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WCA boys pace area teams at Morris Invite

West Central Area’s Dan Schack contorts his body over the bar during the high jump at last year’s state track and field meet. Schack got his 2014 season off to a fast start with wins in the high jump and triple jump. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The West Central Area boys’ track and field team had the top finish among area programs in the season opening Marv Meyer Invite in Morris on Tuesday night.

The Knights finished with 125 team points, good for second place. Osakis was fourth in the team standings with 72, while Minnewaska took fifth and Prairie Valley was sixth out of the eight-team field.

WCA got a first-place finish in the 1,600 and a second-place finish in the 800-meter run by Alex Toms. The 4x100 relay team of Dakotah Kashmark, Brady Combs, Tanner Wagner and Dan Schack won that event, while Schack added an individual first-place finish in the high jump and the triple jump. Kashmark did the same in the long jump.

Knights’ head coach John VanKempen was happy with the top performers he had. Now he’s looking to add a little more depth in top-eight finishes.

“My first year coaching 7th grade football, I asked who wants to be a quarterback and 11 kids raised their hand,” VanKempen said. “Next when I asked who wants to play line, only one kid raises their hand. With our track team, we have a lot of quarterbacks, we just need some linemen. We believe we have them here, but each one will have to do their part to help the team even though it may not be their favorite event.”

The Osakis boys used a relay win from Gage Larson, Trey Erie, Colton Waldvogel and Brett Cowdery in 1:40.93 to take the 4x200 event.

“It was good to see that our sprint relays did well, knowing that we lost three good sprinters off of last year’s team,” head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “The guys are learning quickly.”

Mitch Sunder added a win in the shot put for Osakis with a toss of 45-01, while Lane Arkfeld was third in that event with a throw of 34-08. Grant Backes was also second in the 3,200-meter run in 11:00.43.

“Mitch’s added strength is showing,” VanNyhuis said. “It was good to see Lane and Brady Roos place in their first varsity meet. Grant Backes did a nice job of competing after sitting out a large part of the fall and winter seasons with a knee injury.”

Minnewaska’s top finish came from Jack Schultenover as the senior won the 100-meter dash in 11.15 seconds. The top finish for Prairie Valley came from Zach Ward with a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash in 25.61 seconds.


TEAM RESULTS – 1. Morris Area, 130; 2. WCA, 125; 3. Benson-KMS, 82.50; 4. Osakis, 72; 5. Minnewaska Area, 50; 6. Prairie Valley, 48; 7. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, 23; 8. Ortonville, 13.50

OSAKIS TOP EIGHT FINISHERS – 100 METER DASH – Trey Erie – sixth place, 12.14; 3,200-METER RUN – Grant Backes – second place, 11:00.43; 110-METER HURDLES – Nils Hagen – third place, 19.38; 300-METER HURDLES – Hagen – fourth place, 49.22; 4x100 RELAY – Gage Larson, Erie, Colton Waldvogel, Backes – second place, 48.65; 4x200 RELAY – Larson, Erie, Waldvogel, Cowdery – first place, 1:40.93; 4x400 RELAY – Cowdery, Ethan Eckel, Peter Hagen, Shaen Massmann – fourth place, 4:13.26; 4X800 RELAY – Backes, Eckel, P. Hagen, Cowdery – third place, 10:06.56; SHOT PUT – Sunder – first place, 45-01; Arkfeld – third place – 34-08; Brady Roos – fourth place – 33-10; DISCUS – Sunder – third place, 103-08

WCA TOP-EIGHT FINISHERS – 400-METER DASH – Tyler Schill – eighth place, 1:00.96; 800-METER RUN – Toms – second place, 2:14.93; Bryce Paulson – third place, 2:16.28; 1,600-METER RUN – Toms – first place, 5:07.14; Ethan Olson – fourth place, 5:16.28; 3,200-METER RUN – Ryley Nelson, 11:23.59; 300-METER HURDLES – Brady Combs – third place, 47.00; E. Olson – fifth place, 49.60; 4X100 – Kashmark, Combs, Wagner, Schack – first place, 48.42; 4x800-METER RELAY – Schill, Paulson, Austin Clavin, Rylee Nelson – second place, 9:39.31; HIGH JUMP – Schach – first place, 5-10; LONG JUMP – Kashmark – first place, 19-03; Schack – third place, 18-06; Tanner Wagner – fifth place, 17-11; Combs – sixth place, 17-06; TRIPLE JUMP – Schack – first place, 40-09; Wagner – second place, 38-09; Kashmark – third place, 38-02; Devin Schack – fifth place, 34-09; SHOT PUT – Jared Oachs – fourth place, 33-10; DISCUS – Oachs – second place, 116-05

MINNEWASKA TOP-EIGHT FINISHERS – 100-METER DASH – Schultenover – first place, 11.15; Marcelo Arredondo – third place, 11.90; Josh Bartels – fifth place, 12.02; Greg Helander – eighth place, 12.34; 200-METER DASH - Arredondo – fourth place, 26.14; Tanner Lybek – seventh place, 26.81; 400-METER DASH – Dennis VanDyke – third place, 58.84; Lybek – sixth place, 59.64; Bartels – seventh place, 1:00.38; 1,600-METER RUN – Nolan Wiesel – fifth place, 5:24.02; 300-METER HURDLES – Dylan Holmes – sixth place, 49.68; 4X100 RELAY – third place, 49.68; 4x400 RELAY – third place, 3:59.85; 4X800 RELAY – 10:10.93; POLE VAULT – Ryan Moen – eighth place, 6.00; TRIPLE JUMP – Royce Hoeper – eighth place, 25-10; SHOT PUT – Tony Hill – seventh place, 32-06; DISCUS – Jordan Koubsky – fifth place, 94-05

PRAIRIE VALLEY TOP-EIGHT FINISHERS – 100-METER DASH – Joseph Hewitt – second place, 11.78; 200-METER DASH – Zach Ward – first place, 25.61; Ethan Schlosser – sixth place, 26.78; Sye Pavek – eighth place, 27.00; 400-METER DASH – Pavek – second place, 58.44; 800-METER RUN – Nic Shircliff – fourth place, 2:16.43; 1,600-METER RUN – Skyler Meiners – second place, 5:08.93; LONG JUMP – Joseph Hewitt – second place, 18-07; TRIPLE JUMP – Pavek – sixth place, 34-04

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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