Elks sweep track titles

By Chris Bennett


All involved with the Elkhorn Area High School track program have waited years for the boys to catch-up to the talent level of their female teammates. The day for such a feat might finally be dawning.

The Elks’ won titles in the boys and girls meets March 18 in the Jim Reinhard “Dog” Relays at West Allis Central High School.

Eight teams competed in each meet. The girls won their team title with 111 points and the boys scored 86.

Elkhorn next competes April 7 at home in a non-conference triangular meet against Burlington and Milton.

“It was an amazing start to the competitive portion of the season for our kids.” Elks coach Steve Simonson said. “It is the fourth year in a row that our girls have won this meet and the first time that our boys have brought home the championship. We, as a coaching staff, could not be more proud of their effort.”

Simonson said the Elks’ upper classmen competed at a high level and said the program’s freshmen performed well in their first varsity meet.

For the girls, Alyssa Reeves won the 1,600-meter run (5:51.01) and Isabella Ewen, Payton Christensen, Tiffany Orin and Madison Page won the won the 4 X 160-meter relay (1:34.50).

Gabby Pinnow, Maddie Barlow, Alyssa Reeves and Taylor Mair won the distance medley relay (13:47.47).

Ewen, Blum, Hailey Czubernaut and Natalie Sesing finished second in the 4 X 240 relay (2:31.25).

Madison Page finished second in the long jump (15-1) and Pinnow finished third in the high jump (4-8).

For the boys, Derek Davey, Arandu Huerta, Connor LaFavor and Andrew Slack won the 4 X 800 relay (9:30.51).

Davey, Slack, Brad Baas and Caleb Jacques-Hembree won the distance medley relay in 11:49.78.

Richie Heidemann finished second in the shot put (42-8). Quinn McDonald finished second in the high jump (6-0) and Jack Flitcroft finished second in the pole vault (9-0).

Tyler Daehn came in second in the long jump (18-6.5) and triple jump (36-3.5).

Sam Divarco, Justin Zoellner, Baas and Davey finished second in the 4X400 relay (3:53.41). Jacques-Hembree finished third in the 1,600 (5:16).

Simonson said upperclassmen Pinnow, Barlow, Ali Rhode, Madison Neinfeldt and Mair performed well for the girls, and complimented upperclassmen Huerta, Slack, Davey, Jacques-Hembree, Quinn McDonald, Tyler Daehn, Heideman, Baas and LaFavor on the boys’ team.

“We also got amazing efforts from some of our freshmen that were competing in their first high school varsity meet,” Simonson said. “Allyssa Reeves, Isabella Ewen, Payton Christensen, Madison Page, Hailey Czubernat, Evan Blanton, Taylor Bikowski and Elise Blum all made the type of contributions that show they are not at all intimidated by competing at the varsity level.”

Simonson said graduation hit the girls’ team hard. A strong crop of underclassmen might help ease the blow.

“We return a strong core of girls from last year’s team, and we are really excited about what we think may be the strongest freshmen class we have ever had,” Simonson said. “The key to our success will be the development of our sophomores, juniors and freshmen as the season progresses.”

Barlow and Mair will serve as Captains. Pinnow, Natalie Sesing. Madison Neinfeldt and Allison Rohde are key contributors among the returnees.

The Elkhorn girls finished third in the Southern Lakes Conference last season. Westosha Central is the defending champion, and Simonson said he expects Central to be strong again this season. Badger and Burlington are also expected to be strong.

The Elkhorn boys finished sixth in the SLC last season. Badger is the defending champion and will be strong again, according to Simonson. Central and Waterford are also expected to contend.

“The boys team has been in a building process for the last four years, and the time has come for our boys to step up and compete with the best teams in the conference,” Simonson said. “We have finally started to develop the type of depth that helps a track team to be successful.

Baas, Sam Divarco, Heideman, Huerta, LaFavor and Slack lead a strong and diverse group of upperclassmen.

Davey, Daehn, Flitcroft, Jacques-Hembree and McDonald are sophomores, and are joined by freshman Evan Blanton to form a strong contingent of underclassmen.

“Although we are a talented team, we are still a very young team,” Simonson said. “This should make for a very exciting season as we watch our athletes work hard and develop into a seasoned squad that can compete with anyone by the end of the season.”

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