Jasper dominates, new runners stand outApril 13, 2018
BY JONATHAN SAXON
JASPER — It finally happened. Yesterday, we seemed to break through the cold, wind, and rain that had been plaguing the spring-time expectations of Dubois County residents. And as such, it was a perfect day for the area track and field teams to gather and show each other their stuff in the Dubois-Pike Invitational, the first big meet of the season.
The Jasper Wildcats placed first overall in the meet, with the boys team earning 169 points, while the girls team posted 111.5 points. Jasper boys track coach Kevin Schipp was proud of how hard his team competed against the other schools, even though they are still trying to reach their peak levels of fitness.
“I thought the guys competed hard,” he said. “They went out there and gave their best, no matter how they’re feeling. That’s what we want, guys that are willing to compete. They’re not in the best shape, our skills aren’t the best they could be in the field events just because of how the weather has been. But I’m proud of how they competed.”
But if you were to look past the competitive edge of the Black and Gold, observant eyes might have caught sight of a couple of faces which are new to track, but familiar to sports fans across Dubois County.
Football and basketball standouts Sam Englert and Noah Fleck are new to the spring sport, and each kid has his own reasons for waiting until their senior year to lace up the spikes for Forest Park.
In Fleck’s case, he always had an interest in running track for the Rangers, but playing football and basketball would take its toll on him, so much that he decided to give himself a break during the spring in his previous three years. But with this being his senior year Fleck did not want to let this last opportunity to run track slip by him, even with his nagging ankle issues.
“I always wanted a break from my other two to three sports,” he said “I figured this year’s my last year. Last time I’m ever going to be with friends. Last time I’m ever going to do a sport. Might as well go out with a bang.”
For Englert it took a bit of convincing to get him out on the track, but not much according to his account.
“I guess I wasn’t done with sports yet,” he said. “After basketball I was planning on getting ready for college. But my friends kind of talked me into it, so I decided to join.”
Their coach Phillip Wolf is happy to have them aboard. Both guys seem to be slotted into the shorter distance, sprinter events and Wolf believes that their speed gives the Forest Park track team a competitive element which the team has lacked in the past.
“Right now we’re testing the waters on what (Noah) can and can’t do,” said Wolf. “Sam Englert got fourth in long jump and placed in the 100 and 200. That’s what we were missing the last couple of years. As the season progresses, I can see him getting faster and jumping longer.”
Englert took third place in the 200 meter dash (24.59), fourth place in the long jump (19’9”), and fifth place in the 100 meter dash (12.34). Englert and Fleck were also on the 4x100 meter relay team that placed second in yesterday’s meet (45.97).
The boys say that track and field is a lot different than the previous sports that they played. The adjustments needed to transition from a team sport, like basketball, to a more individualized sport like track and field have not been difficult. Fleck also stated that the But one thing is certain: there are few other sports that apply the old mantra “you get out what you put in” like track.
“The work you put in is what you’re going to get out of it,” said Fleck. “If you mess around in practice you’re not going to compete well in the meets. If you work really hard in practice, you’ll see those results. It’s totally different than what I’m used to.”
As for the rest of the results: On the boys side, Forest Park finished second with 60 points, Southridge placed third with 51 points, Northeast Dubois took fourth place with 45 points, and Pike Central finished fifth with 28 points.
Jasper’s first place finishers on the night were Malik Chatman (long jump, 21’71⁄2’’, 100m dash, 11.74, 200m dash 23.36), Sam DeWitt (110m hurdles, 16.52), Reece Milligan (400m dash, 52.14), Chris Backer (300m hurdles, 41.81), Will Smith (800m run, 2:04.59) as well as sweeping the three relays — the 400 (44.87), the 1600 (3:29.78) and the 3200 (8:44.40).
For Southridge, Garrett Voegerl was the lone first place finisher for the Raiders in the high jump with a height of 6’2’’ while a pair of Raiders came home second in their respective events — Jose Chavez (shot put, 43’0’’) and Jaden Hayes (discus, 128’8’’).
First place finishers for the Rangers were Andrew Schuler (shot put, 48’21⁄2’’, discus, 133’) while Garrison Tretter came home second in the 400m dash with a time of 54.24.
Leading Northeast Dubois was Jayden Arnold who placed second in the 3200m run with a time of 10:45.65 and Alan Kerstiens who placed second in the long jump with a distance of 21’2’’.
While Jasper may have came home first overall in the girls side, it wasn’t just a runaway victory for the Wildcats. Jasper took the crown with 111.3 points while Southridge came in second place with 105 points, Forest Park took third with 87.5 points, Pike Central placed fourth with 38.3 points, and Northeast Dubois finished fifth with 11 points.
There were several high finishers for the Wildcats including Erin Lyons (second in discus, 102’), Zoe Biggs (first in long jump with 16’31⁄2’’), Hannah Schwenk (second in long jump with 15’9’’), Hannah Love (second in 100m hurdles with 18.22), Hannah Nixon (second in 300m hurdles with 52.66), Alyssa Skorge (first in 800m run with a 2:34.37), Kate Weaver (second in 1600m dash with a 6:09.00) along with the 3200m relay team (10:56:89).
Southridge also took home several top finishes on Thursday evening including Karli Meyer (first in shot put with 33’), Tori Tretter (first in discus with 107’11’’, second in shot put with 32’7’’), Anna Altstadt (first in high jump with 4’8’’, first in 400m dash), Grace Sickbert (first in 100m hurdles with a 17.90), Alexis Brady (first in 100m dash with a 13:56), Kenzie Neukam (first in 200m dash with a 27.96) and the 400m relay team (52.22).
The Rangers took home four first place finishes as pole vaulter Kylie Hasenour finished first with a height of 10’, hurdler Brandee Johannemann finished first with a 56.48 and long distance runner Claire Mehling placed first in the 1600m dash with a time of 5:57.93 as well as first in the 3200m run with a time of 12.52:53.
The highest placing finishers for Northeast Dubois were Maggie Stephenson (fifth in the 100m hurdles with a 18.94), Adalie Prok (fourth in the 100m dash with a 14:59), Heidi Sanders (fourth in the 400m dash) and Shelby Livingston (fifth in both 1600m dash and 3200m run).
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