Port’s 4th, Grafton’s 5th at conference indoor meet give both squads solid tune-ups for outdoor season
A team championship wasn’t in the cards for either the Port Washington or Grafton boys’ track and field squads during last week’s North Shore Conference indoor meet at Homestead High School.
However, that didn’t mean either team was disappointed with its showing in a major tune-up for the outdoor season.
“We did better than I was expecting us to,” said Port coach Mark Pasten, whose squad rode its strength in middle and long-distance races to a fourth-place score of 36 points in the eight-team standings March 31.
“I was happy with finishing in the top half.”
Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel was equally pleased with his young team’s fifth-place effort of 32 points, a marked improvement over last year’s last-place finish.
“It was phenomenal,” Kriegel said. “We’ve been in the cellar the past three or four years, so this was so much better.”
Homestead used its depth to secure top honors. The Highlanders finished with 155.5 points, two more than runner-up Germantown in a two-team battle for first.
Whitefish Bay finished third with 66 points, followed by Port, Grafton, Nicolet (31), Cedarburg (23) and Milwaukee Lutheran (21).
Port was led by a pair of second-place finishes that both featured senior Jeff Bartow.
In addition to placing second in the 3,200-meter run in 10 minutes, 40.63 seconds, Bartow ran the third leg on a runner-up 3,200 relay team that also included Adam Prom, Steven Nelson and Justin Fote
The Pirates’ other scoring finishes on the track were a fourth by the 640 relay of Eric Didier, Joe McIlree, Roman Bailey and Taylor Devenport (1:21.64); a fifth by Jared Sandlin in the 1,600 run (4:46.96); sixths by
Sandlin in the 800 run (2:11.11) and the 1,600 relay of Prom, McIlree, Nelson and Casey Karpin (3;52.83); a seventh by Michael Kolbach in the 3,200 run (11:15.05); and an eighth by Prom in the 400 dash (57.17).
Port also received a sixth from Trevor Swortwout in the pole vault (9 feet, 6 inches) and a seventh from McIlree in the long jump (20 feet).
Pasten singled out Bartow, who had the fastest split on the Pirates’ 3,200 relay, as well as McIlree, Didier and Sandlin.
“We had a lot of really good efforts,” he said. “There were quite a few personal-bests, including some that just missed out placing.”
Grafton, which scored in eight events, was led by third-place finishes from sophomore Jason Zahn in the shot put (48-5) and the 640 relay of D. Foster, Willie McElligott, Jake Bronowski and Jason Karrels (1:19.5).
The Black Hawks also received a fourth from the 1,600 relay of Kevin Wegner, Ryan Grange, Sean Hanley and Justin Tomashek (3:49.8), fifths from McElligott in the 200 dash (25.06) and Ryan Rieboldt in the 800 run (2:10.9), a sixth from Michael Salm in the 1,600 run (4:47.07) and sevenths by Tomashek in the 400 dash (56.6), Grange in the high jump (5-10) and Alex Konop in the 800 run (2:11.65).
McElligott’s effort in the 200 dash and Grange’s in the high jump were good for shares of their place finishes.
“It was really exciting to see how our young team responded,” said Kriegel, who noted that Zahn and McElligott, a freshman, exemplified the Hawks’ overall showing.
“Jason and Willie both had exceptional performances. They performed very well in a big-meet situation.”
Local girls trail in standings
Grafton and Port brought up the rear of the standings in the girls’ portion of the meet, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively.
The Hawks, who improved one spot in the standings over last year’s indoor meet, scored 25.5 points. The Pirates had 23 points.
Leading Grafton was a third-place finish by Cathy Brunette in the 55 hurdles (9.61) and a fourth by the 640 relahy of Carrie Herian, Sara Grange, Emily Schreiner and Emily Van Langen (1:33.75).
The Hawks also received fifth-place finishes by Van Langen in the 55 dash (7.83), Jessica Lazzari in the 800 run (2:36.97) and Grange in the high jump (4-8) and sevenths by Van Langen in the 200 dash (29.23) and Schreiner in the 55 dash (7.9). Grange’s jump was good for a share of fifth.
“The girls moved up one spot, so we improved, which was good,” Kriegel said.
Kriegel singled out of the contributions of “a couple new faces” — freshmen Brunette and Grange.
Port was paced by junior Payton Greisch, who placed second in the 400 dash (1:03.18) and anchored the second-place 3,200 relay that also included Ashley Hilton, Bianca Benkley and Diana Seer (10:23.35).
The Pirates’ other scoring finishes were a fifth by Benkley in the 1,600 run (5:35.49), a seventh by Claire Kinzer in the pole vault (8 feet) and an eighth by Hilton in the 3,200 run (12:27.94).
Port coach Joe Adamak said he didn’t place a strong emphasis on the meet and limited his athletes to two events apiece.
“The 4-by-800 relay team ran a great time, and then I kind of held the girls back,” he said. “We could have used some of the girls in more relays, but that wasn’t going to be our approach.”
Homestead dominated the girls’ field with a first-place score of 118 points, well ahead of runner-up Milwaukee Lutheran’s 87.5.
Rounding out the top six teams were Whitefish Bay (81.5), Germantown (71), Nicolet (59.5) and Cedarburg (56).
After being off this week for spring break, the Port and Grafton boys and girls will all return to the track Friday, April 16, in a 4 p.m. invitational meet at Shorewood.
The competition will feature only running events.
JEFF BARTOW handed the baton to Justin Fote during Port Washington’s second-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay race at last week’s North Shore Conference indoor meet. Photo by Sam Arendt