The Highland High School boys track and field team posted a strong second-place finish at the five-team Jerseyville Relays on Wednesday, April 11.
Then on Friday, the Bulldogs struggled to a 14th-place finish out of 16 squads at the Granite City Invitational.
Granite City Invite
On a very windy day that saw gusts exceed 20 mph, Highland struggled as a team, mustering just 11.5 points and placing 14th out of 16 teams. Due to the winds, the pole vault was canceled, and that likely cost Highland some points, as both Bryce Kirsch and Deakon Thornton were seeded pretty high.
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The Bulldogs' best performance came in the 100-meter dash where senior Seby Wold tied for third with a personal-record time of 10.8 seconds and senior Mason Geiger tied for fifth place with a time of 11.1.
Sophomore Nick Hanratty earned a seventh-place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a four-lap time of 4:52.55.
"He was on his way to another personal best before hitting the wall," Highland coach Bob Vance said. "He just struggled that last lap or he might have hit 4:45."
Nabbing eighth-place finishes were the 4 x 800-meter relay team of Hanratty (2:13), freshman Josh Loeh (2:12.2), sophomore Brylee Portell (2:24.9) and freshman Easton Rosen (2:15.54) with a team time of 9:05.5, and the 4 x 200-meter relay team of Geiger (23.3), Wolf (23.0), senior Ivan Orozco (23.6) and Schmitt (25.4) with a joint time of 1:35.34.
Highland rung up 80 team points to finish second behind the champion host Panthers with a winning team score of 94 points. Rounding out the five-team event were Civic Memorial (62), Carrollton (40) and Alton Marquette (34).
"We gave Jersey a run for their money, but a DQ and a couple of other narrow losses cost us some points and the plaque," Vance said. "Still, the boys gave a great effort and almost pulled it off."
Garnering first-place finishes for the Bulldogs were the varsity 4 x 100 quartet of Geiger (11.9), Wolf (11.8), DeProw (10.1) and Schmitt (11.0) with a winning team time of 44.8; the 4 x 16,00 relay team of Hanratty (4:54.7), Loeh (5:03.5), senior Gabe Sherill (5:16.5) and Rosen (5:05.7) with a victorious combined time of 20:20.7; the freshmen/sophomore distance medley team of Loeh (3:41.3 in the 1,200), Rosen (2:16.2 in the 800), Portell (1:01.8 in the 400) and Hanratty (4:59 in the 1,600) with a first-place joint time of 11:58.4; and the freshmen/sophomore 4 x 100 squad of Connor Miller (12.6), Kain Thornton (12.4), Ethan Leftwich (12.2) and Loeh (11.6) with a group time of 45.8.
Vance said the varsity 4 x 200 relay team had their race won handily, but were disqualified for handing off outside the exchange zone.
"It was really close, and we thought we got it in, but the exchange judge ruled that we didn't make it," Vance said.
Securing second- and third-place finishes for Highland were:
- the shuttle hurdle relay team Schmitt (18.4), Portell (18.1), sophomore Peyton Strong (21.4), and sophomore Austin Roach (16.5), second place (1:14.7);
- the sprint medley team of senior Kyle Lane (26.7 in the 200), senior Cameron Donahue (28.3 in the 200), Thornton (1:02.8 in the 400) and Hanratty (2:12.4 in the 800), second place;
- the 4 x 100 throwers relay team of sophomore Evan Clarkin (15.6), sophomore Trevor Zobrist (14.0), junior Isaac Winter (13.1), and Lane (13.3), second place (55.9);
- the 300 intermediate hurdle team of Portell (45.6), Roach (46.2) and Strong (55.3), second place;
- the 4 x 800 team of Sherrill (2:21.8), sophomore Owen Kobbemann (2:42), sophomore Jack Beiermann (2:32.9) and Winter (2:47.9), third place (10:24.4);
- the 4 by 400 team of Schmitt (56.5), Wolf (56.9), DeProw (62.8) and Geiger (57.3), third place (3:53.4);
- the high jump team of Thornton (5-2), Portell (5-0), Strong (5-0), third place (15-2);
- the shot put team of Lane (35-0), Zobrist (34-4), Winter (29-8), third place; and
- the discus team of Zobrist (85-3), Lane (78-8) and Clarkin (587), third place.