The boys track program had several outstanding performances on Friday evening at the St. Thomas Invitational. Starting the Lightning off on solid footing was senior hurdler Brady Schlaefer who ran a solid time of 16.5 in the 110 high hurdle prelims to qualify for the finals. Then thirty minutes later he smashed his personal best and ran a 16.19 for 4th place. Following in Schlaefer’s footsteps (literally), was junior Isaac Schiltz who ran a new personal best in the 100m with a time of 11.67 which was good for qualifying through to finals where he finished in 5th place.
Next up was a loaded 1600m race. In the first heat junior Sam Morgenstern went out strong following a solid pace established by the leaders. Morgenstern settled into 3rd place coming through the 400 in a 66. The pace remained solid through the 800 where Morgenstern, still in 3rd, came through in a 67. Through the third lap Morgenstern and the leader separated themselves from the rest of the field, with Morgenstern taking the race over with 500m to go. He ran his final lap faster than any of the others to pull away and win the mile in a time of 4:25.93 (6th fastest in school history). Following Morgenstern in the race were seniors Ben Danner and Sam Erickson who each ran PRs as well as they found themselves leading the chase pack throughout the middle of the race. Danner separated himself from the pack throughout the 3rd lap. But, then over the final 200 meters sophomore Colby Rubischko who had been running at the back of the chase pack found an extra gear for a massive kick closing his final 200 in 32 seconds and setting a PR in 4:40.06 (the 7th fastest by a sophomore in school history), and just passing Danner who finished in 4:41.11. Erickson couldn’t quite match the furious kicks of his teammates, but did finish with a new PR of 4:47.54. Junior teammate Ian Kenney, like Rubischko, ran at the back of the chase pack throughout the entire race to finish just behind Erickson with his own new PR of 4:50.8.
In the second heat sophomore Sam Setterlund ran off the leaders for the first 400m. Coming around the curve to the backstretch on the second lap he took over the lead and slowly started to gap the field as he pressed the pace dropping the pack behind him. The chase pack was slowly able to close the gap on Setterlund over the final lap, catching him with 150m to go. However, Sam’s performance was strong enough to smash his PR by 28 seconds, finishing in a time of 4:52.
In the boys 800m junior AJ Green took first place with one of the top times posted in the nation this season by a high school athlete. Green immediately took off from the field running his first 200m in 25 sec and opening a 25m lead on the field. He came through the 400m in 53 sec. The second lap tried his focus and endurance as he continued to push for a fast time, however, he was rewarded for his effort with a new personal record, school record, and nationally ranked time of 1:51.17 sec.
Motivated by the success of his teammates in the 1600m, sophomore Gabe Mahlen followed a similar strategy in the 3200m where he ran in about 3rd place for the first mile of the race, and then took over the lead going into the second mile. As Mahlen took over the lead he dropped some kerosene on the pace and quickly broke away from the pack. Only one runner could match the surge that Mahlen put on and followed Mahlen around for the second mile. Over the final lap this runner took the lead from Mahlen, and was able to hold him Gabe off for the victory. However, Mahlen’s 2nd place time of 9:57.71 ranks him as the 3rd fastest sophomore in school history.
Other standout performances on the track were the 300 hurdles by Jonathon Gomez who set a new PR of 43 seconds, and by the 4×400 team of Schiltz, freshman Noah Landwer, Morgenstern, & Green who took first place with a time of 3:29.24 sec.
In the field events the Lightning jump crew had some tremendous performances. Leading the way for the second week in a row was senior jumper Spencer Ness who again cleared 6′ in the high jump for 2nd place, missing out on the victory only on jump attempts. He also finished 2nd in the long jump with a new PR jump of 20′ 6″, only a quarter of an inch away from victory, while he placed 6th in the triple jump. Sophomore teammate Josh Negussie took second in the triple jump with the 5th best jump by a sophomore in school history of 42′ 10.” Junior pole vaulter Bennett Scheuring finished in 6th place clearing 11′ for the first time.
For complete results please visit our schedule/results page
The Lightning are next in competition Tuesday, April 30th at the South Suburban Conference Relays at Shakopee High School.