Brookfield East boys seek another state track and field title
Steiner's three-time defending champs qualify in 11 events
Coach Mike Steiner's three-time state champion Brookfield East boys track and field team will have a tough time making it four in a row.
But the Spartans qualified in 11 events at the West Allis Central Sectional on May 30, and they hope to make it interesting at the WIAA state track and field meet on June 6-7 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.
Two Spartans qualified in two individual events.
Senior Zech Copeland qualified by winning the 110-meter hurdles (14.95) and taking third in the 300 hurdles (40.15). He was fifth in the 110 hurdles last year at state.
"Zech has had a great year for us," Steiner said. "This will be the final go-around for him, and we have really high hopes for him in both of his races. He has really come on in the 300s. He has set personal bests the last four meets, and hopefully he can stay on that path. I like his chances."
Sophomore Mario Carr won the 300 hurdles (39.85) and took third in the triple jump (42-4½). He was also an alternate on the 4x400-meter relay.
"This is going to be a great experience for Mario," Steiner said. "He has been a workhorse for us all year, and his future is exceptionally bright. He is running times in the intermediate hurdles that are elite for his age group."
The state's best pole vaulter, Glen Harold, took first with a vault of 16 feet, giving the Spartans three gold medal individual performances.
"Glen has had an absolutely amazing career," Steiner had. "His development over the past four years is a testament of what hard work and passion can do for a young athlete. We have high hopes for him at state, and I know he will come ready."
East's fourth winner came from the 4x100 relay, which took first (42.82) behind junior Chad Kluender, Harold, sophomore Mitch Mikulsky and senior Will Sutton. Steiner said being the second seed at state is the biggest news from the sectional.
Cameron Allen-Aylsworth in the discus throw (150-feet, 1 inch) was one of four second-place performers. He is joined by Kluender in the pole vault (14-6) and two relay teams.
"Cameron has really come on in the last few weeks," Steiner said. "That's a big throw for a sophomore, and if he can continue the streak he is on, I know he will have a positive experience at state."
The 4x400 relay (3:23.15) behind junior Tommy Schwarz, senior Ryan Dundun, sophomore Nick Krueger and senior Sutton took second place.
The 4x800 relay also finished second with a season-best time of 7:58.22 behind senior Dundun, senior Stephen Browne, senior Andrew Pelto and Krueger. It was the fourth-best time for the event in school history.
"They (4x800) really competed in a tough field at the sectional," Steiner said. "Stephen and Ryan both ran on the state champion team from last year, and we're hoping their experience will pay some dividends. Andrew Pelto is running really well right now, and I'm happy for him to get this opportunity. He has been a solid contributor for us all year. Nick Krueger is just a sophomore, but he is so competitive."
Sutton, who qualified in two relays, also took third in the high jump (20-10¼).
"Will Sutton ran really well," Steiner said. "He has only run the 400 twice this season, and he ran a really strong leg. He should run even faster at the state meet.
"All the guys ran well. Tommy (Schwarz), for being a first-year track athlete, has really developed this year. It's going to be a great experience for that whole group."
Steiner knows the Spartans will have a tough road when it comes to defending their titles.
"Anything can happen at the state meet. I like our chances, though it is clear we'll have to perform at a very high level," he said. "Our kids are ready. They have a lot to live up to, and regardless of the outcome of this year's meet, we have had one heck of a year.
"Our team has a lot of fortitude and a bit of a chip on their shoulder. We are in a great position. We'll give it our best shot and let the chips fall where they may.
"I know they will give it their best shot, because that is what we do."
Qualifiers from regionals
Four individuals took first and one relay — the 4x100-meter relay — won in 43.36 seconds behind Kluender, Harold, sophomore Mikulsky and Sutton.
Sutton also took first in the long jump (21-feet, 6 inches), Harold in the pole vault (13-6), Copeland in the 110 hurdles (14.95) and Carr in the 300 hurdles (40.26).
Three sophomores finished second: Jack Leonovicz in the shot put (48-9), Carr in the 110 hurdles (15.41) and Cameron Allen-Aylsworth in the discus throw (148-5). Schwarz was the final runner-up in the 400 (52.16).
Two individuals took third: Copeland in the 300 hurdles (40.98) and Josh Dempsey in the pole vault (13-0).
The two relay teams who took third were the 4x400 (3 minutes, 31.37 seconds) behind Carr, Dundun, Krueger and Sutton and the 4x800 (8:24.55) behind Dundun, Browne, Pelto and Krueger.
Rounding out the qualifiers with fourth-place finishes were Kluender in the pole vault (13-0), Dundun in the 400 (52.80) and Carr in the triple jump (39-9½).
Boys —1. Brookfield East (103), 2. Waukesha South (102), 3. Marquette (77), 4. Wauwatosa East (70), 5. Wauwatosa West (64), 6. Waukesha West (49), 7. New Berlin Eisenhower (42), 8. West Allis Central (38), 9. New Berlin West (36), 10. West Allis Hale (30), 11. Waukesha North (27), 12. Kettle Moraine (26), 13. Brookfield Central (16), 14. Bradley Tech (10), 15. Washington (3).
May 27 at Kettle Moraine
1. Brookfield East (145), 2. Waukesha South (135.50), 3. Waukesha West (76.50), 4. Kettle Moraine (75), 5. New Berlin West (70.50), 6. New Berlin Eisenhower (70), 7. Waukesha North (65.50), 8. Brookfield Central (47)
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