by Samuel Ripp
GLENWOOD CITY — Head coach Jeff Mack could not have scripted a better conference “swan song” than the one that unfolded here last Tuesday.
Mack, who has spent the past 31 years teaching and coaching in the Elk Mound School District and is set to retire at the end of the current school year, watched in delight and amazement as his boys’ and girls’ track and field teams conquered the competition and captured one last pair of Dunn-St. Croix Conference championships for their coach during the 2016 conference track and field meet held at Glenwood City High School May 17.
Mack has made and shared a lot of memories with athletes past and present over the three plus decades to bring with him into retirement.
The Elk Mound track team was in Glenwood City on Tuesday, May 17 for the Conference Track meet and the girls and boys both came home with the Championships. It was a clean sweep for the Mounders.
“It’s been a great ride and has lead to fantastic memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” said Mack.
Winning the conference championship with the boys and girls in his last year is the best way to go out on top. Mack shared what it was like and what kinds of kids he has on his team.
“It was an amazing night and one of the highlight moments in my career, these kids like each other and would do anything for each other,” said Mack.
Elk Mound Girls
The Elk Mound girls finished first overall to win the conference meet with 155.50 points on the afternoon. The girls took home first place, despite only finishing first in one event. The first place finish was by the 4×200-meter relay team that had a winning time of 1:53.48. This team was made up of sophomore Maddie Jenson, sophomore Callie Nyren, senior McKenna McVey, and junior Kaitlyn Baier.
The Lady Mounders collected a lot of second place finishes on the night and the 4×100-meter relay team was one of those. This team consisted of Kaitlyn Baier, junior Sarah Sweeney, senior Paxtyn Pavelski, and freshman Brynn McVey. They finished with a time of 54.79.
Junior Elizabeth Fasbender was plenty busy in helping her team collect points during the meet. She finished in the top three in all three of her events. Fasbender took home second place in the 1600-meter run and the 3200-meter run. She also finished third in the 400-meter dash. Her time in the 1600 was 5:36.94. In the 3200 she finished with a time of 12:43.47. In her third place finish in the 400-meter dash, she came home with a time of 1:03.96.
Callie Nyren and McKenna McVey were close to each other in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Nyren took second in the 100 with a time of 13.33 and McVey took fourth with a time of 13.47. The two girls flip-flopped in the 200-meter dash as McVey took second with a time of 28.21 and Nyren took third with a time of 28.41.
Sophomore Hannah Cedarblade took home second place in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 53.49.
The Lady Mounders also faired very well in the field events. Maddie Jenson took third in the high jump clearing 4-08.00. In the pole vault, junior Jenna Heit and Kaitlyn Baier tied for fourth clearing a height of 6-06.00. Brynn McVey finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 30-09.00 and senior Taylor Deling finished third in the shot put with a distance of 32-05.00.
Elk Mound Boys
The Elk Mound boys also took home first place for a clean sweep for the school. The boys scored 144 points with three first place finishes on the afternoon. The boys would be without Jake Johnson after he sprained his ankle in gym class and Jonah Bauer who was injured in the long jump.
Taking home a first place finish was junior Noah Zurbuchen in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.20. The 4×100-meter relay team finished with a winning time of 44.77. Making up that team was: senior Jordan VanSchoonhoven, junior Tyler Sahm, Noah Zurbuchen, and senior Ben Mack. Junior Chandler Schreiber finished first in the pole vault clearing a height of 12-09.00.
Two other relay teams took home second place finishes and they were the 4×200 and the 4×400. The 4×200 relay team consisted of Jordan VanSchoonhoven, Noah Zurbuchen, Ben Mack, and junior George Friberg. This team finished with a time of 1:34.88. The 4×400-meter relay team consisted of junior Hunter Johnson, George Friberg, and Chandler Friberg. They finished with a time of 3:39.44.
Tyler Sahm found his way to a fourth place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.16. Junior Hunter Johnson finished third in the 400-meter dash and senior Nathan Kruger took fourth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:11.35. Rounding out the events on the track was senior Teegan Peterson in the 110-meter hurdles with a third place finish with a time of 18.56.
The Mounders faired well in the field events as well with senior Jonah Bauer taking second in the long jump with a distance of 19-09.50. Sophomore Tyler Brantner took third in the triple jump with a distance of 37-02.50.
Senior Aaron Maves took second in both the shot put and in the discus to help his team gain some points. In the shot put, Maves threw for a distance of 42-06.50 and in the discus, he threw for a distance of 130-02.
“Our kids were so focused Tuesday night,” stated Mack on the readiness of his teams during the conference track meet.
The Elk Mound track team will be back in action on Monday, May 23 in Bloomer in the Regional track meet. The Mounders will look to repeat what they did at the conference meet on Tuesday.