Merrill track boys make strides in Madtown

Merrill may have been on spring break last week, but the dedicated boys from the Bluejay track team did anything but take a break last week.
The Jays ranked fifth in the 25-team Madison West Relays Class B division, just 2-1/2 points out of fourth, in the limited-entry event.
“Saturday’s meet was a roller-coaster for the Merrill guys,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said. “There were up and down performances.
“We had a few hiccups and ended up fifth which is good for the competition, but I still feel we are better than a fifth-place team.”
Despite those hiccups, Merrill got top-line performances from several team members.
“On a good note, Kriss Philipp won the 55-meter dash and took third in the 200-meter dash,” VandenHeuvel said. “Some other great performances came from Jake Anderson and Nick Peterson in the long jump, posting fifth- and seventh-place finishes.
“We had a good shot of doing very well in the meet if all the guys performed where they have been. I liked to see multiple guys placing in the top 10. I have been stressing in order to win meets, we need to have more than one guy scoring per event. We still have kinks to work out and need to become more consistent, but that is what the indoor season is for.”
Philipp ran a :06.63 in the prelims of the 55, :06.66 in the semis and :06.58 in the finals to take down the victory. His prelim time tied his MHS record and his finals’ clocking cracked it. Freshman teammate Tyler Butler started with times of :06.97 and :06.91 before wrapping up 8th with a :06.93 in the finals.
Phillips ranked third in the 200 with a clocking of :23.28, just 2-hundredths of a second out of the runner-up spot.
Those two teamed up with Peterson and Lucas Lee to place third in the 400M relay in a time of :46.40.
The 800M team of Eric Ball, Nick Hoffmann, Anderson and Peterson ran fourth in 1:37.96.
In the long jump, Anderson traveled 20′ .5″ for fifth and Peterson was seventh at 19′ 6.5″. Dan Blakeslee cleared 5′ 10″ in the high jump to pick up sixth-place points, and Ball went 11′ 0″ to tie for seventh. Tyler Schmidt scored Merrill’s final points with an eighth-place 46′ 10.25″ in the shot put.
The Bluejays turned in several other fine performances. The remaining two relay teams both placed 10th. The 1600M squad of Blakeslee, Dalton Wilding, Bartz and Bryce Litschauer did it in 3:44.68, and the 3200M foursome of Litschauer, Wilding, Michael Seaman and Paul Theorin pulled it off in 8:59.37.
Andrew Seaman ran 13th in the 1600M in 5:05.04, while Brandon Bartz placed 14th in the 400M in :56.90. Dylan Schielke rated 15th in the 3200M in 11:27.97. Theo­rin ended up 17th in the 800M in 2:19.56.
LaCrosse Logan won the meet with 69 points, topping East Troy’s 60.25. Monroe was third with 57.5, while West Bend West edged out Merrill 42-39.5.

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