Whitefish Bay and Homestead boys track teams take second and third in North Shore outdoor

State qualifying is next

May 28, 2014

Rhashad Gray sat amidst his Bay boys track and field teammates late into the twilight May 20 at Homestead.

The final scores had not yet been added up yet at the North Shore Conference outdoor meet, but by his sad expression and the quiet coming from the rest of the group, there was an indication that the numbers were not going to go in the Blue Dukes' favor.

"It's not going to be enough," he said quietly.

And it wasn't, as in a stunning turn of events, Milwaukee Lutheran won its first ever North Shore Conference Outdoor track title, as the Red Knights had 118 points, Bay 109, and Homestead 99.

"We did the best that we could," said Bay coach Robert Wood. "We put together a lot of different scenarios in the last couple of weeks and we'd knew it be close."

"We really did the best we could."

Bay tied with Homestead for the league indoor title, while Homestead won the NSC relay meet on May 6. Highlanders coach Todd Brawner was in a more philosophical mood afterward.

"I give all the credit to the event coaches and our kids for getting us as far as we did this season," he said "Winning two of three NSC ( meets) was a great accomplishment. The staff takes great pride and ownership and did all the work required to host the outdoor meet. I knew it would be a challenge and I could not be prouder of all of our kids for competing the way they did in some very tough events."

The two teams took part in WIAA regional competition on Tuesday, May 27 and now will send qualifiers to the WIAA sectional at Sussex Hamilton on Friday, May 30 at 3:30 p.m. The top three finishers in each event plus all those whose efforts are among the best eight of all performances statewide will advance to the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse, June 7 and 8.

Both the Blue Dukes and the Highlanders got good preparation in the outdoor.

Bay was led by hurdler Adam Strehlow, who won the 110-meter high hurdles (14.94 seconds) with teammate Colin Downing setting a personal best and taking second in 15.36. Strehlow then came back to record 39.92 for first in the 300 intermediate hurdles. The week before, he had broken Bay legend Sean Marlaire's school record in the 300s.

Strehlow also helped the 4x200 relay team of Van Bassindale, Joe Pasbrig and Tommy Friesch to a win in 1:31.88 while Brett Wallace claimed the pole vault with a leap of 12 feet-six inches.

Gray engaged in a spirited competition with Homestead's Blake Leeson in the high jump with Leeson winning with an effort of 6-6, while Gray also turned in a state-level effort at 6-5 for second. Another second went to George Papajohn in the 800 (1:58.22).

Other top finishes by event for Bay included the following: 100—Gray, third (11.42). 200—Gray, fourth (personal best 22.56). 4x100 relay—Pasbrig, Joe Noonan, Brady Wieland and Van Bassindale, fourth (45.12). Shot put—Japhet Smith, fourth (43- 1/4). Pole vault—Bennet Bergquist, fourth (12-0). Triple jump—Gray, third (43-1).

For Homestead, the only other victory was turned in by John Marita in the discus with a throw of 152-9. He won the event by close to seven feet. Marita was also third in the shot put (45-7).

Taking seconds for the Highlanders were Evan Routhier in the 1,600 (4:27.73) and Vincent Wilkerson in the 300 hurdles (40.52).

Other good efforts for Homestead included the following: 400—Chris Mueller, third (50.22); Nick Allen, fourth (50.91). 800—Routhier, fourth (1:59.97). 110 high hurdles—Wilkerson, third (15.53). 4x100 relay—Matt Winters, Patrick Curran, Brad Novak, and Matt Swensen, third (45.05). 4x400 relay—Mueller, Dan Held, Curran and Patrick Minkin, fourth (3:30.18). High jump—Elijah Triggs, fourth (6-1).

"Evan Routhier, Chris Mueller, and Vince Wilkerson also had great performances," said Brawner. "We were able to post PRs in our events but did not have enough to win. ...We need to continue to be positive and work these next two weeks and into the future."

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