The Greyhounds boys and girls are both battling injuries and spring break, but once the outdoor season gets going, they are anticipating some great things.
A key for the boys, coach of both programs Dominic Newman said, is the health of three-time state champion and anchor of the WIAA Division 2 state record-setting 1,600-meter relay team Justin Rabon.
"Justin had a navicular stress fracture (in his foot)," Newman said. "This could have been season-ending but we caught it in time and pointed him to some of the best PTs (physical therapists) in the area. I still believe that he will have a strong chance in defending his titles (including the 200 and 400 sprints). He has a strong work ethic and he knows how to motivate not only his peers on the boys side but also the girls. Justin will also attend the UW (Wisconsin) on a partial track scholarship.
"It is nice to see him training with his teammates again. It has definably changed the mood of the team and program."
Elsewhere, the girls have had their injury problems, too, as Sabrina Manns is out with a partial tear in her hamstring and Briana Webb is nursing an ankle sprain.
Newman is anticipating the boys to be strong in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays as well as in the 1,600, the 200 and the 400. Behind returning state place-winner Lexi Farrington, the girls strength should be in the 200 and the 400 as well as the 800 and 1,600 relays.
"With limited meets though, we have not been able to accurately assess where we stand within our conference and in the state. I hope to have a better idea after the (state) TFA indoor meet this weekend (at Whitewater on Saturday),"
Newman noted that Farrington is also hoping to earn a track scholarship and she will be narrowing down her choices very soon.
He is also hoping for big things out of distance runners Morgan and Haley Florshiem.
"We are excited to have Haley back after she received a stress fracture last spring and one last fall," Newman said. "Senior Lilly Blind will also help Lexi (Farrington) lead the team hopefully back to the state meet in the 1,600 and 800 relays. Sophomore Chiara Sanders will be an important component to the relay teams as well."
Newman listed the top performers in each event for both the boys and girls' teams, respectively.
They include the following: 200: Rabon and Farrington; 400: Rabon and Farrington; 800: JacobGoldberg, John Traudt, Haley Florsheim and Madee Ferone; 1600: Charles Stahl, Haley Florshiem and Haley Holan; 3200: Stahl, Sam Kuhlman, Thomas Treacy, Dan Vrobel, Morgan Florsheim and Holan; long and triple jump: Taylor Dennis; 1,600 relay: Rabon, Dennis, Alec Grimmer, Goldberg and Anthony Brewer while the girls will have to replace two strong runners; 3,200 relay: Goldberg, Stahl, Jack Mauer, Alex MacKowski or Traudt and Florsheim, Florsheim, Holan and Ferone.
The 800 relay is intriguing to Newman for both the boys and girls.
"Both groups will need to work on some solid handoffs and refocus as a group," he said. "Both were breaking their school records every time the toed the line (last year). Anything can happen."
The boys will open their outdoor season at the Brookfield East Invitational on Tuesday while the girls will also be at East for an invite on Wednesday.
The Woodland Conference Indoor for boys will be at Pius XI also on April 10 while the Woodland girls indoor meet will be at New Berlin West on April 11. All meet times are at 4 p.m.
The Highlanders boys after some good preliminary efforts, try to defend their North Shore Conference indoor title on April 10 at Whitefish Bay.
Meanwhile, the Homestead girls try to improve on their fifth-place finish of a year ago, when they host the NSC Indoor on April 9. Both meets start at 4:30 p.m.
"We had a tremendous start," boys coach Dan Benson said of the start that has already included three indoor school records (200 meters, 800 relay and triple jump). Our numbers are good and the kids are working hard. Our early spring break along with most others being the week after leads to a late conference indoor meet."
Meanwhile, girls coach John Krueger also has reason for optimism.
"Numbers are really good this year," he said. "At the break we were at 92 girls which is the most we have had since 2007. It's really encouraging and exciting for the future, as 60 are freshmen and sophomores."
Senior leaders for the girls so far have been Jenna Burns, Melinda Gayle and Helen Lewis, representing the throws, sprints and distance, respectively. Other key veteran returners are Monica Caputa (jumps/sprints), Nia Feaster (jumps/sprints), Leigh Berman (sprints/vault), Olivia Covill (sprints), and Elyssa Tracy (hurdles/vault).
"In our meet at Carthage (earlier this spring), our jumpers Nia (Feaster) and Monica (Caputa) looked strong, as well as Elyssa Tracy in the hurdles, and some of our younger sprinters in the 800 relay," Krueger said. "It will be fun to see this team gel as the season goes on. I have a good feeling about this crew. I know the conference is as tough as it's ever been, but we are going to try and make a run at being up there with the best. "
Grafton is the defending girls indoor champion.
Brown Deer track
The Falcons girls took 12th of 15 in the Whitefish Bay Lois Wolf Invitational on March 26 while the boys tied for ninth out of 15 at Bay's Wangerin Invitational a day later.
Brown Deer scored 13 points in the girls meet as Milwaukee Riverside won with 68.
Kyla Blackman was a one-woman wrecking crew for the Falcons as she took second in the 55-meter dash (7.53 seconds). King's Tahtyana Peer won the race in 7.37. Blackman was also sixth in the 400 (1:05.2) and fourth in the long jump (15 feet-nine inches).
Desiree Clark was ninth in the shot put with a toss of 31-2.
For the boys, they scored 12 points, good for a tie with Bradley Tech as the host Blue Dukes won with 77.
Isaiah Terry was fifth in the 55 high hurdles (9.55 with a 9.03 clocking in the trials), while the 1,600 relay was fourth (3:52.87), and Jake Schimenz was third in the 1,600 (4:46.65).
The Woodland Conference Indoor for boys is at Pius XI on April 10 while the Woodland girls indoor meet is at New Berlin West on April 11. All meet times are at 4 p.m.
The Knights boys were sixth of 15 in the Bay Wangerin Invitational on March 27 after the girls tied for 10th in the Bay Lois Wolf Invite on March 26.
Nicolet's girls take part in the North Shore Indoor at Bay on April 9 while the boys head to Homestead April 10.
The Knights boys scored 24 points at the Wangerin, as Bay won with 77.
Nicolet's 3,200 relay team was second with a 9:19.3 clocking, while its 1,600 relay was third with a 3:52.73 effort.
Holase Howard was second in the pole vault with an effort of 10-6 while Alex Baez was fifth in the long jump (20-5 1/2 ).
As for the girls, the Knights scored 15 points, good for a tie with Racine Horlick as Milwaukee Riverside won with 68.
Elizabeth Mowers was fourth in the 800 (2:37.19) while Jnana Martin was third in the 200 (28.06) and Brandilyn Robertson was sixth in the high jump (4-8) and Allison Hung was fifth in the pole vault (7-6). Amara Saffold was seventh in the long jump (14-9).
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