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Somerset boys track continues to climb

High-flying Somerset pole vaulter Aaron Joppru achieved another career-best at Friday’s meet at River Falls, clearing the bar at 14 feet.

With the race for the upcoming Middle Border Conference boys track championship considered to be a tossup, the Somerset boys team is making noise that it will be a player in the battle for the 2014 MBC title.

The Spartan boys placed third in the Border Battle meet at River Falls last Friday. Most significantly, the Spartans finished ahead of Osceola by 7.5 points. Osceola is considered one of the Spartans’ main rivals in the battle for the conference title. The conference meet is scheduled to be run on May 20.

Somerset’s boys scored in nearly every event in the Border Battle, including earning three first place finishes. Two of those wins were produced by junior Max Praschak, who continues to shave time off his marks in the hurdle races. Somerset sophomore Ethan Lammers took second in the 110 high hurdles behind Praschak.

The third win came from senior Aaron Joppru. Joppru reached another career high in the pole vault by clearing the bar at 14 feet for the first time. Joppru and Eau Claire Memorial’s Brendan Kwick both cleared the 14-foot mark, but Joppru was awarded the win based on previous misses.

Another highlight for the Spartans came from senior Gage Kreucher in the pole vault. Kreucher took third place in the event by clearing 12 feet, 6 inches for the first time in his career.

The Spartans were competitive with the Division 1 schools in most of the field events. Joppru took second place in the triple jump, while recent team addition Heaven Hunt was able to place sixth. Senior Dallas Johnson placed second in the long jump, with Joppru placing third.

In the running events, the biggest splash made by the Spartans came in the 200 meter dash. The Spartans took three places, with Sam Schoenborn finishing fourth, Mitchell Foster fifth and Johnson sixth. All three finished in less than 24 seconds.

The inexperience of the Spartan girls team was shown in this meet when they tried to compete against several top flight Division 1 teams. The Spartans were able to place in every relay event, but they only earned points in one individual race. Those points came from freshman Avery Gunther, who placed seventh in the 100 meter dash.

The Spartans were scheduled to compete at New Richmond this Tuesday, but that meet was rained out and likely won’t be made up. The next scheduled meet for the Spartans will arrive next Tuesday, when they’re scheduled to compete at St. Croix Central.

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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