Pleasant surprises for boys in first track meet

By : 
Chad Smith
Spring Valley Tribune

The Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland/Southland boys’ track team is already one meet into the spring schedule, taking part in the Byron Invitational, held at the Rochester Community and Technical College campus on Thursday, March 28. The GMLOKS boys won two events and finished second in two others while finishing fourth in the team standings.

Boys team results

1. Byron 120, 2. Chatfield 62, 3. Cannon Falls 57, 4. GMLOKS 37, 5. Hayfield 14.

Individual results

Relays look to be an early strength of the boys’ team. The boys’ 4X400M relay finished first in 3 minutes, 54.11 seconds, with a team of Blake Ludemann, Christian Hjelman, Brendan Kennedy and Jacob Kerrins. The 4X200M relay finished in second place at 1:42.21, with a team of Hjelman, Ludemann, Luke Speer and James Howard.

The boys’ squad also took first in the long jump. Zach Hauser won the event with a jump of 18 feet, 5.5 inches. Elsewhere in the field events, Noah Watson was third in the shot put at 38-08.

Lucas Howard finished second in the 400-meter run in 56.05 seconds. James Howard finished fourth in the 200-meter dash at 25.52.

Speer was the top sprinter for the Bulldogs, taking sixth in the 55-meter dash (7.28 seconds), while Trent Hungerholt also set a personal record by taking sixth in the 55-meter hurdles (10.81).

“I was really pleased with how things went,” said GMLOKS head coach Eric Thorson. “It was good to finally get that first competition under our belt and see where the kids are at early in the season.

“We did really well in the relays, and we knew going into the season that event might be one of our strengths this year. Another pleasant surprise was Zach Hauser winning the long jump after not being out for track last year.”

While this spring hasn’t been as difficult as last year, they haven’t been able to get outside for practice a lot over the last two weeks. The sprinters did make it outside to get some work in. He said kids in the field events really haven’t been outside yet. “Luckily, we have a big enough school in Grand Meadow that we can get the field event kids into a gym to get some practice in,” Thorson said.

The Bulldog boys’ team will be a little younger in terms of experience and a bit lower in overall numbers after graduating nine seniors last year. There are only three seniors on the roster this year (John Hegge, Matt Scaglione, Trent Hungerholt).

“While we have a lot of underclassmen, our freshmen and sophomores, those kids are athletic and make up most of our relay teams this spring,” Thorson said. “Relays could really be a strength for us for a couple of years as these kids keep improving.”

One of Thorson’s biggest surprises coming out of the first meet involved Lucas Howard of Kingsland. “He was signed up to run in the 800 at the Byron meet,” Thorson said. “People kept telling me just how fast Lucas (Howard) is. I put him in the 400 and he took second, getting beat only by the reigning section champ, who later advanced to the state meet.

“When Lucas took off, I wasn’t sure he knew what he was getting into,” Thorson said with a laugh. “He ran very well. Sometimes we’ll let the kids choose their events and sometimes we’ll suggest events for them to try and it turns out really well, just like it did for Lucas.”

Schedule

The Bulldogs are off this week before getting back out on the track at the Hayfield Invitational on Tuesday, April 9.