The Middle Border Conference Track Meet will be run at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Croix Central, and all three local teams are hoping to make a major impact on that meet. Osceola is the defending champion in both halves of the conference meet.
All three local teams had meets early last week as their final competitive preparations for the conference meet.
The Tigers competed in a meet at Hudson last Monday. The Tigers used it to get ready for what they expect will be a close battle for the MBC titles.
"Our goal for the conference meet is to win. We know we are going to have a battle with Osceola. Each team has their specific strengths with some overlap in other areas. The message I will tell my kids is to control what you can control," said Tiger boys' coach Roger Reuvers.
The Tiger coaches loaded certain events at the Hudson meet and it was done with a purpose in mind.
"The goal of the meet was to solidify seed times for the conference meet and make decisions on some final spots for individual entries. I was looking for some 800(-meter) runners and 200 runners to step up and try to claim a spot for themselves in the conference meet," Reuvers said.
That approach produced results. The Tigers hadn't had a runner complete an 800 in under 2 minutes, 10 seconds in an open race this season, but five did it at Hudson led by Joey Kidder at 2:06, with Max Blader, Payton Pohl, Brady Lease, and Chase Chiarle all getting under 2:10.
Jacob Parent, Joe Powers and Kennan Stowers all ran excellent times in the 200, giving the coaches more options. Sophomores Cale Bishop and Tyler Harris ran the 3,200 in 10:17 and 10:19, showing they can be competitive in that event at the conference meet.
In field events, Cayden Henning and Joe Charbonneau shared the pole vault win at Hudson, both clearing 11 feet, 9 inches. Alex Jarchow was the high jump winner at 5-1
Tiger coach Judy Weiss said the goal of the Hudson meet, and the week of practices that followed, was to get the New Richmond athletes to produce the best results of their season at the conference meet. The coaches are still trying athletes in new events, too. The coaches might have struck on success by trying sophomore Abbie Montreal in the triple jump. She placed second at 33-1. She was also fourth in the long jump at 15-5.
Weiss said other highlights included Kayla Harris running a season's best time in the 3,200 and good progress from Addie Zinck in both hurdle races.
Central hosted a last chance meet last Tuesday for eight teams to get one more meet in before they compete in their conference tournaments.
The big news for St. Croix Central was a school record earned by sophomore Mya Kizer in the 800. Kizer ran a time of 2:22.7 which broke a record previously held by Amber Bowman that lasted more than 20 years.
There was nearly a second school record set by the Panther girls. Senior Marie Hamlin ran a time of 5:21.61 in the 1,600, missing the school record by 1.2 seconds.
Also producing wins for the Panther girls were the 4x400- and 4x800-meter relay teams, Mariah Withuski in the 3,200 and freshman Katie Larson, who had a career best mark of 35-8.25 in the shot put.
Central's girls placed second among the eight teams. Central coach Ben Lamb said most of the Panthers were limited to one event to rest the team as they get ready for the conference meet on Tuesday, May 14.
The only win generated by the Panther boys came in the discus throw. Joe Hueg and Logan Knapton ranked 1-2 in the event. The Panther boys placed fifth.
The Spartans are looking to make a bigger impact at the upcoming MBC meet than they have in years.
That's led by the boys' team, which showed further improvement at Osceola on Tuesday in their final meet before next Tuesday's conference meet.
Somerset coach Brandon Berrey said the Spartan boys will try to compete for the MBC title.
"We have a well-rounded roster that will score a lot of points. Our jumps will lead the way, but we can contend everywhere from the mile to the 200," Berrey said.
Leading the Spartans is the trio of Roy Hale, Ty Madden, and James Schachtner, who give the Spartans the chance to have three top finishers in the long and triple jumps.
Several Spartans made big improvements on Tuesday. That was led by Jack Schottler, who won the 400 by finishing under 54 seconds for the first time in his career. Jack Cook and Ethan Midbrod continued to show progress in the hurdle events, which are places where there are top points available at the conference meet.
Berrey said the Spartan girls are looking to be more of a factor in the MBC meet than they've been in a number of years. That's led by the throwers. Eve Goldstein is one of the best throwers in the state. She added another prime time title on Monday, breaking her own school record on Monday at the Throwdown in Madtown with a discus throw of 152-3.
Sprinters Keely Pitcher and Jade Atkins performed well on Tuesday and freshman Paige Soderstrom cleared 13-0 in her first time ever competing in the long jump.
"For the girls we are looking to do well in events we can compete in get into the top half of the conference. We have competitive athletes in the sprints, throws, and jumps and will look to score points there," Berrey said.