Mernomonee Falls boys track coach Bobby Regent-Smith smiles and laughs in a flattered manner when his deep and surprisingly successful Indians are compared to the school's greatest teams, the 2009 and 2010 juggernauts.
He knows his team does not have the crazy up-top talent such as two-time state hurdles champ Matt Widule.
But, there are similarities, and after impressive victories at both the Sussex Hamilton and West Bend West Invitationals last week, Regent-Smith is beginning to accept the comparisons happily.
"Like those teams, it's a complete team effort," Regent-Smith said. "We don't have the top-end talent like those teams, but the whole team works on it ... Was I surprised at this? Yes and no. We're at the stage of the season where we're trying to get the kids into as many events as possible and see what they can do."
Which is a great deal at this point.
The Indians, facing Prom weekend, will be at the Marquette Invitational on Saturday, May 3 (Quad Park 10 a.m.), and then will look to build on their Greater Metro Conference Indoor championship when the league relay test is held on Wednesday, May 7, back at Quad (3:30 p.m.).
Regent-Smith is just happy for the seniors as they build toward the important parts of the season.
"These seniors have seen everything, and they see their work paying off," he said. "They're showing the younger guys how it's done and they're catching on too — showing them how hard work can turn into something."
Maybe something great like 2009 and 2010. Like those teams, this year's squad is built around a great sprinter (state finalist Christian Almonte), hurdlers (Reese Meredith, Wil Roscher and Bryce McMurtry) and terrific relay depth.
That latter trait came to a stunning head in the Indians victory at the 13-team West meet April 25, as Falls won all four relay races in compiling a 172-point total as host West was a competitive second with 156.
The 4x800-meter relay team of Brandon Schinker, Ryan Schwalbach, Dominic Carini and Jayce Kolinski started out by edging Germantown by .07 of a second with a victory in eight minutes, 42.98 seconds.
That was followed by victories from the 4x200 team of Almonte, Will Vanderhorst, Brandon Kivisto and Sekon Stephens (1:33.5); the 4x100 crew of Almonte, Vanderhorst, Kivisto and Josh Lucas (43.99); and the 4x400 crew of I.J. Bullock, Adam Vechart, Lucas and McMurtry (3:32.8).
Other victories went to Almonte, who won his second 100-dash title of the week in impressive fashion over Milwaukee Morse's Bryant Brown. Almonte was clocked in a season-best 11.01 as Brown came across in 11.09.
"He's running what he was at the end of last year," said Regent Smith. "He's always had a good start, but now he's starting to run relaxed when he gets tested. That's something he's been working very hard on.
Also earning wins were sophomore Darron Murray with a personal best in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches), Wil Roscher in the triple jump (41-11) and Aron Schwartz in the pole vault (13-0).
Beyond that, the Indians won this meet with tremendous depth, as in the 110 high hurdles, Meredith was second (15.69), McMurtry third (15.88) and Wil Roscher fourth (16.16); while Adriaan Roscher backed up Murray in the high jump with a third (6-0), Zack Pogorzelski was fourth in the pole vault behind Schwartz (12-0) and Anthony Russo was second (123-11) and John DeWalt third (123-7 1/2) in the discus.
Other strong finishes by event included the following: 1,600 — Kaleb Becker, sixth (4:46.92); 400 — Bullock, second (51.83); 300 intermediate hurdles — Meredith, second (41.87); and 200 — Lucas, second (23.16).
The Indians picked up a nice trophy for their efforts.
At the Hamilton meet April 23, Falls didn't get a trophy for their efforts but earned many nice medals as it edged GMC rival 118-110 for the title in the 12-team event.
Victories went to Almonte in the 100 (11.22), Dontrell Handy in the long jump (19-11), Adriaan Roscher in the triple jump (40-4 1/4) and the 4x100 relay team of Almonte, Vanderhorst, Kivisto and Lucas (43.99).
Other strong efforts by event included the following: 100 — Lucas, fifth (11.7); 110 high hurdles — Meredith, third (15.73); McMurtry, fourth (15.82) and Wil Roscher, sixth (16.32); 400 — Stephens, fourth (55.69); 4x200 relay—names unavailable, third (1:36.22); 300 intermediate hurdles — Meredith, fifth (41.9); 200 — Bullock, fourth (23.52) and Kivisto, fifth (23.55); high jump — Adriaan Roscher, third (5-10) and Murray, sixth (5-8); pole vault—Schwartz, third (13-0) and Pogorzelski, sixth (12-6); discus — DeWalt, third (135-1) and Russo, fifth (123-7).
"We were coming off a break, so we didn't triple or quadruple guys right away, and everyone responded," Regent-Smith said. "I just can't say enough about how hard everyone, coaches and the kids, are working."
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