Monday, April 21st, 2014
Wildcats dominate to sweep team titles
Minster Memorial Track Meet
By Bruce Monnin
Marion Local's Gina Kramer arches over the bar during the high jump competition. . .
MINSTER - While a strong headwind along the finishing straight provided a little extra challenge to the athletes, the Minster boys and girls swept both titles at the 38th Annual Minster Memorial Invitational track meet Saturday. Both home teams dominated their competition, as the Wildcat boys more than doubled the points of all their competitors, while the girls handily outpaced second place Marion Local.
The Minster boys won eight events and finished second in another seven to accumulate 171 points. Lehman Catholic was runner-up with 65 points, closely followed by St. Henry (63 1/2 points) and New Bremen (59 points).
The Minster girls not only won five events but also demonstrated great team depth by compiling eight second places to score 155 points. Marion Local was their closest competition with 81 1/5 points while St. Marys finished in fifth place (46 points).
As is often the case for the Minster boys, the field events staked the Wildcats to an early lead in the competition. They earned 52 points from the non-running events, led by Jacob Dues' win in the long jump. They earned another huge chunk of points from the relays, as they won all four of these races, including setting in a new season best time of 8:29.39 in the 4x800-meter event.
Eli Wolf was the only athlete in the meet to earn four first place finishes on the day. Besides running the anchor legs for the Minster 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, Eli also sprinted to victory with a time of 11.90 in the 100 dash and also posted a winning mark of 23.71 in the 200 dash.
The other win of the day for the Wildcat boys came in the 800 run. Andrew Fausey won the event with a time of 2:02.60 and was followed shortly thereafter by Andy Albers with a mark of 2:04.14. Both times were season bests for the Minster duo.
Besides the event winners, coach Larry Topp pointed out that Ben Butler finished with a personal best time in the 3,200 run in order to earn third place for the Wildcats, while Wes Hegemann had his best effort of the year in the discus, throwing 153 feet for second place.
Other local teams also performed well, including St. Henry in third place with 63.5 points, New Bremen in fourth (59 points) and St. Marys in sixth (53 points).
Two athletes garnered event victories for the St. Henry Redskins. Kevin Mestemaker was the only athlete to set a new meet record, as his height of 14-1 in the pole vault was one inch better than the old mark which had stood since 2007. He was joined on the victory podium by Adam Reichert, whose time of 42.06 in the 300 hurdles was over a second faster than the rest of the field. St. Henry also received another bump in the points from Spencer Schulze's second place finish in the 3,200 run.
New Bremen's Jared Kramer earned the area's other event win in the 400 meter dash, as his time of 52.88 was just enough to hold off a fast charging Paul Dues from Minster. The Cardinals also found success in the longer relay races, finishing in second place in both the 4x400 and the 4x800 relays.
St. Marys failed to win an event, but earned three second places in the shorter distance races. Cam Swanson finished second in the 100 dash with a time of 12.10, while the Roughriders' 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams also finished in silver medal position.
On the girls' side, the scoreboard showed Minster leading Marion Local by a score of 60 to 56 1/5 after the completion of the 100 meter dash. However, in the final nine events the Wildcats would outscore the Flyers 95 to 25 to run away with the victory.
Three of the Lady Wildcats' five win came in events that are traditionally their strength. They started the meet with an easy win in the 4x800 relay, completing the eight laps in a time of 9:57.07. They ended the meet with a tighter win in the 4x400 relay, just missing the meet record with a time of 4:12.72. One last distance race win came from Kaci Bornhorst, who won the 3,200 run with a time of 11:50.82.
The fourth Minster win came from Maria Heckman, who cleared a height of 10-6 to win the pole vault on a tie breaker over Marion Local's Olivia Hemmelgarn, in what is sure to be just one of many battles between these two this spring.
The other Wildcat victory came from Maggie Meiring, who set her own personal record of 48.12 in leading a Minster 1-2 finish in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Olivia Enneking followed close behind her with a time of 48.75.
Minster's team depth was displayed in the meet, as they scored 25 times in the 17 events of the day. Besides Enneking in the 300 hurdles, the Wildcats earned seven other second place finishes. They finished behind Versailles in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, and earned runners-up from Cassie Jutte in the 400 dash, Julia Slonkosky in the 800 run, Savanah Luthman in the shot put and Alexis Sharp in the discus. The last second place came from Mya Francis, who set a personal best by clearing 5-0 in the high jump.
Meanwhile, runner-up Marion Local won three events and finished second four times, but were unable to match Minster's depth as they only scored a total of 13 times on the day.
Allie Thobe was one of the few multiple event winners at the meet. She comfortably won the long jump with an effort of 16-1/2 and then also won the 200 dash with a time of 27.19. Thobe just missed out on the trifecta when she was edged by a mere six-hundredths of a second in the 100 dash.
Gina Kramer grabbed the third Flyer event victory when she was the only athlete to clear the bar at 5-2 in the high jump.
Besides Thobe in the 100 dash and Hemmelgarn in the pole vault, the Flyers also recorded second place finishes behind Minster in the 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays.
The only other local win came from Mariah Heffner in the discus. Heffner was in third place with a throw of 99-10 after her three preliminary throws. However, during the finals she uncorked a toss of 106-6 to pass Minster's Alexis Sharp for the victory.