Boys’ win first meet in years
If you weren’t from Waconia, you weren’t winning the Bruce Smith Track & Field Invitational last week, held April 15 in Faribault.
Both the girls’ and the boys’ track teams won their respected divisions, a feat that hasn’t been achieved in over a decade, if ever, in Waconia track history.
With multiple individual champions and point-earning finishes in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions, girls’ head coach Christian Gilbert said he doesn’t know if a Waconia track team has ever gone to a nine-team invite and came home with both team trophies.
“Our coaching staff has been literally dancing since we received the results from Faribault,” he said.
The Waconia boys, who have struggled in the past few seasons, picked up their first meet win in years.
In those years the track coaching staff, along with coaches from other boys’ sports, has been encouraging athletes to become multi-sport athletes.
“All I know is that during the past four years, our entire coaching staff has scoured the high school in search of guys to come out and try track and it is finally, finally starting to work,” Gilbert said. “A four-year project that has worked with the boys while maintaining a dominant and competitive girls squad.”
With 127 total points, the Wildcat boys defeated Minneapolis Southwest by 25 points. St. Clair and Cannon Falls took third and fourth, while Faribault, Trinity School, Northfield/ARTech, and Legacy Christian Academy fell in line.
Opening with a third place finish in the 4×800 meter relay, the Wildcat team finished in 9:19.47.
Sophomore Ryan Kruchten won the 110 meter hurdles in 18.46 seconds before senior Mason Tuttle finished sixth in the 100 meter dash.
“Our girls and boys hurdled the competition,” hurdles coach Nick Hackman said. “Ryan Kruchten hit every hurdle in the 110s, but powered through it for the win.”
The 4×200 relay team continued to pick up points, finishing third in 1:43.50.
Seventh grader Kalin McDonough ran his first competitive track mile ever and finished second in the 1600 meter run in 4:46, before the 4×100 team won its event in 46.79 seconds.
Wildcat runners swept the top three places in the 400 meter dash, led by event-winner Marcel Montiel, a senior, who finished in 54.73 seconds. Junior Tim Widmer was second and eighth grader Nathan Hoehn rounded out the top three.
Four events passed without a Wildcat point, before the 4×400 relay team of Montiel, junior Truen Breeggemann, junior Neil Heldt, and sophomore Alex Carrabre finished second in 3:44.43.
Waconia picked up points in every field event, starting with the high jump, where junior Kevin Logelin finished fourth.
Sophomore Zach Olsem was second in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, and junior Nick Fettig was sixth.
The senior triple treat of Cody Ellis, Tim Gray, and Alex Tasson swept the long jump, led by Ellis at 19 feet, 9.25 inches.
Gray and Tasson teamed up again for the triple jump, finishing fourth and fifth.
In the throws, junior Zach Christians placed fourth in the discus throw, before senior Hunter Baumann and sophomore Ben Hedtke rounded out the day with third and sixth place finishes in the shot put.
Multiple throwers had personal bests in Faribault, with several besting PRs from 2013, according to throws coach Kevin Micklo.
“Some standout performances were displayed by returning thrower Zach Christians and newcomer Hunter Baumann,” Micklo said. “We are looking forward to a solid season with more top marks to come!”
Girls still undefeated
The Waconia girls’ track and field team dominated the competition in Faribault last week, winning with a team total 163 points over second place Northfield/ARTech with 112. The host team finished third with 71 points.
The Wildcats kicked off the invitational with an event win in the 4×800 relay. Run by senior Katherine Jensen, junior Alora Rands, sophomore Carissa Dock, and senior Lexi Willems, the ‘Cats finished in 9:55.45, 15 seconds ahead of the second-place Northfield team.
“They are six seconds from the school record and it was their first time running the event together,” Gilbert said.
WHS hurdlers were 2-3-4 in the 100 meter hurdles, led by junior Kaitlyn Schuler in 18.08 seconds, followed by junior Emily Zempel in third and senior Nicole Hennen in fourth.
Eighth grader Taylor Lange burst onto the varsity scene with an event-winning 51.28 second time in the 300 meter hurdles. Teammate Hennen finished fifth in the same event.
“We have high expectations for our hurdlers this season, and this was a great way to start,” Hackman said.
Freshman Molly Reighard won the 100 meter dash in 12.97 seconds before the Waconia 4×200 team finished second in 1:53.54.
Rands bested her personal record by 20 seconds to win the open 1600 meter run in 5:31.98, while senior Lexi Willems crossed the line 14 seconds later in fifth.
In the 400 meter dash, junior Lydia Weinand was second, before sophomore Allie Marrs and junior McKenna Turner were 4-5.
Senior Miranda Schultz won the 200 meter dash in 27.25 seconds. Freshman Raven Concaghblount finished fourth in the same event.
Concaghblount went on to a second place finish in the 3200 meters in 11:52.7, just one second ahead of third place sophomore Carissa Dock in 11:53.6.
To end the track day, the 4×400 relay team of Reighard, Marrs, Schultz, and Lange won its event in 4:22.77.
Senior Kirsten Wagener collected 28 points for WHS in the field events, winning the high jump (5 feet) and long jump (15 feet, 7 inches), and finishing second in the triple jump (33 feet, 0.75 inches). Sophomore vaulter Paige Notch finished third in the pole vault, while junior Courtnie Stoddard was third in the triple jump.
Sophomore Makayla Williams wrapped up the day with a sixth place finish in the discus throw.
With 153 varsity and junior varsity athletes, not to mention the 118 kids in the junior high program, Gilbert said this year’s team is the largest team in school history.
“We have a huge, positive program that is finally having success at the top end of on both teams, while helping kids of all abilities increase their fitness levels and reach personal goals,” Gilbert said. “The success of this program lies in our coaching staff and I believe that… we now have our dream team of coaches that the kids love.”
This afternoon, the Wildcats head to Delano’s invitational. Next week, be sure to stop by the Bayview track as WHS hosts a home triangular Monday at 4:30 p.m. and an invitational on Thursday, starting at 4 p.m.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com