Boys track team fourth at state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Perrin Hagge finished second in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600 at state./Photo courtesy of Christopher Hujanen

The concept seems somewhat odd.

But when examined closer, it’s completely understandable.

Middleton’s boys track and field team finished fourth at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet held at UW-La Crosse last weekend. That finish is believed to be the best in school history.

Afterwards, though, the Cardinals were somewhat disappointed.

Why? Simple. These Cardinals fully believed an even higher finish was possible.

Bay Port won the title with 67 points, while Wisconsin Lutheran was second at 48. Madison West (36), Middleton (26) and Pewaukee (23) rounded out the top five.

“It was interesting to finish so well historically and feel so let down,” Middleton coach Isaac Mezera said. “We were chosen by many to finish in second or third place. Some even went so far to predict us winning the meet. 

“So, once you get that in your head, it's hard to adjust to the reality that it’s not happening. It was still an impressive performance.”

It sure was, and it capped a terrific season for what’s become one of the state’s elite programs.

Middleton’s best performances came from junior Perrin Hagge in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs.

Hagge was the No. 1 seed in the 800, but was edged for the championship. Wisconsin Lutheran senior Eric Brown won the race in 1:54.78, while Hagge was a close second at 1:55.04.

Hagge was also the No. 1 seed in the 1,600. But the Cardinals’ standout settled for fourth place in that race (4:14.30), just 0.65 seconds behind champion Olin Hacker of Madison West (4:13.75.)

“Perrin was amazing in the meet,” Mezera said.

Middleton’s 3,200-meter relay team had a remarkable performance, shattering the old school record by 8 seconds and finishing third overall.

The Cardinals’ quartet of senior Zach Shoemaker-Allen, junior Jordan Futch, junior Cole Conklin-Little and Hagge completed the race in 7:44.82. Wisconsin Lutheran was first (7:43.18), while Hartland Arrowhead was second (7:43.65).

“Jordan Futch came up big in that race,” Mezera said.

Cardinals junior Jack Jesse was fifth in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 9 ¾ inches. The four individuals that finished ahead of Jesse were all seniors, including champion Zachary Lorbeck (23-3), meaning Jesse could be in the hunt for a title in 2016.

Middleton sophomore Gus Newcomb also finished sixth in the 3,200-meter run (9:17.10). Madison West’s Hacker won that race in a stirring 9:00.86.

“The promising part is those who scored in the meet: Perrin Hagge, Jack Jesse, Gus Newcomb, (3,200) member Cole Conklin-Little, Jordan Futch are all juniors or sophomores,” Mezera said. “So our future looks quite bright.”

Middleton had several other performers that didn’t score.

Senior Nnamdi Okoli was 13th in the 100-meter dash (11.13) and 16th in the 200 (22.32), but couldn’t escape the preliminaries.

Senior Noah Meeteer was 17th in the pole vault (13-6).

“Noah Meeteer and Nnamdi Okoli didn’t have the days they were hoping for,” Mezera said. “But I hope they reflect on their legacy with the program positively. 

“Each leaves with an individual school record set this season, and as members of two relay records (4x1 and 4x2) last season. Each served as a captain this season and we owe much of our success to them.”

Futch was 17th in the 400 (50.73), while Shoemaker-Allen was 20th in the 800 (2:00.27).

Middleton’s foursome of senior Travis Zander, senior Zach Easton, junior Griffin Gussel and Futch was 14th in the 1,600-meter relay (3:23.51)

The Cardinals’ quartet of senior Alex Wood, senior Noah Meeteer, senior Nick Bilodeau and Okoli was 19th in the 400-meter relay (43.61).

“This 2015 team is the best MHS has ever seen,” Mezera said. “I'm incredibly proud to be their coach. We had a great season, and really a great state meet. But expectations we put on ourselves left us feeling a little forlorn when the dust settled.”


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