Magic track teams stay ahead of the curve

With Mother Nature continuing to make outdoor track meets impossible, the Monticello boys and girls track and field teams trekked back indoors Tuesday afternoon for their third meet of the year at the Monticello High School field house.
With the lack of space, and inability to run certain events, the meets between Monticello, Rogers and Buffalo weren’t scored. But they did offer a chance for kids to test themselves out against rivals and see where they stand relatively early on in this crazy season.
“Today was a time trial,” said Magic boys Coach Dave Wik. “We want to get [the kids] some competition, see what they can do.”

Boys show progress against rivals
The Magic, who cruised in their first two meets of the year, faced their toughest test yet in Tuesday’s unscored meet. Rogers, a conference opponent, was there. But Buffalo was sure to provide the biggest measuring stick, as they’ll once again be the team Monticello is set on chasing throughout the conference season.
“Buffalo is always the team to beat,” said Wik. “They’ve won it every year since the conference has been in existence. Until someone beats them, they’re going to be the dog to chase.”
Despite not keeping team score, some of Monticello’s individuals were in full pursuit Tuesday afternoon.

 Sam Johnson (far left) and Collin Scherber (far right) look to get the Magic off to a quick start in the 55-meter dash Tuesday. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

Sam Johnson (far left) and Collin Scherber (far right) look to get the Magic off to a quick start in the 55-meter dash Tuesday. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

Buffalo set the tone early, with a 1-2 finish in the 55-meter dash, an indoor specialty. But Monticello showed they would be right on their heels as Collin Scherber and Sam Johnson finished third and fifth respectively.
In the 200-meter dash, Mahdi Mire got Monticello a second place finish (behind Buffalo) with a time of 25.74, just two tenths of a second behind the winner. Scherber, a Magic captain, finished fifth in the event.
Monticello found even more success in the 400-meter race, as Sam Johnson came in first, with a time of 54.36. Michael Witschen finished third and Jordan Wik was fifth for the Magic.
Those three found success in more than just the 400 as well. In the long jump Witschen leaped to a distance of 19 feet, 11.5 inches, tops at the meet. Johnson was right behind him in second.
And in the triple jump, Wik, just a sophomore, went 38 feet, 2  inches, a full foot clear of the second place competitor.
While field events have been the toughest on athletes thus far, with an occasional lack of facilities for them to practice at, the Magic showed no signs of rust in that department Tuesday.
Jake Olson made it three wins in five field events for Monticello, when his shot put of 47 feet, 2.5 inches earned the top honor.
Birk Olson, in his first year out for track, finished third with a throw 43 feet, and a half inch.
“He is still pretty raw in the throws, but obviously we know how athletic and strong he is,” said Wik, about his new thrower. “He’s been throwing well, it’s just a matter of time before he’s throwing really well.”
Other top finishers for the Magic included Lowell Laudert with a second place finish in the high jump, Colin Lyndorff finishing third in the 1600-meter run, and Derek Secord and Alex Hoglund finishing third and fourth in the 800-meter run.

Magic girls lead the way again
Stuck running indoors yet again, the Magic girls track and field team found a way to make the best of it. They finished first in seven of 11 events as they continued to build up confidence heading into what they hope will be their first full week outdoors starting April 22.
“Going into the next couple weeks, it’s going to be interesting,” said Coach Kim Nygaard. “I don’t even know what to think at this point.”
Tuesday gave the Magic coach plenty of positives to think about.
After the Magic’s top finisher was third in the 55-meter dash, Monticello swept through the rest of the running events.
Grace Sawatzke won a close finish in the 200-meter dash (28.66), before cruising to victory  in the 400, where she was followed by teammates Kelly Lemke, Mackenzie Cruzan, Katie Crnokrak and Karlie Kitzman.
In the distance runs, the Magic continued to show off their impressive depth. A win by Krista Steele in the 800 (2:33.24), led a quartet of Magic finishers at the top of the pack.

Julia Bieniek finished fourth in the shot put at Tuesdays meet. (Times staff photo by Clay Sawatzke)

Julia Bieniek finished fourth in the shot put at Tuesdays meet. (Times staff photo by Clay Sawatzke)

And in the 1600 Amber Seidenkranz finished first, just to be followed by four more Magic runners,  Mariah Betzler, Brooke Rasmussen, Alex Revenig and Krista Steele.
In the 55 hurdles, Samantha Peterson kept the Magic’s winning ways moving with a time of 10.28, two tenths of a second ahead of the second place competitor.
The success didn’t end with running events for Monticello. Emily Stockholm cleared a bar at 4 feet, 8 inches to finish first in the high jump, while Sawatzke turned in a season best long jump (16 feet, 2.5 inches) for her third victory of the day.
One of the few positives of this long stretch of indoor spring sports has been the ability to focus on individual performance and technique. And already, Nygaard is seeing it pay off.
“Everything is individual, so they can see where they’re at,” she said.” [We’re] seeing that some of the different things that we are doing are working. Some of [the girls] are ahead of where they were last year though, which is shocking.”
Monticello will look to finally get outdoors next week as they have meets scheduled at Cambridge Tuesday and at Monticello Thursday.

Contact Clay Sawatzke at clay.sawatzke@ecm-inc.com

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