Track teams shine at Watertown

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Kiara Cruz had a big performance at the Watertown Invite last Friday./Photo courtesy of Christopher Hujanen

The Watertown Invite has always been a special place for Middleton’s boys track and field team.

And this year was no different.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Cardinals won the highly-competitive, nine-team invite. Middleton finished with 142 points to easily outdistance runner-up Baraboo (120) and the other seven teams.

“Watertown was a great night because of the competition and the way our guys performed,” Middleton coach Joe Line said.

Middleton’s girls finished in second place among 10 teams. Lakeside Lutheran won the girls’ meet with 119 points, while the Cardinals (103.5) and Hartford (97.5) rounded out the top three.

On the boys’ side, Middleton junior Gus Newcomb won the 1,600-meter run in 4:21.39 seconds and the 3,200 (9:45.81). Senior Jack Jesse also won the long jump with a mark of 20 feet, 10 inches.

“Gus Newcomb set a meet record which was fun to watch,” Line said. “Jack Jesse won the long jump after not jumping for over a month.”

The Cardinals had several other stellar performances, as well.

Griffin Gussel won the 400 (51.68) and Perrin Hagge captured the 800 (1:54.87). Middleton’s 1,600-meter relay team of Hagge, Noah Roberson, Gussel and Randy Hernandez was first (3:31.68).

Matthew Leiferman was second in the pole vault (11-6) and Pace Balster was second in the triple jump (39-9 ½). Trevaun Turner was third in the 100-meter dash (11.33) and Max Elliot was third in the shot put (46-2 ½).

“We scored in most of the events and it came down to the last two events against Baraboo,” Line said. “The guys wanted this one and they looked ready when they got on the bus.”

On the girls’ side, Sam Valentine won the 3,200 (10:59.08), while Charlotte Sue was third in the same event (11:59.03).

Betsy Hathaway was second in the 100 (12.89) and Erika Rader was second in the 1,600 (5:33.03).

Middleton’s 800-meter relay team and its 1,600-meter relay team were both second.

Hathaway was also third in the pole vault (9-6).

Middleton first-year coach Cory Christnovich was thrilled with all of those performances. He also wanted to highlight the efforts of Sara Gaab, Hailee Milton and Autumn Grim. 

Gaab had a bad fall while hurdling at practice last Thursday. But Gaab came back to finish fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (17.55) and sixth in the 300-meter hurdles (52.61).

“Not too many teenagers would have the courage and guts to come back the next day and be willing to run full speed at a hurdle after the kind of fall that she had,” Christnovich said. “It was impressive to watch.”

Milton keyed Middleton’s 800- and 1,600-meter relay teams that both finished second. Milton also finished sixth in the 200-meter dash (27.42)

“Hailee Milton is doing everything that is asked of her this season,” Christnovich said. “She is busting her butt in practice and her times are showing it. Hailee has big things in store for her this season.”

Grim finished fourth in the 800 (2:29.18) and continues to lead Middleton’s distance squad.

“Autumn Grim has renewed energy in track this year,” Christnovich said. “She worked her tail off over the winter with the distance girls and is poised to set new PR's in every distance event this year. 

“She has a determination on her face that is awesome to see. Autumn is a sweet, caring young lady, but when she steps to the start line, that face goes away and it is set to achieve her goals.”


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