The weather is warming up and the Whitefish Bay boys track team is getting hot along with it.
The Blue Dukes earned four firsts and used balance throughout all events to score an impressive victory in the 15-team Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational on April 22.
"We couldn't have asked for anything better," said coach Joe Wieland. "The weather was perfect and we're moving past a couple of our early injury bugs. We turned in a lot of PRs out there and we're really starting to see the effects of our training program pay off.
"Now we're moving into the next phase of our training. We're at the crossroads of training and talent, and we should see some great results soon."
The Blue Dukes, who also won a triangular meet with Shorewood and Grafton on April 18, will be at the Marquette Invitational at Quad Park on Saturday, April 29, and then will look forward to the North Shore Conference Relays at Cedarburg on Wednesday, May 3.
In the Wisco meet, the Blue Dukes scored 99 5/6 points to overpower the host Vikings, who were second with 74.
The meet was a real breakout for a couple of key athletes as sophomore sprinter Evan Murray won the 100-meter dash in a personal best of 11.03 seconds. He would have also likely won the 200 dash but had to settle for fourth in a fine time of 22.7 because a spectator got into his lane near the start of the race and he had to slow down tremendously to avoid a collision.
"It was too bad," said Wieland, "because he was flying."
Junior Rhys Koch also had a moment, turning in a best time of 1:59.31 to win the 800. The victorious 4x400 relay team of Henry Primack, Jimmy Zebell, Rowan Koch and Rhys Koch turned in a time of 3:31.96 and returning state meet qualifier Michael Kirkendoll turned in a winning triple jump of 44 feet on his first try.
In the 3,200, junior David Potter was second (10:01.79) and sophomore Eli Dyer third (10.02.7), while in the 110 high hurdles, junior Jacob Patrick was third in a best time of 15.92. The 4x100 relay team of Patrick Nau, Cade Garcia, Alexander Anthony and James Zebell was also third (45.53) as was the 4x200 relay team of RayQuan Bolden, Murray, Zebell and Bo Bassindale (1:33.67).
Bassindale aggravated a leg injury down the stretch or else the 4x200 relay would have finished better, said Wieland. The injury was the only real down moment for Bay at the meet. Kirkendoll was also second in the pole vault at 13 feet.
Other finishes of note for the Blue Dukes included Henry Primack fifth in the 400 (53.18), Thomas Brunner eighth in the 300 intermediate hurdles (44.25), and Nolan Wollmer fifth in the high jump (5-8) while Cameron Cox was sixth (5-8). Wollmer was also seventh in the long jump (19-11) while Bolden was eighth (19-11).
Wieland was encouraged by a number of efforts, including that of Zebell, who Wieland said was sick most of the indoor season but turned in a great leg on the winning 4x400 relay.
"The kids have really responded to our training program," he said.
He also noted that the athletes really liked the idea of winning.
"We brought home a trophy and 16 medals," he said. "Just a pile of stuff. The kids were really excited about that. We were second last week (at Brookfield East) and that was good but to win is a terrific thing. The kids are getting into other events now, getting ready for conference, regional and sectional. It ought to be fun."