Boys track team wins Big Eight

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Ian Geocaris finished in sixth place in the 110 hurdles at the Big Eight Conference meet last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The Big Eight Conference track and field meet was still 24 hours away. And Middleton coach Isaac Mezera was in the mood for a little visualization.
Mezera gathered his team at the small gym inside Middleton High School and had them picture what lied ahead.

“I shut the lights off and walked them through the meet, including Middleton being announced as conference champions,” Mezera said.

Perhaps seeing is achieving.

Middleton went to the conference tournament and put on a show. The Cardinals scored 148 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison La Follette (113) and the rest of the field to win the Big Eight title.

It was Middleton’s first conference championship since 2004 and just the second league title in school history.

The event began last Tuesday, but was postponed until Wednesday due to lightning.

“We went to the concourse where all of the conference championship banners are hung,” Mezera said. “We looked them over and noticed MHS had only one boys track title.”

Not anymore.

Amazingly, Middleton had just one first place finish. But the Cardinals had a whopping eight second place finishes to pull away from the field.

Senior Steven Harris was Middleton’s lone individual winner, capturing the 800 meter run in 1:55.63.

“Steven’s time was only two tenths of a second off of the meet record set in 2011,” Mezera said. “He had an inspirational burst that pushed him past (Madison La Follette’s) Chandler Diffee and (Madison West’s) Evan Kohl to take the gold.”

From there, the Cardinals loaded up on silver, including all four relay teams.

Middleton’s 400 meter relay team of Alex Leahy, Nnamdi Okoli, Jake Cain and Noah Kern was second in 44.70 seconds. The 800 meter relay team of Cain, Kern, Okoli and Winters was second in 1:31.15.

The 1,600 meter relay team of Travis Zander, James Moreland, R.J. Pertzborn and Simon Adam was second in 3:28.12. And the 3,200 meter relay team of Alec Meixelsperger, Perrin Hagge, Drew Docter and Hunter Jones was second in 8:02.81.

“This team was one second shy of the school record without Steven Harris,” Mezera said.

Middleton’s other second place finishes came from Winters in the 100 (11.19); Adam in the triple jump (43-0 ½); Andy Keeler in the high jump (6-3); and Josh Kampe in the discus (136-9).

“I was secretly thinking it would be a fun story line to not get any first places, but win the meet by the margin we did,” Mezera said with a chuckle. “Steven Harris ruined that plan.”

Middleton also picked up five third place finishes. Those came from Zander in the 400 (51.03); Parker Johnson in the pole vault (12-0); Tanner Rahman in the discus (136-6); Harris in the 1,600 (4:28.04); and Blake Clyce in the long jump (20-8).

“Josh Kampe and Tanner Rahman gave us a nice two-three punch in disc,” Mezera said. “This got us out to an early lead.”

Middleton’s fourth place finishes came from Mike Hoot in the 1,600 (4:28.95); Winters in the 200 (22.61); and Meixelsperger in the 800 (1:58.59). 

“Steven Harris and Mike Hoot finished within one second of each other to take third and fourth in the mile,” Mezera said. “This well exceeded our expectations. They both had such strong final laps that it made the rest of the field unable to keep up with them.”

The Cardinals’ fifth place finishes came from Moreland in the 400 (52.36); Jones in the 800 (1:58.84); and Noah Boehnen in the 300 hurdles (41.85).

Middleton also picked up sixth place finishes from Kern in the 200 (23.79); Pertzborn in the 400 (52.55); Keeler in the triple jump (41-5 ¼); and Ian Geocaris in the 110 hurdles (16.54).

“We showed a tremendous team effort on Tuesday and Wednesday night,” Mezera said. “Nothing proves this more than all four of our relays coming in second place.”

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