With the unfortunate and miserable cancellation of the North Shore Conference Indoor Meet two weeks ago due to a fake bomb threat, the Whitefish Bay boys track team was itching for any kind of competition possible.
The Blue Dukes found it in a successful manner on April 12, when, in their outdoor opener, they took second in the eight-team Germantown Invitational.
"The guys had a really nice day," said coach Joe Wieland. "We had some really good performances. We have a lot of kids, so we were looking to give them as many different opportunities as possible. We're finding out what they can do. Some we can see work out well and others we say, 'Well we won't try that again.'"
The Blue Dukes had a triangular meet on April 18 and now will be at the co-ed Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational on Saturday, April 25.
Wieland, in his first season as head coach after years of being an event coach, is finding this job to be a much different experience than when he served as head coach for the football team several years ago.
"It's completely the opposite," he said. "There's way more organizing involved than just pure coaching. Filling out lineups, getting results on websites and working with five different groups. You also can't forget to collect the medals at the end of meets, too.
"I'm getting closer to enjoying it every day, but it is a strange transition."
Wieland enjoyed the effort at Germantown in a big way as the Blue Dukes scored 107 ½ points for their spot as Bay Port won with 149.
Bay won two events.
Victories included sophomore Evan Murray in the 100 meter dash (11.22 seconds) and junior Rhys Koch in the 800 (2:00.2). Wieland said that Koch is coming back from some injuries, so it was good to see him succeed in one of his first serious races of the season.
Taking seconds were sophomore Eli Dyer in the 3,200 (10:03.49), Thomas Brunner in his first serious attempt at the 300 intermediate hurdles (44.57), Michael Kirkendoll in the 110 high hurdles (15.83) and the 4x100 (44.69) and 4x200 relay teams (1:36.19).
Other notable showings included the following: 400 dash: Bo Bassindale, fourth (53.53); 1,600: David Potter, third (4:47.79); 300 hurdles: JacobPatrick, fourth (45.54); 4x400 relay: fourth (3:43.21); long jump: RayQuan Bolden, fourth (20-¼); triple jump: Kirkendoll, third (44-2 ½).
"The kids were really anxious to compete," said Wieland. "The kids had been really excited for the North Shore meet because they felt they had a chance at winning it. So after the cancellation, we had a tough week of practice to get re-focused. We knew that the competition would be strong so we weren't surprised by it. Bay Port was just very strong."
Wieland's hoping to work in Bassindale, the top sprinter, a little more as he recovers from a leg injury.
"We've spent a lot of time in the early season fighting the weather and injuries," Wieland said, "but the kids for the most part have been working spectacularly hard."