Menomonee Falls boys track and field team wins Greater Metro Conference relays
Just shy of league triple crown
The state runner-up Falls North team of 1976 didn't do it, the great 1994 squad didn't either and neither did arguably the greatest boys track squad in Falls history, the state runner-up 2009 group.
No, those teams never won a conference triple crown (indoor, relays and outdoor championships).
But after Falls' spirited victory in the Greater Metro Conference Relays on a windy and cool day down at Marquette on May 7, this surprising 2014 crew of Indian athletes have that opportunity.
"That's a major goal for us, a big goal," said senior sprinter Christian Almonte, who was part of the winning sprint medley and 4x100-meter relay teams. "Honestly, this has just been a lot of fun for us. We have a lot of experienced guys on this team, distance, the sprints, everywhere. To win the indoor (last month) was surprising, but we knew we were coming up.
"It's exciting, especially this being my senior season."
It's been a very exciting season for the Indians as they also won the Burlington Demon Invite on May 9 for their fifth major meet victory of the season. It was the second time this season Falls has won two meets in a week.
The Indians, who finished their regular season on Tuesday with their own annual Ron Burling Invite, will take part in the GMC Outdoor Championships at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 20 at Sussex Hamilton with the chance of claiming that elusive league triple crown.
They will again be looking to knock off three-time WIAA state champion Brookfield East, who they have edged in both the indoor and relay meets.
If they pull it off, they will do it with a collective effort just as they have all season. Longtime hurdles coach Jim Geisthardt said a day after the relay meet that he couldn't remember a team that pulled for everyone else on the squad, no matter the event.
Head coach Bobby Regent-Smith concurred.
"I can't say enough about these guys," he said. "We emphasize that going to a conference meet, everybody has to do something (in order for the team to succeed). The big message is that we rely on each other and it was awesome to see the kids come together.
"The pole vault started at 1 p.m. and it was still going (when the rest of the team got there), so some of the kids stood around the pit to watch. We had a few kids have to leave early for other commitments, but other than that, everyone helped out. It was really cool to see."
It all came to a head with the final running event of the day, the 4x400 relay. Falls was up by six points going into it, and just needed a good finish to cap off the title.
The Indians team of IJ Bullock, Adam Vechart, Bryce McMurtry and Jake McMahon did a little better than that, holding off East in an intense race to cap off the team championship with an event-winning time of three minutes, 31.95 seconds. The Spartans were a close second with 3:32.1.
McMahon ran an impressive 51-second 400-meter leg after Bullock got the Indians off to a great start with a 50.8 leadoff leg. McMahon's race was the finish of an impressive day, where he had run two strong 1,600-meter legs as part of the 4x1,600 and distance medley relays
"Those kids ran a great race," Regent-Smith said. "For Jake to run the leg that he did after running two miles was amazing. He was one tired kid afterwards."
Everybody wanted to watch the 4x400.
"It's the final race, everybody wanted to watch and cheer it on," Almonte said.
That victory capped off a 118-point effort for the Indians. East finished second with 110.
Other wins for the Indians went to the 4x100 team of Almonte, Will VanderHorst, Brandon Kivisto and Josh Lucas (season best 43.61); the sprint medley team of Lucas, Almonte, VanderHorst and Bullock (1:35.61); the 3x110 high hurdle shuttle of Reese Meredith, Wil Roscher, and McMurtry (46.59); the high jump team of Adriaan Roscher, Darron Murray and Darrell Handy (17 feet-10 inches); and the discus trio of John DeWalt, Anthony Russo and Ian Marks (368-9).
Taking a second was the 3x300 intermediate hurdle relay of Meredith, McMurtry and Wil Roscher (2:06.81). Both Meredith (40.96) and Roscher (43.45) turned in personal bests for their 300 hurdle legs.
The 4x200 team of Almonte, VanderHorst, Kivisto and Lucas turned in a season best time of 1:31.54 for second as did the 4x1,600 team of McMahon, Ben Maas, Kaleb Becker and Brandon Schinker (19:04.56); the pole vault trio of Aron Schwartz, Zack Pogorzelski and Darrell Handy (36-0); and the triple jump team of Wil and Adriaan Roscher and Kay Olapo (119-9).
In the pole vault, Pogorzelski turned in a personal best of 13-6 to lead the way. The shot put team of DeWalt, Russo and Ben Perdzock exceeded expectations by taking third (125-7 3/4).
Regent-Smith said one of the nicest things about the day was the attitude the team displayed immediately after the final scores were announced.
"We were grateful to accept the awards, but then the kids were like 'we have to keep working, because there's stuff we can do to get better,'" he said.
"That's just a Falls' thing," said Almonte in agreement. "We just like to keep calm and relaxed. This wasn't the final meet for us. We know what we have to do yet and we can't let up now."
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