of the Tigers in the final results. The Tigers took the loss hard.

“There was a lot of woulda, coulda, shoulda,” said Tiger boys coach Roger Reuvers.

The Tigers lost despite a well-balanced effort that included four individual championships. The Tigers failed to score in just two events, the high jump and the 400.

Junior Dylan Wachter was a two-time champion, winning titles in the 800 and 1,600 meter races.

“Dylan responded to challenges both times, he showed the speed he’s got,” Reuvers said.

In the 800, Wachter got under the two-minute mark for the first time this season.

Senior Brandon Powers was the champion in the long jump, winning by 5 inches with his distance of 20 feet, 6 inches. He also placed second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles.

The fourth title had to rank as one of the bigger surprises of the night. Senior Isaac Karpenske came into the shot put with a season’s best distance of 43-10. He beat that with every one of his attempts, winning the meet with a mark of 47 feet, 2.25 inches. Karpenske also took fourth in the discus throw.

Reuvers said there were a number of efforts that stood out for the Tigers. Junior Brandon Haag earned four conference medals, including second place finishes in the discus throw and the 300 hurdles. Junior Dylan Minke cleared 12 feet to take second place in the pole vault. He also kept the Tigers’ hopes for a team title alive by beating two Osceola runners with his third place finish in the 200 meters.

The Tigers performed solidly in all four relay events, topped by second place finishes in the 400 and 1,600 relays.

Among the third place finishes for the Tigers was Noah Powers’ effort in triple jump and Chase Chiarle’s run in the 1,600. He also took fourth place in the 3,200.

The Tiger girls had highs and lows in the conference meet. The Tigers were champions in three events. The 800 meter relay team of seniors Kayla Heinz and Amber Ziegler, junior Elizabeth Offeronsky and freshman Ashton Unruh ran an outstanding race, winning in 1:51.3, finishing more than 2.5 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor.

“They ran a good time, good for them,” said Tiger coach Judy Weiss.

Sophomore Mallorie Brinkman earned the championship in the 400 meters. She and Osceola freshman Caroline Gearin put on a great battle, with Brinkman winning in 1:00.9, eight-hundredths of a second ahead of Gearin. Brinkman also placed second in the 200 meters and fourth in the 400.

Senior Cassie Kletschka supplied the Tigers’ only win in the field events. She launched herself 16 feet, 10 inches to win the long jump.

“She’s quick and she’s powerful. That little body just springs,” Weiss said of Kletschka.

Kletschka also caused some of the heartache for the girls. She decided to leave during the 15-minute break caused by the stormy weather and didn’t return. She was seeded first in the 100 meters and was expected to perform well in two other events.

Several of the veteran Tigers performed well. Heinz and Ziegler added to their relay win with third place finishes, Heinz in the 200 meters and Ziegler in the pole vault. The Tigers also got third place finishes from the 400 and 1,600 relay teams.

The Tigers also performed exceptionally in last Thursday’s MBC junior varsity meet. The Tiger boys won the 218 points, compared to 161 for Osceola. Joe Powers set a Tiger freshman record in winning the 300 hurdles in 44.36 seconds.

On Monday, the Tigers competed at the Division 1 regional meet at Superior. The Tigers who advanced will compete this Thursday in the Division 1 sectional meet at D.C. Everest.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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