Seventh heaven for boys track team

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MTT News's picture
Dennis Semrau/For the Times-Tribune
Kallion Buckner and Middleton's track and field team won their seventh straight Big Eight title./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton junior Marquez Winters didn’t begin to take competing in track and field seriously until this spring, when he focused on sharpening his skill in the long jump.

Suffice to say that after his winning performance at the Big Eight Conference track and field championships at Lussier Stadium last Friday, he has ample motivation to see how far he can go.

Winters won his first long jump title with a leap of 20 feet, 10 inches to help lead Middleton to its seventh consecutive boys track and field conference title. The Cardinals finished with 152 points to hold off runner-up Verona, which finished with 124.

Winters recorded his winning mark on his second attempt in the finals, narrowly edging Madison La Follette’s Ladell Cannon (20-9.75) and Madison East’s Jalonzo Jackson (20-7).

I wasn’t expecting this,” Winters said. “My first couple of jumps were thrown off. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to do as well as I expected. But it turned out, it was enough.”

Middleton coach Joe Line admitted that Winters’ performance was a pleasant surprise.

“He’s out for track for the second year, and he won it on one of his last jumps by a quarter of an inch to get the 10 points,” Line said of Winters, who also competed in the 100-meter dash in the prelims. “It was amazing.”

Joining Winters as a first-time individual champion for the Cardinals was senior hurdler Casey Hellenbrand, who claimed the 110-meter high hurdles title in 15:57 seconds in just his second season of competition after playing baseball as a freshman and sophomore. He was also fourth in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

“He started track last year and wanted to give the hurdles a try,” Line said. “He’s the kind of kid, we couldn’t get him off the track. He would just do hurdles and hurdles and we’d have to pull him off the track.

“He just kept getting better and better and all of a sudden he got the (school) record last week, which was a really nice surprise. It was awesome.”

Hellenbrand held off Verona’s Max Herkert, who finished second in 15.79.

The meet’s high scorer with 34 points, Herkert also won the pole vault (14 feet) and took second in the high jump (6-2) and 300 hurdles (:41.49).

“It feels crazy,” said Hellenbrand, who didn’t make the finals in the 110 hurdles last year. “It’s only my second year and to do something like that, it’s a feeling you can’t describe especially with the quality of our track program. I just wanted to prove I could go out and do it.”

Hellenbrand was a four-year basketball player in high school, who also played football one year and JV soccer as a senior.

But after Hellenbrand decided his heart wasn’t into playing baseball any longer, his wish to find a spring sport led him to the track and field team, where he admittedly has found a home.

“I went out for track mostly to stay in shape for basketball,” he said. “I wasn’t going to sit around. I wanted to do something, and I knew that the track program was really strong.

“Coach Line came and talked to me. He gave me options that I could do to stay in shape for basketball. He gave me an opportunity, and it was able to pay off.”

Rounding out the Cardinals’ list of meet champions was senior Caleb Easton who defended his title in the 1,600-meter run, won his first title in the 3,200 and also anchored the Cardinals’ third-place 1,600 relay.

“Caleb runs the two mile, and we put him right in the 4-by-4,” Line said of Easton, a Northern Arizona recruit. “I’ve never really seen that before. But it’s Caleb Easton, so why not? He wanted to do it. I was going to take him out because I think we’ve got this. But he wanted to run it.

“Verona has such a great team, and it was so close. It’s unbelievable.”

Middleton scored points in 17 of the meet’s 18 events, including a combined 63 points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 open runs and the 3,200 relay. That total outscored five of the conference schools individual team scores.

Verona’s Jayden Joe-Wright and Middleton’s Joey Kean, two of the league’s top sprinters, were sidelined due to injury.

But Middleton was able to secure multiple placewinners in eight of the 14 individual events to keep Verona from ending its title streak.

Sophomore Quinn Calvin was Middleton’s lone athlete to compete in four events, placing sixth in both  the 200 and long jump and running a leg on the third-place 800 relay and fourth-place 400 relay teams.

“Once again, it comes down to the last few events, and they’re up big after the throws and field events, and we went up big after the distance (events),” Line said. “I was sweating it the whole time.”

Easton (4:23.27) led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1,600 followed by junior Zachary Leffel (4:24.77) and senior Michael Madoch (4:33.32).

Junior Braedon Gilles paced the Cardinals with a runner-up finish in the 800 (2:01.89), followed by Leffel (2:04.24) in third and sophomore Ryan Schollmeyer (2:05.00) in fifth.

Easton then capped an outstanding day for the Middleton distance runners by winning the 3,200 (9:39.10), holding off a late charge by Madison West’s

Erik Nuenninghoff (9:40.30) and Janesville Craig’s Bryan Bloomquist (9:41.60).

Juniors Egan Johnson and Peter Hoferle, finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 3,200 for the Cardinals.

“Those guys have been sticking together for three years in cross country and run together,” Line said of the Cardinals’ elite distance crew. “They’re not far from each other when they race and score a ton of points for us.”

Easton said he had competed in the 1,600 relay in several dual meets, but never immediately after running a 3,200.

“I may not have been the fastest guy out there,” Easton said. “But I definitely got some rest in before I ran it. We had a couple of guys who were sick so I filled in. We implemented that into my two-mile strategy knowing I’d need to run that race after.

“I was going for the win, so definitely those guys challenged me at the end. I had to throw in more of a kick than I was expecting. It was my first time running the 3,200 at a conference meet, so that was fun. I was trying to save as much as I could for the (1,600 relay). But I had to push at the end for sure.”

Easton, who capped his prep conference career with four straight team titles as well as four individual titles, was proud to have accomplished one of his main goals.

“Winning four conference team titles is just starting to sink in,” said Easton, who added that he didn’t appreciate the streak his freshman and sophomore years.

“It really settled in this year. All year I was thinking, ‘I’ve done it three times, It’s a real important thing.’ That’s been our theme all year, all year long it’s been win another conference title. We did it.”


May 10

Big Eight Conference meet

At Lussier Stadium, Madison


Team scores: Middleton 152, Verona 124, Madison West 76, Madison La Follette 75.5, Sun Prairie 68.5, Madison Memorial 60, Janesville Parker 47, Janesville Craig 40, Beloit Memorial 31, Madison East 28.

100: 1, Opoku-Appoh, MW, :11.05; 2, Wells, MLF, :11.26; 3, Ketarkus, MM, :11.28; 4, Kallion Buckner, Mid., :11.31; 5, McCray, MW, :11.36; 6, Acker, V, :11.38; 7, Stone, SP, :11.45; 8, Madden, ME, :11.47.

200: 1, Nelson, SP, :22.84; 2, Onefulommo, MLF, :22.90; 3, Ketarkus, MM, :23.10; 4, Eagan Peters-Michaud, Mid., :23.23; 5, Wilson, SP, :23.34; 6, Quinn Calvin, Mid., :23.64; 7, Madden, ME, :23.66; 8, Hendrickson, MM, :23.71. 

400: 1, Changler BM, :50.30; 2, Kohn, MW, :50.90; 3, Braedon Gilles, Mid., :51.50; 4, Jordan, V, :52.10; 5, Cortez, SP, :52.50; 6, McGuigan, MW, :52.70; 7, Max Foland, Mid., :53.00; 8, Schoville, JP, :53.20.

800: 1, Leverson, JC, 2:01.49; 2, Gilles, Mid., 2:01.89; 3, Zach Leffel, Mid., 2:04.24; 4, Hansen, ME, 2:04.70; 5, Treiber, MW, 2:04.94; 6, Ryan Schollmeyer, Mid., 2:05.00; 7, Jaeger, MLF, 2:05.39; 8, Buckingham, MLF, 2:05.78.

1,600: 1, Caleb Easton, Mid., 4:23.27; 2, Leffel, Mid., 4:24.77; 3, Michael Madoch, Mid., 4:33.32; 4, Hellrood, MLF, 4:35.17; 5, Gary, MW, 4:35.42; 6, Tess, SP, 4:38.83; 7, Dimaggio, V, 4:42.97; 8, Peppard, MM, 4:43.15.

3,200: 1, Easton, Mid., 9:39.10; 2, Nuenninghoff, MW, 9:40.30; 3, Bloomquist, JC, 9:41.60; 4, Ford, V, 9:43.50; 5, Wolfe, MLF, 9:47.50; 6, Egan Johnson, Mid., 9:47.80; 7, Olson, MLF, 9:49.20; 8, Peter Hoferle, Mid., 9:49.30.

110 hurdles: 1, Casey Hellenbrand, Mid.,  :15.57; 2, Herkert, V, :15.79; 3, Lippens, JP, :15.85; 4, Shanahan, SP, :15.93; 5, Kanan, MM, :15.94; 6, Holmen, SP, : 16.30; 7, Jones, MLF, :16.89; 8, Cyrus Vogel, Mid, :16.96.

300 hurdles: 1, Lippens, JP :41.25; 2, Herkert, V, 41.49; 3, Stuart Wodzro, Mid., :42.02; 4, Hellenbrand, Mid., :42.18; 5, Kanan, MM, :43.49; 6, Thomas, BM, :43.62; 7, Shanahan, SP, :43.69; 8, Sam Gessler,  Mid., :43.71.

400 relay: 1, Madison West (Bowman, Eilertsen, Opoku-Appoh, McCray), :42.81 (meet record); 2, Verona, :43.83; 3, Madison La Follette, :44.31; 4, Middleton (Buckner, Calvin, Logan Prichard, Michael Brenton), :44.42; 5, Janesville Parker, :44.70; 6, Madison East, :45.06; 7, Madison Memorial, :45.46; 8, Janesville Craig, :45.67.

800 relay: 1, Madison La Follette (Cannon, Ndiaye, Holiday, Wells), 1:31.95; 2, Madison Memorial, 1:32.57; 3, Middleton (Calvin, Buckner, Prichard, Peters-Michaud), 1:32.62; 4, Sun Prairie, 1:33.81; 5, Madison West, 1:33.99; 6, Verona, 1:34.00; 7, Madison East, 1:35.34; 8, Janesville Parker, 1:36.21.

1,600 relay: 1, Beloit Memorial (Chandler, Randall, Kilgore, Garrett II), 3:26.18; 2, Sun Prairie, 3:27.11; 3, Middleton (Ian Casper, Peters-Michaud, Gilles, Easton), 3:30.87; 4, Madison West, 3:30.90; 5, Verona, 3:31.88; 6, Madison Memorial, 3:34.36; 7, Madison La Follette, 3:36.18; 8, Janesville Parker, 3:37.54.

3,200 relay: 1, Janesville Craig (Bloomquist, Dillon, Arena, Leverson), 8:08.34; 2, Middleton (Madoch, Schollmeyer, Hoferle, Johnson), 8:09.17; 3, Madison La Follette, 8:12.87; 4, Verona, 8:18.71; 5, Madison West, 8:19.15; 6, Sun Prairie, 8:19.31; 7, Janesville Parker, 8:48.42, 8, Madison East, 8:49.45.

Pole vault: 1, Herkert, V, 14-0; 2, Traut, SP, 13-6; 3, Sorge, MM, 13-0; 4, Roca, JP, 12-9; 5, Smith, JC, 12-9; 6, Blum, JP, 12-0; 7, tie, Lacey, MLF, 12-0 and Vang, SP, 12-0.

High jump: 1, Hawkins, V, 6-2; 2, Herkert, V, 6-2; 3, Landphier, SP,  6-0; 4, Olson, JP, 6-0; 5, Henry Patterson, Mid., 5-10, 6, Jackson, ME, 5-10; 7, Gaines, BM, 5-8; 8, Pritchard, JP, 5-8.

Long jump: 1, Marques Winters, Mid, 20-10; 2, Cannon, MLF, 20-9.75; 3, Jackson, ME, 20-7; 4, Clay, ME, 19-9.25; 5, Michael Edwards, Mid. 19-7; 6, Calvin, Mid., 19-5.75; 7, Hawkins, V, 19-4.75; 8, Kahl, JC, 19-4.5.

Triple jump: 1, Cannon, MLF, 45-0.5; 2 , Curry, JP, 43-5.75; 3, Garrett II, BM, 42-10; 4, Hawkins, V, 42-5.5; 5, Jackson Meyer, Mid., 41-6.5; 6, Kahl, JC, 39-11.75; 7, Williams, MM, 39-8.75; 8, Casper, Mid., 39-7.

Shot put: 1, Acker, V, 52-6.5; 2, Bourne, V, 50-8.5; 3, Horvath, MW, 50-4.75; 4, Vandervest, V, 50-2.25; 5, Jenson, JC, 45-1; 6, Kennedy, MM, 43-7; 7, Nash, MM, 43-0.75; 8, Mielke, SP, 42-2.5.

Discus: 1, Acker, V, 172-10; 2, Kennedy, MM, 149-2; 3, Horvath, MW, 135-2; 4, Bourne, V, 131-9; 5, Amelinez-Robles, MM, 129-7; 6, Mielke, SP, 129-0; 7, Dylan Kalsheur, Mid., 127-10; 8, Jenson, JC, 126-1.




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