Indians track team takes a step back into successful past, win West Bend West Invite
Sprints and relays lead effort
Menomonee Falls - Nobody has to tell Menomonee Falls boys track coach Bobby Regent-Smith that the last year-plus has been a bit of a step down from the high-level success the Indians achieved earlier this century.
Graduation inevitability takes a toll on the talent pool.
But on a chilly, chilly night Friday in West Bend, the Indians took a step back into the halcyon days, as behind powerful efforts from their sprint groups including meet records from Matt Christensen in the 100-meter dash and from the 400-relay team, they won the West Bend West Invitational.
"The kids did a great job," Regent-Smith said. "They really put together a meet. They got a nice trophy, some medals. It really all went pretty well. A definite boost for our morale."
The Indians, who will be at the Marquette Invitational at Quad Park on Saturday, scored 132.5 points to win the 12-school meet, edging Waterford, 132.5-127.5, for the crown while host West was third with 104.
Falls' longtime strengths, the sprints and the relays, led the way.
Christensen, the last holdover from the recent glory days and a member of the state-record 800-meter relay team of 2010, had himself a day. He and sophomore teammate Christian Almonte went one-two in the 100 dash, as Christensen turned in a record-setting time of 11.29 seconds while Almonte was clocked in 11.48.
Both were also on the winning 400-relay team that included Nate Boehler and Bryce Bradford (44.6).
Christensen finished up his meet with a narrow runner-up finish in the 200 as he lost to Waterford's Bryce Rudebeck by just 0.03 of a second in 22.96. Ironically, he and Rudebeck will be roommates at UW-Whitewater next year. Christensen had topped Indians' efforts at the Brookfield East Mike Gain Invite on April 17 with a runner-up showing in the 400 (51.48), the event he qualified for state for last spring.
The Indians also won the 800 relay as Almonte, Boehler and Bradford joined with Ayolo Olapo for an easy win in 1:34.69.
Falls clinched the meet with a winning effort from the 1,600-relay crew of 3:36.85. They needed to stay ahead of Waterford to make sure of the victory. The Wolverine quartet was just behind Falls in second in 3:37.32. The Indians team included Adam Vechart, I.J. Bullock, Duncan McKennie and Michael Van Alstyne.
Van Alstyne also had himself a very good meet as the junior went over 41 feet in the triple jump for the second consecutive meet with a winning leap of 41 1/2 while sophomore Wil Roscher was a surprise second, turning in a 3-foot personal best of 40-6 1/4 .
Handoffs key to relays
Regent-Smith was impressed with the concentration and effort of the Indians on an evening where the temperatures dipped into the high 30s compounded by dampness left over from rains from the prior two days.
"Because of the temperatures, we kept the handoffs (on the relays) short," he said. "It was good to see success (in the relays) again. A lot of kids got experience last year and now we're starting to build on it.
"It was a very good feeling last night."
Other top efforts by event for the Indians included the following: 3,200 relay: fourth (9:03.3); 100: Boehler, sixth (11.72); 110 high hurdles: Keaton Shurilla, fourth (17.09); 1,600: Jacob Newman, fifth (4:44.87); Dan Hyde, sixth (4:45.73); and Jake McMahon, seventh (11-second personal record 4:51.48); 400: Van Alstyne, fourth (53.55); Vechart, fifth (53.88); 200: Olapo, fifth (24.31); 3,200: Ben Maas, sixth (PR 10:19.64); triple jump: Andriaan Roscher, sixth (38-6); discus: Spencer Kolbeck, third (119-1 1/4 ); John DeWalt, sixth (114-11 3/4 ); and shot put: Kolbeck, fifth (44-2 1/4 ).
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